Holiday Stuffed Pumpkin

Prep: 1 hour Cook: 1 1/2 hours

Serves:6-8

This is the recipe I have used for my Thanksgiving centerpiece for over 25 years. It has always been a favorite with everyone who has celebrated the holidays with us over the years Hint: To save some time, cube the bread the night before and allow it to sit uncovered in a single layer overnight. This will eliminate the need to bake the bread cubes in the oven for 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 large loaf whole wheat bread, cubed
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • 2-4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp parsley flakes
  • 2 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 2-3 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • several twists freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium pumpkin or large winter squash

Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Place the broth, onions, celery and seasonings in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the top off the pumpkin or winter squash and save for a cover (as if you were going to make a jack-o-lantern). Clean out the seeds and stringy portion, leaving plenty of the squash flesh along the sides. Rinse well and set aside. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl, pour the cooked broth over the bread and toss well until bread is saturated with the liquid. Cover the bowl and allow liquid to be absorbed for about 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings (adding more poultry seasoning and ground pepper, if needed).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the stuffing into the cleaned pumpkin and cover with the pumpkin top. Place in a large baking dish. Add 1 inch of water to the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until fork pierces the side of the pumpkin easily.