It is not unusual for Southern California to experience a weather condition known as a “Santa Ana” this time of year. This condition brings soaring temperatures and low humidity to our normally near-perfect world. So, while the calendar says that it is Fall, the thermometer says it is Summer. It is often hard to get into the spirit of the fall season when it feels more like mid august – in Phoenix.
This past week, we have had both of our children and all of our grandchildren visiting with us during their Fall breaks. It is such a rare time when we can all be together – and I can’t remember when it last happened in October. When our son told us he was coming, I asked if there was anything in particular he wanted me to make for him while he was here. He requested ‘Dinner in a Pumpkin’. This has been a traditional dinner for us every fall – since I came across this recipe in the late 70’s. It is a casserole that is cooked inside of a pumpkin – and is delicious. . .
And so, on Thursday – we packed up the entire crew and headed out to introduce our grand kids to what was their parents fall tradition – A trip to Bates Nut Farm in Valley Center, California – to pick the perfect pumpkin.
During dinner, our son told me that he has craved this meal – every year – and in trying to recall the last time he had had it, we determined that it was the fall before he left for college. . . which would have been 15 years ago. As he took his first bite, he closed his eyes and said, “Mmmmm. . . this is exactly how I remembered it.” Insert happy mom face here.
It’s funny how something that may seem so simple and insignificant can call us home – to years long past. Food tends to do that here at the Homestead. This meal was the perfect end to a perfectly wonderful trip down memory lane – and hopefully – a launching place for decades of traditions for generations to come. . . . and in case you are wondering – there were no leftovers. I am including the recipe – hoping you will give it a try.
In any case – hold tight to family traditions – and Happy Fall.