Alie & Georgia's Fall Solution: Serve it in a Pumpkin!
Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark, a.k.a. Alie & Georgia, host Cooking Channel food-travel series Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia. Visit PEOPLE.com every Thursday for their playful spins on celebrity recipes, cocktails, entertaining ideas—and, of course, lots of laughs!
There are few things we love more than serving a recipe out of an edible container. Example: tiki drinks sipped from a pineapple, clam chowder offered up in an sourdough bowl, and pumpkin anything.
There is a distinct and life-affirming thrill in the potential of eating something and continuing to eat until there is nothing in front of you. Some people wish they knew what it felt like to fly, but we think that true freedom can be experienced while mowing full-throttle through a container made out of something ingestible.
So to celebrate that — and Pumpkin Everything season — here are a few creative uses for hollowed out pumpkins that elevate our favorite gourds from a jack-o-lantern at the foot of your stoop to an integral vessel at your autumnal soirées.
First off: pumpkin soup. This is a no brainer. Pumpkin soup served FROM a pumpkin! Are you excited?! Because we are shouting about it! Here’s the deal: Cut off the top ¼ of a medium sized pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and goop and toss them. Make your favorite pumpkin soup — perhaps a ginger pumpkin variety garnished with a few pepitas — and either ladle into bowls from the medium-sized hollowed out pumpkin, or hollow out enough small pumpkins so that each guest gets their own. Eating pumpkin soup from a pumpkin is like falling through a wormhole and suddenly you’re a magical forest creature from a 400 years ago, right? Right.
If you’ve got a table full of appetizers and little munchies, take this opportunity to pumpkin-spice up your veggie tray by swapping out your fancy crystal dip bowl with a small hollow pumpkin. You can make a savory pumpkin-sage dip for the veggies if you like, or you can glug a bottle of ranch into that thing and people will still go bananas. (And by bananas we mean pumpkins.)
If you’re serving a hearty autumn salad — like a shredded kale and cabbage mix — you can brighten things up by cutting a large pumpkin closer to the base and hollowing it out to form a low, wide salad bowl. Scoop out all the seeds and guts of course and throw them away (or roast the seeds) and serve your salad from the pumpkin. You can also peel and dice the remaining pumpkin and roast with salt and olive oil and toss into the salad. Note: All these antioxidants and fiber will help offset October’s omnipresent mini-chocolate bars.
If you are the rare human that does not want to eat from a pumpkin, don’t forget that a small squat hollowed out gourd with a smaller hole at the top can make an excellent bud vase and/or gift to the hosts of a party. You’ll be shocked how impressed people — even snobby ones — get when you bring them a pumpkin full of flowers. Instant party hero.
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And if you’re a person who is less thrilled about eating from a pumpkin and more thrilled about drinking from one, the fall party tip of the century is the pumpkin mini-keg. Take a large pumpkin, carve out a hole in the top, and clean out the seeds and the guts. Don’t worry about scooping it too clean. Make another smaller hole toward the bottom of the pumpkin and wedge a little plastic spigot into it, making sure it’s snug and reaches through the other side of the pumpkin wall. Fill the keg with a pumpkin ale and be prepared to have other party-goers hoist you on their shoulders.
Rock that ‘tober,
Alie & Georgia
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