Dinner in a Pumpkin

This is on the table every Halloween. It's perfect for the holiday, the smell of this in the oven, the fun of eating out of a pumpkin, fall leaves, tricker treaters, those are the memories this meal evokes for me. Serve it with Corny Cornbread and when the kids were little we saved the seeds, baked and seasoned them and had pumpkin seeds to snack on. We don't really decorate it for ourselves, but if you want a more festive look it's perfect.

1 medium pumpkin, about 4 pounds, cleaned out well

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/3 cup green pepper, chopped

3/4 cup celery, chopped

3/4 cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon teaspoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 (4 ounce) can mushrooms, optinonal

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 cups cooked rice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown ground beef; add peppers, celery and onion and cook until soft.  Add next 7 ingredients.  Mix well and put in pumpkin.  Put top on pumpkin.  Place on foil lined cookie sheet and bake for 1 1/2 hours.  To serve scoop out pumpkin along with meat mixture. 

To decorate: Use toothpicks to attach black olives for eyes, carrots for nose, press in whole cloves for mouth and fresh parsley for hair around opening.