First, my favorite fall recipe:
One medium sugar pumpkin
One pound ground sweet Italian sausage
One quart jar home-canned stewed tomatoes
Four medium zucchini
One red onion
Brown the sausage in olive oil with about three cloves minced garlic and the diced red onion. Cut the zucchini into appx one-inch pieces, throw them in the saute pan to soften with lid on, burner off.
Cut the top off of the sugar pumpkin(s), take out the seeds and gunk. Save the "lid." Throw the rest in the woods to the birds. If you put it in your compost heap you will probably end up with a lot of pumpkin volunteers next spring. Don't ask how I know.
If you are feeling creative, scratch a message or design into the outer layer of the pumpkin skin so the pale orange shows through. Don't go too deep or the pumpkin's jack-o-lantern face may end up looking like it's weeping. Don't ask how I know.
Place the hollowed, scratch-decorated pumpkin on a jelly roll pan or shallow baking pan.
Stir your tomatoes into the sausage mixture with some fresh basil if you've got it.
Pour it all into the pumpkin shell. Place the lid on top.
Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until the pumpkin starts to slump a little and the pumpkin flesh will scrape away from the shell very easily.
Let it cool for a bit, then carry it to the table in its baking dish. Very important: don't move it to a cuter dish for the table. Don't ask how I know.
As you serve the "stew" from the inside, scoop the pumpkin from the shell in with the other ingredients into deep bowls. Serve with fresh-baked crusty bread ... or call your husband to pick up a loaf if you forgot to put yours in the oven when the pumpkin collapsed and started weeping out of its carved eyes upon transfer. Don't ask how I know.
(This really is amazingly delicious. And the kids love the presentation.)
And in other Farm Suite news, my spending hiatus will commence November 1 and end November 10. I was going to dive right in yesterday, but I really do appreciate the comments that planning ahead would help more people be able to participate. At any level. From now until then, I'm going to put up a few garden-and-pantry recipes and continue in the traditional Suite manner.
Hope all is well in your corner of the fall.