Thanksgiving is stressful enough as it is but must magazines feature impossibly complicated recipes accompanied by gorgeous pictures? Take Gourmet Magazine's "Pumpkin Stuffed with Vegetable Stew." Beautiful! Sounds like a great alternative to turkey for the tofu huggers! But all it takes is two recipes, 33 ingredients, seven hours preparation (by the recipe's own estimate), a food stylist and an advance on your Home Equity Line of Credit at Whole Foods. Fennel bulb with fronds? One pound seitan? SEITAN? Eight black peppercorns? What if you only have seven? Will your vegetarian friends be forever angry at you for short-corning them and ruining Thanksgiving?
My version uses 13 ingredients, 90 minutes, a six pack and a re-purposed Halloween pumpkin. The only food styling done here involved placing the finished product on a white plate. Gourmet Magazine you are going DOWN!
Herb of DC’s “Drunken Roasted Fall Vegetables Pumpkin O’ Plenty Stew.”
One bag of stewing vegetables from Giant (parsnips, leeks, carrots, turnip, celery, various limp herbs) (LIMP HERBS!!!)
2 cartons of reduced sodium chicken stock (like a little chicken juice is going to kill a vegetarian)
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and Pepper
Half and Half
Pam cooking spray
Medium sized pumpkin (somewhere between a basketball and soccer ball)
6 pack of beer
Open first beer. Carve off top (of pumpkin not of beer) and place aside. Scoop out the pumpkin entrails and toss into trash. You could clean off the seeds and toast them but isn’t it easier to buy them at the Whitelaw market (undergoing a long needed renovation by the way)? Spread some olive oil around the inside of the pumpkin along with some salt and pepper. Use Pam for those hard to get at pumpkin g-spots. Giggle. Place top on pumpkin and spray with Pam for a nice orangey shiny glow like Jessica Simpson. Giggle again. Place in roaster pan in oven at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Open beer #2. Call ex and ask when you can drop the dog’s ashes off.
While pumpkin is cooking open beer #3. Cut parsnips, carrots, turnips into finger sized pieces. Toss with olive oil and place on cookie sheet. Oh wait, Pam that cookie sheet first. Pull out the pumpkin when done, raise temp to 400 degrees and roast veggies for 20 minutes. Put Amy Winestock on the CD player. Hold on. You don’t have a working CD player. You know who took it along with your youthful innocence and hairline. Put on iPod headphones. Should have recharged the battery. "Hardball" it instead while cooking. Yes Chris I can HEAR you.
Meanwhile put the “vegetarian stock” in large pot and heat to boiling. Reduce to simmer. Chop limp herbs (LIMP HERBS!!!) and stir into stock.
Time for beer #4. Wow. Five freakin' years at that humanitarian non-profit and no promotion. Chop onions, clove of garlic, leeks and celery into little pieces. Really little pieces. Yeah I'm sure you are concerned about my Personal Development. What about my Personal Financial Development? Don’t forget to Pam that cutting board first. It keeps it from retaining the oniony/garlicy flavors. Five years? Really just Pam everything including the dogs and your updated resume. Pam a skillet and brown the veggies. Dump into soup pot and add roasted vegetables.
Allow soup to cook another 20 minutes. Add Half and Half (don’t ask me for exact measurements—I’m in the bag by now). Allow soup to cool and place in blender that your ex’s evil mother gave you the year you gave her a bottle of Shalimar. How could you possibly know she would develop a violent allergic reaction to it? What was her name again? Oh yeah, Pam. Well they do wonders with laser skin treatments these days. It could be worse. Think of the think of gifts her child gave you. Like Identity Theft.
Pop open beer #5. God I hate Caller ID. It really takes the fun out of drunk dialing. Is it *68 or *69 to hide my number? Remove soup from heat and let cool. In small batches run through that cheap ass blender before it breaks down. Return to soup pot and heat. Carefully pour into pumpkin and return pumpkin to oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
Pull out pumpkin and take pictures. Ladle soup into Pammed bowls and garnish with any remaining limp herbs (LIMP HERBS!!! God I never get tired of that!!!!). Take pictures. Yikes! Get the beer cans out of the picture. Retake pictures. Call sister and discuss the shortcomings of various family members
Drink beer #6. Sniff the remaining Pam. Make a list of everything you are thankful for like easy access to another six pack. And my complete and total victory over Gourmet Magazine.