Sizzle Simmer Sauté–Farewell farmers market; hello pumpkin season

Jennifer Ruple

The final Sylvania Farmers Market of the season is this week! Can you believe it? It seems like summer just flew by.
Summer Tuesdays are my favorite days in Sylvania, and as always, I’m sad to see the market end. I look forward to stopping by each week to take some photos, chat with friends and farmers, discover new products and hear the stories behind the folks who create them.
While our farmers market exists to provide much needed food essentials for our community, it seemed to offer an extra layer for us this year. With so many events on hiatus or scaled back – concerts, festivals, graduations and birthday parties – the market gave us much more. It was there for those who not only needed fruits and veggies, but those who needed an outlet to connect with the community, meet with friends, and just get out and walk around in the open air.
Although we must bid our market adieu for 2020, there is still time to enjoy the glory of autumn. Other local venues – roadside farm stands, pumpkin patches and apple orchards are brimming with pumpkins of all sizes and shapes, bushels of apples and the last of summer crops. It’s time to get out there and savor the rest of pumpkin season.
Speaking of pumpkins, here are two recipes that I had been looking forward to trying, a stack of sweet Pumpkin Spice Waffles and a savory Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Waffles
While any old waffle maker will do, I happened to pick up a mini waffle maker with a pumpkin shaped cooking surface at Target for $10 – it was too cute to resist.
If using a mini waffle maker, three tablespoons of batter in your maker will yield one perfectly pumpkin shaped waffle.
Recipe makes 14 waffles in the mini maker.

Serve with pure maple syrup and toasted pecans, warm homemade apple sauce, or freshly whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
3 cups Krusteaz Belgian Waffle mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup water
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon brown sugar

In a large bowl, combine waffle mix, eggs, oil, water, pumpkin, spices and brown sugar. Mix until smooth.
Depending on the directions of your waffle maker, pour batter onto a waffle maker and cook until golden brown.
(Recipe adapted from

Roasted Stuffed Pumpkin
A roasted stuffed pumpkin makes a show-stopping centerpiece on your harvest table. This dish may look complicated to prepare, but honestly, the hardest part was cutting the top off the pumpkin. Be careful!
Give yourself plenty of time as well; a 5 pound pumpkin can take 2 hours to roast.
Makes 8 servings.

One 4 to 5 pound pie pumpkin
8 cups dried bread cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 pound ground mild Italian pork, turkey or chicken sausage
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock
3 eggs
3 tablespoons chopped sage
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup dried cranberries

Heat oven to 350 F. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
Using a sturdy chef’s knife, cut the cap off the pumpkin. Work at a 45-degree angle, and work the knife around the top of the pumpkin. Cut the hole large enough to work inside the pumpkin, like the method used when carving a jack-o-lantern. Trim the cut side of the pumpkin top so it will lay flat. Using a large metal spoon, scoop the seeds and stringy insides out of the pumpkin.
Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper. Place the prepped pumpkin on the prepared baking sheet and set aside.
Place the bread cubes in a large bowl and set aside.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, then sauté the onions and celery until just tender.
Add the ground sausage to the pan and sauté until browned. Add the diced apples and cook until soft.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
When finished cooking, add the mix of sautéed meat and vegetables to the large bowl with the bread cubes. Toss to mix.
In a large measuring cup, combine
the chicken stock, eggs, sage, thyme, salt and pepper.
Pour the stock and egg mixture over the bread cubes and stir to combine.
Add the dried cranberries to the mixture and stir until evenly mixed.
Fill the prepared pumpkin with the stuffing mixture. Press down as needed. Place the cap on top of the filled pumpkin.
Bake the filled and capped pumpkin for
1½ hours. Then, remove the cap and continue to bake another 30 to 40 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft, can be easily pierced with a knife, and the internal temperature reaches 160 F.
Let the roasted pumpkin rest for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a serving dish.
(Recipe adapted from

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