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T  H  E     P  U  M  P  K   I  N     P  A  T  C  H
The end of October means Halloween with its ghost, ghouls, goblins, and pumpkins! Pumpkins are not only essential for jack-o-lanterns, but also the key ingredient in the following dishes.
Baked Pumpkins

Ingredients (conversion table):

Small pumpkin (2-4 lbs.)
Medium onion-chopped
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp. raisins (soaked for about ¼ hour in warm water, or, even better, port wine)
3 Tbsp. pine nuts
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ tsp. chopped fresh sage or ½ tsp. dried sage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice pumpkin in half horizontally. Remove seeds and save for roasting (see recipe below). Place halves cut side down in a shallow baking dish with about ¼ inch of water. P rick pumpkins in a couple of places with the tines of a fork or a knife to allow steam to escape. Bake until flesh is tender, but not mushy-about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Scoop out pumpkin flesh leaving shells about ½ inch thick. Coarsely chop pumpkin flesh. Heat sauté pan, add oil. Saute chopped onion in olive oil until translucent. Add chopped pumpkin, breadcrumbs, raisins, pine nuts and sage. Mix well. Put in pumpkin shells and bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve garnished with sprigs of fresh sage if you have it.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

The best part of making a jack-o-lantern is not carving the face, it's eating the seeds!

Remove and clean seeds. Spread on a cookie sheet and allow to dry. Toss with a little oil, salt, pepper and soy sauce. Toast in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring them around a couple of times. Enjoy-they won't last long!