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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Indiscriminate Omnivore

  That's me. It has been this way a very long time and I am A-O-K with it. I am a food pusher and a huge fan of the "just one bite' method of food conversion of a nay sayer. I love to cook because I love to eat. And because my ways of communicating with new people or helping in a crisis always involve providing sustenance in the form of comfort delights. My kitchen is often a wreck. My pantry is busting at the seams with items most would never buy. But we have strange and unusual go-to recipes around here that call for buckwheat flour or nori or water chestnuts. I am a recipe hoarder which I will attempt once again to rectify by sharing another gem with you. But first let me tell you I am only a bit sorry but still sorry none the less for being one of those people. Those Bacon pushers. I am completely unapologetic about my long time love of cures pork rendered down into the absolute candy bar of meats. But, I do have to be more aware of those who do not share this romance. For example my quickness to assume that everyone is on board led me to thoughtlessly bring a jar of my amazing bacon pickles for the authors of a vegan cookbook at their signing last night. I think I just forget that bacon is meat. I dunno, my point is that was dumb and though I salvaged my stupid by instead giving them the jellies and jams I had also brought which are totally vegan goodness, I shook my head all night and this morning and honestly as I type this confession.

 I am forgetty and human and not perfect. So I sometimes forget that  a few friends I have are vegetarian. Because though you are all lovely and special, you are the cool and sane ones who don't wear your food title like a banner daily. I however, in my pig butchery diagram t-shirt still offer you bacon inventions. And you forgive me and tell me it looks delicious but no thanks, reminding me oh so smiley that you are anti-meat. Thank you for that btw.

 I am basically saying I will eat anything. And I appreciate all kinds of dietary restrictions be it because of health or religion or just moral compass. I will still probably eat your food too and buy your cookbooks to better my food knowledge. I value all your culinary awesomeness. Keep making me a better, more diverse cook so that I can eventually have the common sense to offer you hummus........without baconing it.

 Much love to my cooks of all kinds. Now here is a recipe that has eggs and stuff  in it. Sorry vegans. Love you, mean it.

 Shannon's Pumpkin Pie recipe! Minus the secret family ingredient but I swear on Halloween it will be fantastic. 

  First decision is the Pumpkin itself. I have used canned and it was just fine. But if you do not want just fine and you want praise form relatives and anyone doubting your culinary prowess, use real pumpkin. Trust me. It's worth the effort.
I use Cinderella pumpkin as a favorite and Sugar pumpkins as a backup if I can't get my hands on the first. Cut up the pumpkin into large chunks, remove seeds (Cinderella seeds are awesome for roasting) and roast for 30-40 minutes at 325 or until the flesh is soft. I say fork tender is an excellent test for doneness.

Let the roasted chunks cool till you can handle them safely and the scoop all that squishy goodness out of the skin and puree with a blender or food processor till smooth. You can freeze extra puree for future pies and a large Cinderella can yield mass quantities.

Now you are ready.


  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree
  • 1 12 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cardamon

( the above spice combination can also be found in roughly 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice if you want to cheat)

  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
  • 2 good pie crusts

1. Preheat oven to 425

2. Mix sugars, salt and spices plus the very important lemon zest in a large bowl.Beat the eggs and add to the bowl.Mix in pumpkin puree then the evaporated milk. Whisk together until completely incorporated.

3. Pour into UNBAKED pie shells and bake these at 425 for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 45-50 minutes. The pies are done when a butter knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

4. Cool for 2 hours if you can wait that long. Served best with whipped cream.

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