October, the month of change, transformation. The shortening of days, the changing color, the constantly cooling temperatures, the speeding up of time and the ability for one day to ‘put on’ a different self! Now, in all honesty, I am not a huge fan of Halloween. I like the fun of it, I love the innocence of seeing little children dressed up and being the most adorable super hero, fairy, dinosaur or princess. I love it when they are polite and adorable in asking for candy, their pride in showing off their ‘new persona’, and the special energy that the day brings. I enjoy dressing up our ‘every-day’ sweets in characters and halloween creations, almost always in themes that can only be produced once a year.
I love carving pumpkins and the artistry of it all. I hate having to pack it into ever – increasingly fast paced world of one day. Then having it shoved aside for the next holiday before it has arrived.
My mother, loved halloween because she loved things being not all as they seem. She would have loved to come and attend a dinner party of all food meals blue at the table (as the legendary Alfred Hitchcock once did).
So, with this in mind, instead of a sweet halloween treat, which is to be expected, we’re sharing this Halloween savory stew I found on food network several years ago. And in true heirloom fashion, this recipe was submitted by a viewer; it is a recipe passed down through the generations, and now it is one of ours to be passed down, only this time with a little Eloise’s flair.
Happy Treating- This is ghoulishly good!
Jack O’Lantern Stew
Recipe courtesy Dawn Bergner
Prep Time: 25 min Inactive Prep Time:15 min Cook Time:1 hr 15 min Level: Easy Serves: 6 to 8 servings
1 (9 to 12-inch) pumpkin
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 red pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
4 carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
3 celery sticks, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground chicken or turkey
2 cups cooked rice (instant is okay)
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 large can tomato soup
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the top off the pumpkin and scoop out the insides. Rinse well. Carve a spooky face onto the pumpkin, without going all the way through the flesh. Rinse well, oil outside of pumpkin. Bake the pumpkin shell for 30 minutes.
While shell is baking: sauté the onion, green and red peppers, carrots, celery, and garlic until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Brown ground beef and chicken. Add the veggies and cooked rice and cook over low heat, stirring often, for 10 to 15 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Remove pumpkin from oven and let stand 15 minutes. Stir the tomatoes and soup into the meat mixture. Place meat mixture into pumpkin. Put back in oven for 20 minutes. Serve on a platter with cheesy biscuits- -very yummy.