1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried pitted prunes
1 cup apple juice
1 loaf good-quality commercially made presliced whole wheat
1 large onion, diced
1 to 2 stalks leafy celery, diced (leaves included)
1 1/2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon dried leaf (not ground) sage
1/4 cup butter, melted
Vegetable stock (see tip, below) as needed
Tamari or shoyu soy sauce to taste
A small amount of dried leaf basil and oregano to taste (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cooking spray (optional)
1 medium-large pumpkin, preferably one of the buff-colored
pumpkins, prepared as follows:
Pumpkin Preparation: Cut pumpkin and reserve its lid for later
just like you would when making a jack-o ’ -lantern. Remove all
the fibers and seeds. Cover a big pot with 1-2 inches of water.
Place the pumpkin in water, putting its cut side down.
Wedge its top in the pot too. Let it boil on high heat. Place a cover and
steam it for 10-15 minutes, just enough for it to precook a little.
Take pot off heat and set aside to cool.
Remove the pumpkin from the pot and season its exposed interior with a little tamari,
brown sugar, Pickapeppa, pepper, and salt, rubbing it thoroughly.
In a small heatproof bowl, combine prunes and apricots.
Boil apple juice in a small pot on high heat. Pour the hot juice on the
dried fruit immediately. Allow it to stand for 2 or more hours.
You can let it stand longer, like overnight or one-two days that is
fine. Strain dried fruit. Reserve both liquid and fruits for later use.
Chop the fruit coarsely and put aside.
Preheat first the oven at 375 degrees F. Once done, adjust it down
to 200 degrees F.
Place a wire rack on the baking sheet and arrange a single layer
of bread on rack. Let it bake inside the oven, flipping the bread
once until it ’ s crunchy, hard, and dry throughout. Do not brown
Baking time may take 45-60 minutes, set the timer for
20 minutes each time to help you remember to check it. You will
need to make 2 sheet ’ s worth of bread. You just have to reverse
their positions inside the oven halfway through. Or you can
repeat the same baking process with one pan at a time until the
bread is all set. Allow the dry bread to cool after baking.
Crumble the bread coarsely in a big bowl. Stir in leafy celery and
onion, and toss to combine well. Measure sage in your hands
(start measuring from smaller amount) and rub the leaves in
between your palms until they crumble (this is to release the
essential oils). Add the crumbled sage into the bread mixture.
Melt butter and pour it on the mixture. Toss the mixture to coat
completely. Mix soaked dried fruit in and toss mixture again.
Make sure that the dressing is still dry. Gently pour a mixture of
reserved fruit soaking liquid and vegetable stock. Pour more
stock than juice until the dressing starts to moisten. Do not make
the dressing soggy. Keep tossing the dressing, adding more stock
than the reserved juice until stuffing is just moistened but not
soggy. Stir in tamari, adding 1 tbsp. at a time. Sprinkle salt and
pepper to taste. Taste to see if you need any more sage. You can
also add oregano and a little dried basil if desired. You make the
stuffing to this point and store it in a closed container inside the
When you ’ re ready to stuff the pumpkin, set the oven to 375
degrees F and preheat.
Use a nonstick baking pan. If you don ’ t have one, spray the
baking dish with cooking spray, big enough to cook the pumpkin.
Spoon the dressing inside the pumpkin ’ s cavity and cover it
with its reserved lid. Transfer the stuffed pumpkin to the baking
dish and place it inside the heated oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or
until the pumpkin turns light brown in color, looks like a plump
of European duchess, and has collapsed on itself some. Serve it
whole; like a lantern.
Tips: If you can ’ t make your own vegetable stock, you can use
the dark vegetable stock by the Kitchen Basics. It may be a
homemade or packaged vegetable stock, it is still healthier
compared to meat stocks.