Friday, November 26, 2010

Dinner & Dessert

Just about every year, I feel a certain obligation to photograph our Thanksgiving turkey. I know, it's kind of silly, but ever since I assumed cooking responsibilities a few years ago, I'm always surprised that things turn out so well. In my own mind, I have no special talent for cooking, but dinner really was quite the success. The bird was a perfect golden brown and both the stuffing and the gravy were wildly delicious and popular with the family.

Paul and his kids came over for dinner, games, movies, and a sleep-over. We played a rousing match of Peon, followed by Apples to Apples. I'm happy to say that the cousins had a wonderful time together. When it was time to leave, Paul's kids were begging to stay another night.

Oh, and I really should mention our pumpkins. This year I decided to create a new memory for my children by picking our own pumpkins at Greenbluff. The new memories continued when we decided to make pumpkin pies from scratch. We used "sugar pumpkins," which is a particular variety used for cooking because of its natural sweetness and relatively string-free pulp.

Dakota helped carve the pumpkins into smaller chunks, which is actually a little harder than it looks.

Once we reduced the pumpkin to workable chunks, we steamed the pieces to separate the flesh from the outer crust.

My kids helped me to add all the secret herbs and spices and then I mashed the pulp by hand.

My daughter McKenna helped me to roll the crust.

Well, I'm happy to report that the pumpkin filling was a great success. Seriously, the filling was better than anything I ever tasted from a store. Unfortunately, the pie crust was another matter. The crust came out of the oven so hard that my kids could not bring a knife through it, no matter how much they attempted to saw through. Dakota lifted the entire crust from the dish in a single rock-hard piece. (The picture above shows the pie sitting in perfect form, totally free of its dish). Everyone took one look at the pie and burst into laughter. In fact, I laughed so hard that I cried. Who would have thought that a failed pie would create so much happiness?

Never to be deterred, my family simply scooped the pumpkin goop with a spoon, mixed it with whipped cream, and ate it like a delicious pumpkin pudding.

This picture shows our pie sitting upside down, totally solid. Brilliant.

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