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Countdown to Thanksgiving: Roasted Pumpkin filled with Cheese Fondue


Gourmet magazine photo

Gourmet magazine photo

Image 8


Each week I talk with my buddies on The Sonrise Morning show, Sacred Heart Radio. During this Thanksgiving season, we are talking about Hospitality during Bible times. Some of the customs remain today.
And the recipe I’m sharing for cheese fondue in a roasted pumpkin is to die for!

Guests believed to be sent by God

People of Bible times and even today may believe a person who becomes their guest is sent to them by God. Thus their hospitality becomes a sacred duty.

Friends as guests

In the East a friend is always welcome to receive hospitality. The Romans of New Testament times had a token of hospitality between two friends.

The token of hospitality was a tile of wood or stone, which was divided in half. Each person wrote his name on one of the two pieces, and then exchanged that piece with the other person. These were often kept and handed down from father to son. To produce the counterpart of one of these pieces would guarantee the hospitality of a real friend. The Book of Revelation no doubt refers to this custom in one of the promises to overcomers: “And will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written” (Rev. 2:17).

Strangers as guests

There is an Oriental proverb that says, “Every stranger is an invited guest.”

Abraham used to sit in the entrance way of his tent, in order to be on the watch for stranger guests (Gen. 18:1).

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Heb. 13:2).


Upon entering an Arab house or a Bedouin tent, the greetings used are something like this: The host would say “Peace be on you.” The guest will respond with the words: “And on you peace.” (Luke 10:5,6). Sort of like what we do today during the sign of peace!

Removing the shoes

Upon entering a house to be entertained, a guest would remove his boots, shoes or slippers. The reason is that they would sit on a mat, rug or divan with their feet beneath them. Not only uncomfortable with shoes on, but the rug could get soiled.

The guest given a drink of water

One of the first things done for a guest who has been received, is to offer him a drink of water. The doing of this is recognizing him as being worthy of peaceful reception.

 The guest was served a meal

The sharing of food was a way of making a covenant of peace and fidelity. To eat at someone’s table was an honor for both the host and guest.

The abuse of hospitality

Among Eastern nations it is considered a terrible sin indeed for anybody who has accepted hospitality from a host to turn against him in the doing of an evil deed. The Lord Jesus quotes this very passage from the Psalms as having its fulfillment in the treachery of Judas the betrayer, who ate at the same table with Him (John 13:18).


Thanks to Matt Swaim, who shared this Gourmet magazine recipe. Yum!!


  • 1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (7 ounces total)
  • 1 (7-pound) orange pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.
  2. Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  3. Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of pumpkin with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  4. Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.
  5. Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)
  6. Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.







Cooks note:


Pumpkin can be filled 2 hours before baking and chilled.




Permanent link to this article: http://abouteating.com/hospitality-during-bible-times-and-roasted-pumpkin-filled-with-cheese-fondue/


  1. andy

    How did you eat it? Put it in a bowl and cut it up? I’ll start by spooning it out.

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      I just checked the photo on this from the original recipe. Looks like you’re right, scoop it into small bowls, making sure you get some of the pumpkin flesh, too.

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