~ George EliotI read that quote on one of my favorite blogs and loved the sentiment so much that I decided to post it here as well. Autumn is all well and good in Lubbock, but I learned firsthand that the season is completely magical in New England.
Leaves' colors changing on the trees - apparently that's a real thing in some parts of the country.
Leaves there fell gently and slowly to the ground one by one, drifting downwards as if they're in control, rather than becoming brown, lifeless projectiles hurled around in a West Texas windstorm.
I never before understood the literary romanticism of cemeteries, but after seeing dozens of overfull burying grounds with headstones from the 1600s embellished with skulls and winged creatures, where witches were once put on trial, where the sun sets early and brightly colored leaves dance in the chilly breezes, I can see how the setting is perfect for a haunting.
Whilst in Boston, I ate at Ariana, an Afghani restaurant in Allston-Brighton. I tried their Kaddo Bourani appetizer, and it was one of my favorite things I ate during my trip. They took a pumpkin, baked it in sugar, then covered it with yogurt and meat sauce. Since tasting it, I've wanted to find savory pumpkin dishes to make for myself.
Katie tipped me off to a wonderful recipe with which to celebrate fall's bounty and make use of all those pumpkins you purchased to decorate the house for Halloween: Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good. And it's another Dorie Greenspan recipe, this one from Around My French Table.
I was actually able to make the recipe with ingredients I had on hand. Even better. Start with a small pumpkin (around three pounds; don't use the big jack-o-lantern pumpkins), cut the pumpkin top off, and scrape out the seeds and stringy bits. Salt and pepper the inside. Toss bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, chives, and thyme together and fill the pumpkin with the mixture. Pour a mixture of heavy cream and a pinch of nutmeg over the filling.
Top the pumpkin with the cap, and bake at 350° for about two hours. Remove the cap for the last 20 or so minutes. The filling will be lightly browned and the pumpkin skin will be dark and can be easily pierced with a knife.
The dish can be impressively cut and served at the table. Plate the pumpkin and cut it into wedges, ensuring that each has a good amount of the filling.
As Dorie said, "Who wouldn't love this?" I'm planning to use this as a Thanksgiving side. Why should the only pumpkin on the Thanksgiving table be in a pie?