Undercooked pumpkin with wet sock stuffing

In attempting to accommodate Flatmate #2′s new diet, I discovered the single worst-tasting dish on planet Earth. Be warned that when I say this, I am not exaggerating, joking, kidding, or employing unnecessary hyperbole. Make at your own risk.

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On a side note, I have a job now! Nothing to do with cooking pumpkins, I promise.

INGREDIENTS:

1 x pumpkin. Small enough to fit in slow cooker, not small enough that it can’t be carved out

1 x 400g can tomatoes in juice

250g minced beef

250g sausage meat (which I will never touch again)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp dried oregano/oreganum/origanum (see previous post for musings on o/o/o)

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp soy sauce

1 small carrot grated or chopped finely

1 medium onion chopped finely

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Chopped up onion and carrot to begin with. Here is me after ten minutes of carrot chopping.

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(I’m the one swearing in the background)

Carrots are not easy to chop into little bits. Especially not when the carrot keeps sticking to the knife. Took me about as long again, but the carrot finally yielded, to a point.

Mixed all the ingredients except the canned tomatoes and pumpkin (duh) in a bowl.

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Then spent another 15 or so minutes cutting the top off of the pumpkin. By this point I would have begged someone else to help me, but nobody was home. The pumpkin was supposed to be in the slow cooker by 10 30. I think it made it in by 11 15.

Ms Alison Holst recommends leaving a notch so you know which way around the lid is supposed to sit.

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Apparently in AH’s little world, everybody has perfectly circular pumpkin cutting skills. My lid fitted just fine, thank you.

Spooned out the goop and replaced it with the stuffing (which was already smelling pretty rank – warning signs?)

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Poured the canned tomatoes into the slow cooker to make the ‘sauce’. I think the fact that there were no spices, sauces, etc. added to the ‘sauce’ should have been a pretty clear indicator that AH was just fucking with us when she stuck this recipe in her book.

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Either that, or the fact that her pictured pumpkin quarter was perfectly browned. BROWNED. In a slow cooker? HahaIthinkNOT.

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Made a little sling out of tinfoil because we have no baking paper. I think from the entire endeavour I was the most proud of my little improvised sling.

Chucked the pumpkin in the slow cooker and cooked on ‘off’ for half an hour.

Then went past it in the kitchen, and decided it would probably cook faster if it was on ‘low’ instead.

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Had a bit of meat left over, and a crapload of pumpkin seeds. I think I threw away more than I cooked. Definitely threw away more than I ate.

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After 8 hours, Flatmate #2 and I hoisted the pumpkin out of the depths of the slow cooker, all the while she was convinced it smelled great. I was slightly less convinced. In fact, I’m feeling slightly nauseous as I write this. There are phantom pumpkin smells in the air.

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Had a wee bit of fun trying to chop the stupid thing up. Chopping the uncooked lid off was a cinch compared to trying to make little pumpkin quarters.

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Seriously, I just sprayed perfume in the air and I can still smell the bloody thing.

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Once the pumpkin was open the stench really opened up. I think I started retching. And all the while, here’s Flatmate #2 sniffing and going ‘mmmm’. I think the diet’s going to her head.

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I couldn’t finish mine. Had an iceblock for tea instead. Flatmate #2 was ecstatic, as she now had dinner for the next two days. Now I’m starting to question the integrity of every other meal I’ve made for that girl.

In conclusion; screw you, Alison Holst. I trusted you.

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