3/01/2018

Roast Stuffed Pumpkin and The Art of Mending

I just finished The Art of Mending, by Elizabeth Berg.  A novel and fine allegory on mending things rather than throwing them out.  Family members and friends particularly.  The woman makes quilts, and uses both new and old materials for her commissions.  She discovers the idea might also be transferred to seemingly hopeless people.  Berg delivers a well done bit of personal character growth, along with her story of a family coming together for an annual event, where tragedy faces them.  From the Publishers:

"It begins with the sudden revelation of astonishing secrets—secrets that have shaped the personalities and fates of three siblings, and now threaten to tear them apart. In renowned author Elizabeth Berg’s moving new novel, unearthed truths force one seemingly ordinary family to reexamine their disparate lives and to ask themselves: Is it too late to mend the hurts of the past?
Laura Bartone anticipates her annual family reunion in Minnesota with a mixture of excitement and wariness. Yet this year’s gathering will prove to be much more trying than either she or her siblings imagined. As soon as she arrives, Laura realizes that something is not right with her sister. Forever wrapped up in events of long ago, Caroline is the family’s restless black sheep. When Caroline confronts Laura and their brother, Steve, with devastating allegations about their mother, the three have a difficult time reconciling their varying experiences in the same house. But a sudden misfortune will lead them all to face the past, their own culpability, and their common need for love and forgiveness."

What all this has to do with pumpkins is your guess.  Well, the big family get together was at the State Fair, where of course, pumpkins are displayed, usually monstrous prize-winners .  And then I ran into this beautiful, though wee specimen.  Couldn't resist taking him home.  And finding a good recipe to stuff the little prize with.



Ruth Reichl, via Gourmet Today, came through once again, and I followed the recipe, as per, for once in my life.  Well except for using Gouda instead of Emmental with the Gruyere, which I did have.  Her recipe involved a 7 lb. pumpkin, while this was about a 1.25 pound Winter squash of some sort.  So the ingredients had to be cut down quite a bit, but perfect for the two of us.  Basically, you cut the top out, layer in your stuffing of bread, cream, cheese, etc., set the top back on and roast it.  Pretty simple and easy, with delicious results.  I roasted it for about 1.25 hrs. and it came out beautifully.  This little baby wins the prize for taste, texture and looks of any pumpkin, in my memory at least.  I want more of them.


This is a perfect main course, with fresh salad greens on the side, which I was able to pick from the garden: mizuna, arugula, lettuce, and endive.  My greens are enjoying our cool, rainy weather of the moment, more so than most of us people.  Cool is fine, but rain can be sometimes just a tad excessive.


I'll be sharing this post over at Beth Fish Reads for Weekend Cooking and with Simona of Briciole for her Novel Food event.  Be sure to stop by and check out all the good food and books.

12 comments:

Judee Algazi said...

The pumpkin recipe sounds delicious and the book intriguing. Thanks for an interesting review and yummy recipe

Beth F said...

You can't go wrong with Ruth Reichl. I love the idea of stuffed winter squash -- sounds comforting and delicious. I love going to the country fair and seeing the entries for the biggest pumpkin -- it's amazing how big some them get.

Mae Travels said...

Stuffed pumpkin is a great choice. I serve it when I am entertaining vegetarian guests. Also as a side dish. I have stuffed medium-sized ones with bread soaked in an egg-milk-cheese combo, with wheat berries, and with stuffing like I use for turkey. Also have stuffed little ones cut in half, which cook more quickly than yours did. Great idea! I had a photo of the little ones on my blog a couple of days ago. (Proving that great minds think alike — that is, you and me).

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Claudia said...

just learned from Mae's post that it's called carnival squash! God's amazing creation.

Marg said...

I read an Elizabeth Berg book a while ago but it's been a while.

The cheese fondue inside the pumpkin sounds really good.

Debra Eliotseats said...

One of my favorite cookbooks. I have both the yellow and green ones. Sounds like an interesting book. Reminds me a bit of The Keeper of Lost Things.

Rob said...

The pumpkin looks delicious, and I do love the premise of that book.

Vicki said...

I think I'd love that book, and I love pumpkin!

Simona Carini said...

I am intrigued by the novel you chose, Claudia, and can't wait to make the recipe. I love the small specimens that you can turn into dinner for two. Thank you for contributing to Novel Food :)

cathy branciaroli said...

I like the concept of this book - that people as well as things can be "mended". It must have been a good read and will have to look it up. As to pumpkins, a neighboring farmer cultivates heritage varieties and he has so many types plus squashes available at his stand it's mind-boggling. I too enjoy the wee ones better than the gigantic. Will give the recipe appropriated from Ruth a try!

librariane said...

The story sounds like one to track down, especially for this midwesterner! And paring down recipes is an interesting exercise, is it not? I did that for salt potatoes a few years ago and have found it handy to keep the small version around for our family.

Delaware Girl Eats said...

I have to say it was a very creative leap from the book's mending theme to pumpkins but an enjoyable one. I love non-jack o lantern pumpkins for their squash loveliness. Usually I slice and roast, but roasting a whole one is a beautiful idea too