Prepare pumpkin by cutting in half, removing seeds and fibers, cut pumpkin into smaller more manageable pieces, peel.
Cut pumkin into strips about 2-inches by 4-inches.
Put pumpkin strips into large pot, cover with water. Stir in baking soda. Let stand overnight (12 hours).
Drain into colander. Rinse well with running water. Rinse pot well. Add pumkin to pot and cover with fresh water.
Put pot on stove and cook until pumpkin is tender (BUT NOT SOFT!). Drain, rinse in cold water and add ice to pot to cool pumpkin and crisp it. Return to colander to drain it well.
In the large pot, put 1 cup of water and the 5-1/2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Add the pumpkin, simmer in the pot covered with lid until the syrup is thick and the strips are brittle. Spread the strips onto a few baking sheets to dry. This can be stored when cold.
*** I haven't made this yet. I think it will be good, and I may do it in two batches and add pumpkin pie spices to half.