This fall, Doug promised Annika that I would help her make pumpkin pie. Real pumpkin pie. Out of actual pumpkins.
I've never done such a thing. All of my mother's pies started with a nice can of pumpkin. So, I googled and came up with this recipe. It was a little vague on the pumpkin-cooking instructions and seemed to recommend steaming. We bought some pie pumpkins, which sat on my table for several weeks before I mustered the courage to cook them. Since butternut and acorn squash look like pumpkins, I decided to roast/bake the pumpkins as if they were one of those squashes. Just so you know, pumpkin doesn't take nearly as long to roast as butternut or acorn squash. After thirty minutes, I peeked in the oven and my pumpkins halves were collapsed (and therefore, done). Also, the recipe said that one pumpkin would yield about 3 cups of puree, which would be enough to make one pie. I cooked two pumpkins and yielded 3 cups of puree, but it made enough batter for two pies.
Anyway, once I had pureed the pumpkin, I showed it to Annika. "Ick," she said. "That stinks." On that auspicious beginning, we finished making the pies and baked them. Doug picked up whipping cream in a can at Trader Joes and we served Annika her pie with the magical topping - green sprinkles. Delightful. Seriously, those were some really good pies.
Today, on the other hand, I tried to make sugar cookies. It was a very easy recipe, out of the Southern Living Cookies cookbook. The dough tasted funny, like I didn't have enough vanilla or sugar but I put it in the fridge as instructed anyway, hoping that the cool would improve the taste. Usually sugar cookie dough is pretty tasty. Later, when I began to make the oatmeal raisin cookies I promised to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, I couldn't find the butter I set out to soften. It was nowhere. Finally, I looked in the trash can. Four butter wrappers were in there. Were they the two from the sugar cookies and two from the muffins I baked for Annika's class snack yesterday or had I put four in the sugar cookies? I just tasted the dough - definitely too buttery. I'll let you know if we bother to salvage the dough.
The moral - don't cook while on the phone and feeding the kids at the same time.