Pumpkin time

More colds, sleepless nights and grizzly days and it’s not even winter yet. Amelia J has today with Nan-nan while I have to do some designs for some screen prints for Thursday but all I really want to do is to curl up under the covers with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Speaking of winter and wintry things, when I was in grade 7 an American girl attended my school for a year or so and we became good friends. I went home to her place for dinner one cold June night and her father had made Pumpkin Pie – a dish that is totally foreign to me and this country. I tasted it with trepidation but it was so delicious that I can remember it very clearly – the colour, the consistency and the taste almost 20 years later (20 years?? sheesh). A few years back on my first trip to Canada to meet Big-P’s family and experience a Northern Hemisphere Christmas, Big-P’s Mum (Mom) baked a pumpkin pie and it was as amazing as I remembered. Smooth and silky and delicious with a huge blob of whipped cream.

I have always thought it might be something that I would like to try and bake at home so that Amelia J can have a little taste of some of her cultural heritage – what a brilliant excuse for total indulgence! So this weekend, being cold and wintry and perfect pumpkin pie weather, I boiled up some pumpkin (no such thing as canned pumpkin around here) and made the Moosewood filling and poured it into Stephanie’s delicious short crust, although, I cheated and mixed it in the blender rather than by hand. This was kind of a practice run as Amelia is still on her no-dairy diet but it was so incredibly successful that I am keen to make it every weekend for the entire Autumn / Winter 2004. Actually, the filling was really easy but I was more impressed with the pastry. You can see that it looks pretty uneven and will take me a while to get the hang of, but being able to make pastry opens up a whole world of pies and tarts and delicious things that all seemed too hard before.