23 November 2007

Thanksgiving, etc.

Reason for gratitude #1: before
Why yes, my cupboards are finished. Thanks, I love them much better, too. What's that you say? What a dreadful backsplash? I know! And the good news is, a new one may be installed before Christmas. And it will look like this:

We won't be incorporating the washing machine, but the antiqued maroon beadboard will be all over. I'm excited already. Then my whole kitchen will look just like Papa Murphy's Pizza!

Reason #2: I am thankful that since we went to Alex's Dad's family's side's house this year, I didn't have to cook anything but the pumpkin pie. And I am thankful that Marie Callendar so kindly took care of everything in that venue excepting the baking itself.

Originally I planned to make delicious pumpkin crisp instead of pie, which I did two years ago for the same group and the stuff turned out great. However, due to some mathematical miscalculations, I actually made a dreadful pumpkin crusty squishy ruined thing and came home with 95% of the pan of bars, as will soon be illustrated.

I'm thankful I had the foresight to bring a Marie Callendar pie as a backup, none of which came home with us.

This bad dish phenomenon is a strange manifestation of reversal of my normal lucky number: 2. Two is a lucky number for me in every aspect of life except cooking. For example, my dear Alex is the second child of five, and the second man who ever proposed. (The first guy wasn't really serious, but I think it counts in this instance. At least I hope he wasn't serious. I suppose I might be on his list of "People to Kill" now. . . .) I also have an odd tendency to win things when I draw the number two, like the on-time treat at Young Women's a few weeks ago. But I'm sidetracking like Brother Owen in Sunday School now.

In the culinary world, things differ. Dishes turn out lovely the first time I make them, and then they flop on the second attempt. We won't talk about a recent egg rolls incident right now. Still, I will share this recipe because I know it to be a good one, and I know what I did wrong.

Here are the required ingredients: 3 eggs
1 28 oz. can of pumpkin
3 eggs
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup butter
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 cup chopped pecans or other nuts

What you are supposed to do:
Mix first five ingredients and pour into a deep dish 9x11 baking pan that is lined with wax paper. Sprinkle on top 1. Yellow cake mix 2. nuts 3. melted and cooled butter

Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool 30 minutes, then refrigerate several hours. Flip upside down on serving dish and remove wax paper. Serve with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg if desired.

What I did:
Read some recipe on the internet that said to bake it in a 9x13 pan: thought, "Oh, that's a cookie sheet, since it's bigger than 9x11. That would make it more bar-like. That sounds fun, and it would go farther!" Proceeded as above with the following exceptions: No wax paper, since we would just be cutting out bars from my crisp. Also, mixed all topping items together and cut butter in with a pastry blender without melting. Then thought, "Oh, it will need less bake time since it's in a flat pan." Baked 45 to 50 minutes.
This is how it came back from the Pie-loving Chamberlain Family Thanksgiving. And half of the stuff that was eaten was what I ate before we left because I wanted to check if it was okay. So now I have my Thanksgiving cooking disaster story, for the enjoyment of many generations to come. You may now all feel better about your cooking adventures this year in comparison to mine.

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