Impress your Thanksgiving guests with this (literal) pumpkin hack

Looking to impress your dinner guests this Thanksgiving? Consider serving this dish.

Make a stew, but bake it in a pumpkin shell -- as Midday viewers were shown to do in 1990

Anstace and Larry Esmonde-White reveal how to make a pumpkin into a serving dish. 2:16

If it was good enough for Anstace and Larry Esmonde-White to serve, it was good enough for all of us to consider putting on our Thanksgiving table.

A close-up of the served-in-a-pumpkin stew is shown on Midday. (Midday/CBC Archives)

Twenty-eight years ago, the well-known gardeners and TV stars shared a valuable Thanksgiving hack on Midday — one that would allow the people watching at home to turn an ordinary pumpkin into a serving vessel.

"Around Thanksgiving time, we have a family dish that we like to serve and we call it savoury pilgrim pie and it's made with all the vegetables that are fresh in the garden now and, if you like, a little meat," Anstace told viewers, from their eastern Ontario farm.

The dish was a stew topped with mashed potatoes. The finishing touch was to bake and serve it in the bottom half of a hollowed-out pumpkin.

"It's the only time of the year that you can do it," said Anstace, making the case why it's worth making the effort to cook the dish in a pumpkin.

Anstace Esmonde-White is seen serving the dish she baked in a pumpkin shell. (Midday/CBC Archives)

While she provided only light details on making the stew itself, Anstace laid out the steps for turning the pumpkin into a casserole dish:

  1. Cut the top of the pumpkin off
  2. "Scoop out all the seeds and the guck that's inside"
  3. Save the seeds for future snacking
  4. Put the pumpkin in the oven and "partially cook the flesh"
  5. Make the stew and add to partially-cooked pumpkin shell
  6. Return the pumpkin shell to the oven to cook
  7. Top with mashed potatoes and serve

Anstace advised viewers that "this size of casserole would feed either a hungry Larry, or about 10 people."

When she turned to ask her husband to sample it, Larry proclaimed as being "delicious."

"Really awfully good, yes," Larry said, as he continued to chow down.

Anstace told viewers to try making it "as long as the pumpkins are around in the stores."


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