Oops! There Goes the Pumpkin

The Hot Pot before baking.

Ah, it’s fall. My favorite time of year because the pumpkins are back in the stores. So you can imagine my excitement when I received a new recipe for Aromatic Pumpkin And Chickpea Hot Pot that my friend Stacy found in the New York Times.

Like Stacy, I was going to back this Hot Pot inside a pumpkin — even though the recipe didn’t call for it. And like Stacy, I was going to impress the socks off my dinner guests.

I made some minor modifications to the recipe. I didn’t use chunks of pumpkin when assembling since it would be cooked inside one. I planned to just scrap the pumpkin meat off the sides when dishing out the stew. That makes prepping much easier.

I also cut the chickpeas in half and instead used a can of hominy.

This hot pot recipe was super easy to prepare.  I assembled and cooked it on the stove top the night before. Refrigerated over night and then placed it inside the pumpkin to bake for our noon dinner.

Guests arrived, dinner was ready, and all I needed to do was transfer the baked pumpkin filled with this awesome tasting hop pot recipe on to the severing platter for it’s final presentation.

The Remains.

As my guests were looking on in wonderment, I picked up the pumpkin from the 9″ cake pan it was resting in and I suddenly hear a WHOOSH! To my horror the stew dropped out of the bottom of the pumpkin, back into the cake pan, and overflowed in to the stove.

As I continued to look on in horror, my friend stepped in to take over. We were able to salvage what fell into the cake pan and serve it in the pumpkin, placed in a bowl, on top of the serving platter.

Dinner wasn’t a disaster, but it sure did come close.

The Final Presentation.