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1 pumpkin (3 to 5 pounds)
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 packages (6 ounces each) of long grain and wild rice, herb roasted chicken flavor
4-1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 pound pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup diced red pepper
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms (or pieces), drained
2 tablespoons crushed dried rosemary
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, broken
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1-1/2 cups mild cheddar cheese, shredded
(optional 3/4 cup chopped apples, craisins, raisins or sliced water chestnuts)
Wash pumpkin, remove top, and hollow out as you would a jack-o'-lantern. Thoroughly clean the inside, then rub interior with seasoning salt and brown sugar. Set aside and drain before filling.
Place rice mix, water, and butter or oil in a 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn to a medium to low heat. Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed.
In a 7-inch skillet, brown sausage. Remove sausage and set aside. Saute onion and red pepper in sausage drippings. Drain. Mix together mushrooms, rosemary, nuts, rice mix, sausage, onion and red pepper, cheese and any optional ingredients that you desire in a 3- to 4-quart bowl.
Stir and add slightly beaten eggs last. Stuff tightly into pumpkin after draining it. Any extra filling can be baked in an appropriate sized, greased casserole for 30 minutes. Place pumpkin in a 15x10-inch baking pan. Do not prick holes into it. Place the top back on the pumpkin. Bake at 350 degrees for two hours. Cut into wedges to serve.
Gloria Kundert, Moline