From a recent Iron Chef style dinner party (Secret Ingredient: Pumpkin)
1 small pumpkin (2-3 pounds)
1 can water chestnuts
1 pound thin sliced bacon, slices cut in half crosswise.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch freshly ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Begin by cutting the pumpkin in half and scraping out the seeds. Separate the seeds from the pulp and reserve the seeds for a tasty snack later. Microwave the pumpkin halves for 8-10 minutes, just to begin the cooking process.* You could also boil them for slightly less time. After the pumpkin is par-cooked (and cooled, if you don't have asbestos hands) peel the pieces with a paring knife and cut into 3/4"x3/4"x3/4" chunks. Take one pumpkin chunk and one water chestnut and while holding them together, wrap with one half strip of bacon, securing each bundle with a toothpick. Lay packages out on a cookie sheet with about a 1/2" space separating them. Mix the brown sugar and spices together and sprinkle about a teaspoon of the sugar mixture on each of the rumaki. Place cookie sheet in oven and bake until pumpkin is tender (check with an extra toothpick, if you don't feel resistance to the pick, it is done) and the bacon is browned and sugar is bubbly. If the pumpkin is done before the bacon, just slide the whole pan under the broiler for a few seconds to crisp up the bacon. Place finished rumaki on a cooling rack set over paper towels to drain, and serve either warm or at room temperature.
*Remember that tasty snack? See that leftover spiced sugar? You think they might want to be friends with each other? I do.