Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper, and put it on baking sheet or in pot.
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Toss the rice, garlic, bacon, onion and thyme together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and firmly pack the mix into the raw pumpkin.
Stir cream with nutmeg and pour it into the pumpkin.
Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 90 minutes or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is fork tender.
Carefully bring the hot pumpkin to the table or transfer it to a platter and serve. To serve, either cut wedges and lay on plates or spoon out portions of the filling along with generous amounts of pumpkin meat. Do not eat the skin.
Serves 4 to 6.
Cook's notes: Instead of rice, use about 1/4 pound stale bread, sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks. Instead of — or in addition to — bacon, use 1 cup spicy sausage. Another tasty ingredient is cheese — add 1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyere or cheddar, cut into 1/2-inch cubes when mixing ingredients with the rice.
— Adapted by Chris Copley from Dorie Greenspan's "Around My French Table"
2 packs cream cheese, softened
29-ounce can pumpkin pie filling
Blend cream cheese and pumpkin in blender or standing mixer.
Serve with gingersnaps for dipping.
— Courtesy of June Stolins, a member of TOPS Md. No. 308
Pumpkin ginger soup
3 cups pureed, roasted pumpkin (see cook's note)
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon sugar, to taste