Archive for December, 2009

Exciting New Gadgets

In our new house I get to try two appliances I’ve been curious about: a frontloading washing machine and a gas stove (exciting, I know).

So far I like the gas range now that I’ve figured out that it runs hotter than any electric one I’ve ever had.

The jury’s still out on the frontloading washer. At one point it sounded like a jet engine preparing for takeoff and at another it sounded like a giant creature crunching ice. But it got the clothes clean, and I guess that counts for something.


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A Few of My Favorite Things

When we move I will miss…

The Pagoda dogwood that was a birthday gift from Jason’s mom

The Heritage birch that was an anniversary gift from my parents

My tiny Colorado spruce, with its cute little red cones

The two weeping willows that Jason planted with a spoon, that snowy November evening

The pink flowering crabapple that is pretty year-round

The two Montmorency cherries who never felt the need to give us edible fruit

And the Crimson King maple, the first tree I ever bought

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Meaningful Quote 2

“Just because you’re winnin’ don’t mean you’re the lucky ones.” Axl Rose

Disclaimer: I am not a Guns n’ Roses fan in general, but even a 90’s heavy metal band can say something that resonates.

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Lil’ Pumpkins

I am the pie maker in my family, and for Thanksgiving I always bring the standard Thanksgiving flavor: pumpkin. Each year—typically the day before Thanksgiving—I dutifully drag myself to the store to buy the traditional pumpkin in a can. But this year I travelled back in time and skipped the can. Let me go back a few weeks….

This fall I bought two pie pumpkins from the farmer’s market. I was going to make soup. Having never used a real pumpkin before in my life, I had no idea how many of the cute little guys I might need, so I bought two. As it turns out, I only used half of one for my soup (delicious, by the way). After dinner that night I thumbed through my cookbooks and found a tasty-looking recipe for pumpkin bars, complete with homemade cream cheese frosting. Wow, those were good! But they only took the second half of my first pumpkin.

So, what to do with that second little orange gem sitting on my deck? I decided to freeze it and worry about it later. After cutting the squash open and cutting away the flesh I steamed the good stuff until it was completely tender and aromatic. Then I put the steamed pumpkin in the food processor and froze the puree in a mason jar.

Come Thanksgiving time, I was ready for my pie before I even knew it! No trip to the grocery store for me. I used my great-grandma Dolly’s crust recipe and a generic filling recipe from an ancient cookbook I have, and was thrilled with the results. The pie took almost twice the time to bake, but it was completely worth it. It was a little lighter in color, and had a more delicate flavor than the canned version. I got a lot of compliments for my pie, and not the usual polite compliments…I think these were the real thing.

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