Holiday Retirement communities take pumpkin recipes to the next level
The staff and residents at Holiday Retirement’s Jordan Oaks don’t know what the wildly popular dish of the season will be, but they know pumpkin is going to be involved. Why? Because this senior living community doesn’t take their pumpkin dishes lightly. Enrichment coordinator Sheila Bullock explains, “We like to have a big pumpkin tasting event.” This event is the result of Sheila’s own recipes, favorite recipes offered up by residents and, of course, classic and cutting-edge culinary takes from John McCombs, executive chef, and Bobby Judd, sous chef.
Sheila, John, Bobby and some Jordan Oaks residents turn out pumpkin dishes of every stripe for the occasion; the list of potential options nearly rivals Bubba’s list of shrimp preparations from Forrest Gump. To name a few, Sheila said that pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, pumpkin biscuits, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pies, pumpkin tartlets, pumpkin cinnamon ice cream, roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin butter and even pumpkin pudding could all potentially make an appearance at this year’s tasting.
Sounds like a delicious way to spend a day, doesn’t it?
Which dish will win the hearts and taste buds of the community remains to be seen, but extra recipe cards to share will ensure every fan walks away ready to re-create the magic. And though every day (sadly) cannot be pumpkin tasting day, Sheila says she hopes to see favorites featured on the community menu throughout the fall.
If all this talk of creative pumpkin executions has you hankering for a new recipe, give this savory selection from Heather Hernandez, executive chef at Holiday Retirement’s Pinewood Hills, a try — the residents will get their first taste soon.
“I have not used this recipe with my residents as I have not shared the fall with them yet,” Heather said. But she hopes to share this stuffed pumpkin recipe with them this season.
“This recipe is important to me because it brings back memories of cooking in the kitchen with my grandmother. I loved spending time with her, the smells of the kitchen and the laughter we would share. It seems as if nothing she made was ever simple, yet it seemed to be as time flew by because of the fun we had together.”
Sandmann's Stuffed Pumpkin
- 2-3 lb. pumpkin
- 1/4 lb. stale bread — mix of cornbread and White Sunbeam
- 1/8 lb. Gruyére cheese
- 1/8 lb. mozzarella
- 1/8 lb. Swiss
- 2 tsp. diced onion
- 1 tsp. garlic
- 1/8 cup diced bacon
- 1/8 cup fresh scallions, sliced thin
- 2 fresh eggs
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- Cut the top off of your pumpkin, and remove the seeds and strings.
- Toss together the bread, cheeses, onion, garlic, bacon and scallions.
- Whip together the eggs, heavy whipping cream, basil, thyme and nutmeg. Use discretion and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper, if desired, then gently rub extra virgin olive oil all over the inside of the pumpkin.
- Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Stuff the pumpkin with the bread mixture.
- Gently pour the liquid mixture evenly over the top of the bread mixture.
- Add the pumpkin top back on and cook the pumpkin in an oven preheated to 325 degrees. Cook for 1 to 1½ hours. Remove pumpkin top, set aside.
- Continue cooking uncovered pumpkin for another 30 minutes.
- Replace the pumpkin top when the inside of the pumpkin resembles a stuffing texture and bubbles.
- Cut into the pumpkin and serve in slices, being sure to get pumpkin and stuffing together for each serving.
Pro-tip: When the pumpkin is done, place the strings and seeds around the pumpkin on the baking sheet as decoration. The heat will cook the seeds and strings, unlocking a delicious aroma and a stylish presentation.
Looking for a new twist on your fall traditions? Try these festive family activities, experiment with a new recipe or visit a Holiday Retirement community near you to see what we’re up to.