Now, I know most Americans are out there thinking turkey turkey turkey. Not my family, no sirree, we’re having ourselves a Brasilian Thanksgiving. So forget the turkey, instead, bring on the pumpkin. It’s like we’re one holiday behind, and trying to catch up. My mother has dug up an old cookbook she bought in Brasil way back when (1960’s?), and discovered this esoteric and faintly alarming recipe we’re trying out for size.

First thing we did was saw the top off an enormous pumpkin, and then scoop out all the orange spiderwebbing that was gumming up the interior. Then we dug out the biggest pot in the house and tried to shove the pumpkin into it. Barely fit, and trust me, it’s a huge pot. Were you to be found with it in the woods a couple of hundred years ago, you’d be facing witch or warlock charges of the first degree. But just as I was about to drop an elbow on the pumpkin and force it in, we thought–how are we going to get it out? And then we thought–why not make a net out of cooking string, place the pumpkin into the pot ontop of said net, and then haul it out easily when it’s done?

Great? Now how on earth does one go about making a net? I tried browsing the internet, but this time it failed me. I watched a couple of Youtube videos that showed me how to make fishing nets, or cat’s cradle nets, but nothing that would serve as a pumpkin bed net. Which I would have thought would be the first result for my search.

Anyways, to cut a long story short: my mother and I fashioned a net, plonked the pumpkin into the pot, boiled it up and then tried to pull it out and failed, the net slipping up and around the side much to our dismay. So now the offending pumpkin sits in its pot in the sink cooling off so we can try and reaching around the sides and haul it out old school style.

So, pumpkin: check. Next we’re peeling boiled tomatoes, and I just finished mincing onions and garlic. We’ve got several pounds of prawns and shrimp, and a special kind of Brasilian mozzarella called Catupiri. It’s all going to be served inside the pumpkin come dinner time, so I’m starting to get a hazy idea of some sort of Halloween Jumbalya from the coast.

I’ll let you guys know how it all turns out, but until then, Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you guys are having as much fun as I am trying to figure out what it is exactly I’m going to eat!