2 small pumpkins or 2 large winter squash
¼ C. slaked lime (cal or builder's lime, available where building materials are sold)
7 C. water
10 C. dark brown sugar or piloncillo
3 C. white sugar
6 cinnamon sticks, 2 ½"- 3" long
¾ tablespoon anise seeds
½ teaspoon whole cloves
2 C. heavy cream for whipping (optional but delicious)
1. Perforate the pumpkin or squash with holes about the diameter of a drinking straw, making 8-10 wholes for a small pumpkin. The holes should go all the way through the shells.
2. Place the pumpkins in a large stockpot with the slaked lime and water to cover and soak for 3 hours. Remove pumpkins from lime solution, drain and rinse thoroughly.
3. Put the pumpkins back in the stockpot with the 7 cups water and remaining ingredients (except the whipping cream) which will form a syrup. Cook over medium heat for 2 hours or until the pumpkins are tender, basting with the syrup from time to time.
4. Allow the pumpkins to cool in the syrup. Cut into pieces and serve pieces topped with syrup and whipped cream. Pumpkins may be prepared ahead and stored up to 4 days in the refrigerator, with the syrup stored in a separate container in the refrigerator. If using whipped cream, whip just before serving.
Each pumpkin serves 8.