Demented Ramblings life is too short to refrain from eating jam out of the jar

29Oct/060

Adventures and Misadventures in cuisine: Weekend wrapup

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes you try to asphyxiate your guests.

This weekend was filled with experimentation for me.  Let's start with the pumpkin.

Or not.  See, I went to the farmer's market in search of pie pumpkins.  I was determined to give another shot to making a pumpkin pie from scratch, it's been years since my first and last attempt (which was a miserable failure).  The guy at the market convinced me to purchase a couple of these guys instead.

Grey and knobby, but he swore it'd make an even better pie than the pumpkins.  This strange creature is a blue hubbard squash.  I seeded, peeled, cubed and steamed them, then pureed them.  Looked like baby poop.  Of course, that's what pureed pumpkin looks like, so we were right on.

Out of that puree I made Ginger Pumpkin bread  (thanks Cumin and Coriander) and a pie and still have enough puree to do something else.  Plus I roasted up the seeds but they were gone by this morning.

I also made a big batch of chili.  I'd never made chili from scratch before, I think I prefer doing it a la chili magic because it comes out consistently good that way.  But, the men-folk rather liked my chili.  Pop deemed it "so-so" but ate 3 big servings.

Last christmas, my uncle and I were talking about his mom.  She was from England and made all sorts of things for him growing up that I'd never had.  He spoke of particularly missing her yorkshire puddings.  I made a mental note at that time to try to make them sometime soon and to invite him over.  When you are a procrastinator like I am, "sometime soon" quite often equates to 10 months away.

Today I cooked Alton Brown's pot roast  and Jamie Oliver's yorkies.  The pot roast was ok, but I think I'll stick with my usual pressure cooker roast, it turns out tastier and more tender.  The olives and raisins made for a damned strange gravy too.  The yorkies were my biggest learning experience of the weekend.

Per Jamie's directions, I put a half inch of oil in my muffin cups, preheated it until super hot, and poured in the batter.  Only the oil overflowed in the oven (use a quarter inch next time!) and smoked up the house like whoa!  Much coughing and wheezing ensued.  I opened the back door and put the fan in front of it.

How'd they turn out?  Evidently just right.  Well, huh.   However, I poured an entire box of baking soda into the oven to soak up all of the oil on the bottom of it.  I'll finish cleaning that tomorrow.  I believe we'll have a few days of leftovers to let me recuperate from my weekend in the kitchen.

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