Traditions. They are what make events memorable and holidays top the list of events. I'm big on holidays. Starting with the New Year, through Valentines and St. Patrick's, breezing through Easter and 4th of July, all the way through to Christmas. For most holidays cookie making and decorating are traditions as well as decorations, but for Halloween there is also the dinner. Once a year, much to Doug's dismay, I make Pumpkin Soup with Graveyard for dessert. Not sure why I call it a soup, but I have since my mom made it for us, but it's more of a casserole of sorts. The fun of this soup is that it is cooked in a pumpkin and when serving you scrape the cooked pumpkin in with the rest.
Fresh out of the oven
1 small pumpkin (about 7-8lbs)
1 chopped onion
1 lb hamburger
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cup cooked rice
8oz can sliced water chestnuts (optional) - I don't like them so I don't use them :)
Prepare pumpkin by washing the outside and scooping out the inside. Save the seeds for roasting later.
Brown the hamburger, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add onion and saute till meat is done and onion is soft. Drain off extra grease if any. Add everything else, but the pumpkin and simmer for 10 min. Pour into pumpkin and bake on some sort of sheet or pan at 350* for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until pumpkin is cooked through.
Ready to serve before scraping pumpkin in.
I scraped the pumpkin before serving that way it was already done just be careful not to go through the outer skin. You can have everyone scrape as they dish up if you want.
Then there was dessert...
1 package of Oreo cookies
3 Tbsp butter, melted
8oz cream cheese softened
7 oz marshmallow cream
12 oz cool whip
2 - 4oz packages chocolate pudding
3 1/2 cup milk - 2% or whole
Candies and cookies to decorate graveyard
In food processor make 2 rows of cookies into crumbs. Mix in butter. Pour into 9X13" baking pan and bake for 10min at 350*. Cool completely.
When crust is cool; beat together cream cheese, marshmallow cream and 8oz of cool whip. Carefully spread into pan. In separate bowl make pudding with milk. Let the pudding set up a little the pour on top of cream cheese. Top with remaining cool whip. Make crumbs out of remaining row of cookies and sprinkle on top of cool whip to make "dirt". Now decorate. The decorating is totally subjective and changes each year for me depending on what I have in my pantry. Be creative and enjoy!
As a side note, I have made the pumpkin soup occasionally through the month of October and November just because Doug likes it. However, I used frozen pumpkin or any squash and just stirred it in the pan with the rice and rest to heat it through.