Halloween

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I was pretty sure I had finally figured out the wild rice stuffing I have been working on for our birds, but the test was going to be if it translated into a good stuffing for pumpkin/squash as well…

I tried it out at our Thanksgiving dinner up North, but it was fairly widely agreed that pumpkin needs more then salt/pepper and stuffing to make it taste good–So for our Halloween party I used a squash that I hoped would darken in colour as it baked…it worked and ended up looking spookily festive.
Recipe below – a note when I took this to our local drop-in I omitted the allergens (egg & walnut)

Foraged Wild Rice Stuffing for Thanksgiving  Game or Squash

1- 3-4 lb buttercup squash
2/3 c mixed grains (2Tb each: spelt, whole barley, millet, whole oats)
1/3 c basmatti rice
1/3 c wild rice(s)
1 1/3 c water
2 c stock (or water + bullion)
2 onions, minced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 carrots, diced
(1 apple diced)
1 rib celery diced
4 strips bacon cut into 1cm pieces
1/4 c butter
1 c mushrooms diced
1 Tb each: fresh thyme, sage , & parsley
1/2 tsp freah nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp juniper berry crushed
1/3 c each: pine nut
Chestnut/walnut
Water chestnut
Dried cranberry
1/2 c heavy cream
1 lg. egg
1/4 lb gruyere (swiss) cheese

Note: as long as the liquid equals 3 1/3 c flavor between water and stock can vary according to taste.

Combine rice, grain, water , and stock
Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer 30 min till all liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile melt butter in fry pan add bacon onion & garlic cook till soft 5 min.
Then add mushroom cook 5 min more.
Then add carrot, celery, apple, thyme, sage, parsley, nutmeg, juniper, cook 5  more min.
Next toss cooked grains with, veg & bacon, and all remaining except cheese, egg, and cream.

Preheat oven to 350 for pumpkin 450 for birds.
Clean out 1, 3-4lb pumpkin/squash or 6, 1lb game birds
Season inside with salt and pepper
if using pumpkin score inside flesh all over with a knife
Once mix is cool enough to handle, whisk together egg and cream – set aside. Stir in cheese into stuffing. Next stir in cream mixture till just combined.

Stuff pumpkin/birds. (a handful per bird should do, and likely1/2 or 2/3 of stuffing  for pumpkin) any leftover can be baked in a separate covered casserole.

For pumpkin:
bake 90min-2hrs till outside flesh is fork tender and stuffing is bubbling.

For birds:
truss once stuffed, bard with more bacon
Bake 5 min then reduce heat to 350 and cook 20-30 min more until internal temp of stuffing reaches 165 (and if meaurable meat reaches internal temp of 180) and juices (typically best measured at the thigh) run clear.

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