Most women buy themselves a new outfit or a new pair of shoes when they have a little extra money at the end of the month. Anyone that knows me, knows my weakness isn't clothes or shoes, it's dishes. I don't have room to store anymore of them in my pantry or cupboards, but that doesn't always stop me.
When someone told me about using a real pumpkin as a serving bowl I was intrigued. At first I thought what a cool and unique idea. Then I realized an extra bonus... I wouldn't have to store it. When I'm done with it I can just throw it away. So, the day after Halloween I was knocking on the gate of the pumpkin patch to see if I could get some great deals on pumpkins.
I found directions for roasting a stuffed pumpkin at epicurious.com. I made a stew in the crock pot before putting it in the pumpkin to bake, but soup, mashed potatoes, or a vegetable casserole would work well in a roasted pumpkin too. The pumpkin kept the stew warm and well insulated while the pumpkin baked to a glazed-like texture. The end result looked like a ceramic dish and made a beautiful centerpiece.
1 (8-9 lb.) pumpkin 1 Tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper
Soup or stew of your choice.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle on an angle around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out and discard seeds and fibers from inside pumpkin (including top)with a spoon. Do not discard top. Sprinkle inside flesh with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Place pumpkin on a large shallow roasting pan or a sturdy pizza pan. (I used a sturdy pizza pan so I wouldn't have to transfer the hot pumpkin on to something else when it came out of the oven.)
Carefully scoop hot pre-cooked soup, stew, or mashed potatoes into prepared pumpkin. Place top on pumpkin and rub outside of pumpkin with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Place a piece of foil over the stem to prevent it from charring. Place filled pumpkin in oven and roast for 45-60 minutes. It will be heavy, so be careful.
Carefully remove baked pumpkin from oven. I scattered colorful fall leaves around base of pumpkin to hide pan. Then sit back and listen to the oohs and aahs from your guests.