Friday, November 19, 2010

Celebrating the Harvest

I did mention we like celebrations, right? Well we are super happy about Thanksgiving being around the corner, followed by Christmas and all that entails. Wohoo! We will be celebrating until 2011 comes around. My favorite part of celebrating is the joy and the getting together. My second favorite part is the food. It's not even so much about the food (I lie.) It's about preparing the food. I love planning the menus, trying new recipes, tweaking the old ones and sometimes by pure accident, creating new ones. (I'll have to share the Moroccan Chicken story and recipe with you soon.) One thing I discovered this year is that I make pretty good pies. I like pies, but I had never ventured into actually making a pie because frankly it intimidated me. Then too, there are my kids. Whenever I venture into the kitchen, they follow to see what I'm up to and frankly, trying to make a pie with their help seemed daunting. We can do bread and cupcakes and cakes just fine, but pie! That just didn't seem like a one bowl kind of thing. The whole process seemed so much worse in my mind than it really ended up being. Last week, I ventured forth into this untamed horizon and made not one, mind you, but two (that's right) two pies! I found that they were easy and delicious, even with the kids helping me. I still want to try to change the apple pie recipe a bit before I post it. Luke and Isabela had the brilliant idea to do a gingersnap crust and I'll let you know how that worked out next month. In honor of Thanksgiving, I give you my ultra simple pumpkin pie recipe. Enjoy!

1 16 oz can of pumpkin (or of course you can use fresh, but that's not so simple.)
1 12 oz can of condensed milk
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ginger
1/4 0r 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves (this depends on your taste. My husband likes cloves.)
3 eggs

Mix all the ingredients and pour them into the pie crust (of course your crust will be in a pie plate.) Bake at 350 for 40 minutes to an hour. (depending on your oven.) Viola! I loved this recipe because it's not too sweet. Notice I didn't add any extra sugar, only what's already in the condensed milk.

I made my own crust too, but I'm looking for a new recipe. The one I made was as follows:

1 cup of butter (be still my heart.) diced into small pieces
2 cups of flour (sifted)
1/2 cup of cold water
1 teaspoon of salt

Cream the butter with your finger into the flour and slowly add water until it's firm enough to roll into a ball. With the rolling pin spread it out until it cover the bottom of your pie plate. I found this crust to be a bit too buttery for my taste, but I can't say it tasted bad.

For Thanksgiving the kids and I will be serving up pies in little individual servings. I'm buying those little Keebler pie crusts. Let me know how yours turns out.