Friday, October 24, 2008

Catching up.



Boy, I've got a lot of catching up to do. To start, I'll follow up on my post from a few weeks back. Jordan had been gunning to make a pumpkin pie from scratch. It began with a book, and it ended with two pies - most of which I consumed myself. This is part of the reason why I can never seem to lose these last ten pounds. The other part, of course, is that I eat too much.

The kids did a wonderful job scooping out the seeds from the pumpkins. Mina was better at it than I thought she'd be, given the fine motor skills involved here. Scooping this stuff out is so gross. I always forget that till I'm right in the middle of it, every year in October. We have a whole herd of pumpkins that are awaiting my carving skills later this week. Between school trips to the pumpkin patch, our annual family trip, and assorted pumpkins given out at other events, I have a LOT of pumpkin glop to look forward to cleaning up.



The recipe, printed below, was very good. It definitely will produce a lot of extra filling, which I just used to make another pie. I'm not sure what the advantage of using fresh pumpkin was though. It was good, but regular canned pumpkin tastes fine too. Anyway.. at least I tried it.



The kids did not eat it. Of course not. Why would they? I only spent most of the afternoon and evening working on this project. I was pleased to report that they did eat some fresh pumpkin, steamed and peeled, served with touch of maple syrup. It tasted very much like butternut squash.

Ingredients:

1 round unbaked 9-inch deep dish pie pastry (9-10-inch)
2 cups freshly cooked pumpkin, seeded, peeled, mashed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 large eggs, beaten lightly
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup skim milk

Directions:

(To make your own freshly cooked pumpkin, quarter 1-2 small pie pumpkins, de-stem, seed and de-string them. Then steam them in a steamer over boiling water until very tender--the skin will peel right off. Then mash them using a stick blender or a food processor).

Preheat oven to 400°F and have ready a pie shield and a large rimmed cookie sheet.

Line a deep dish pie glass pie plate with the pie pastry rounds, fluting the edges decoratively as desired.

Combine in order the pumpkin, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

Lightly beat eggs together with both milks, then add to the pumpkin mixture, stirring well to combine--it will be rather thin.

Pour as much filling as you can into unbaked pie pastry and bake at 400°F for 50 minutes (or until knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out without any goo on it). If there is any extra filling use to fill a smaller mini pie plate or discard.

NOTE: Set cookie sheet on the rack below the rack you are setting your pie plate on in order to catch any drips.
If the pie edges start overbrowning, place a pie shield or a ring of foil over the edges--this will be needed or not depending on the type of pastry you use.



In addition to working with real pumpkins, the monkeys also got to make some craft ones at Jordan's school. This month's craft day project involved making pumpkins with felt and other materials. Mina came along for the ride, and propped up on a step stool, she did just fine.



The best part of the week included a nice visit from my brother, Riz and his wife T. And guess who came along for the ride?



Yay!!!



Jordan and Mina were so good with the baby. Jeff and I kept looking at each other, wondering whose kids these belonged to. Ours disappeared for the week. Except when they were fighting with each other, of course. Here, in the playroom, Jordan came over to share his toys with Arman.



Now, in one of my rare techie-techie moments, let me show you what the picture looks like taken from my camera. Le sigh. Riz's Nikon D-80 was a snazzy little thing that took some of the shots seen here. He took some amazing ones of the kids at the park which are forthcoming.



It was so much fun seeing the gang, especially my nephew. I think he had fun watching his monkey cousins destroy the house. Every so often, I'd look over and see him observing them. He usually looked pretty amused.



Except at mealtime.



Then, it was more like this. Who are these people, he wondered?






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