Monday, November 06, 2006

dispatches from the kitchen


The pumpkin cheesecake was disappointing, especially considering the amount of time and effort that went into it. Using all low-fat stuff defeats the whole purpose of a cheesecake. I think of cheesecake as the dairy equivalent of good dark chocolate fudge. It ought to be so rich that a bite of it takes a while to melt in your mouth, during which time you wonder if the state legislature has outlawed it yet. This cheesecake doesn’t really live up to the name. Not enough pumpkin flavor, not enough richness. Nice to take to a tea party, I suppose, if you’ve got a bunch of people trying to watch their weight.

The caramel apple pie was a 95% success. Granny Smiths worked quite nicely. Despite the tartness of the apples, the pie is awfully sweet, but if you have to cut it with some French Vanilla ice cream, so be it. Suck it up. The whole-wheat crust from last week was perfect. Because, honestly, under the butter-and-brown-sugar crumb topping, you don’t even notice the bottom.

The 5% failure was the use of flour as a thickening agent in the filling, which gave it a chalky aftertaste. If I make this pie again, I’ll use cornstarch instead. (Hey, I was just following the instructions, you know? Live and learn.)

And I’m proud to say that I wasted a mere ten apples this season. (I won’t mention how many I threw out last year.) There are eight or so jars of applesauce in the pantry, three bags of pie filling in the freezer, and several apples in the back seat of my car for snacks and sandwiches. I’m rather proud of this season, all in all.

Just about broke my neck falling off the wagon this time. Hell, this time I think I tried to pull the wagon on top of me. The pumpkin cheesecake required a graham cracker crust, and Nabisco has (damn them) come out with a gingerbread graham cracker. So I had to sample it. It didn’t suck. Nor did the fifth one. Or the sixth.

As promised, RB had a Halloween party Saturday evening. The food tables were outrageous – it was as if she’d planned the whole thing just for me, using a little [sic] checklist of a my favorite unhealthy nosh. Spinach-artichoke dip, homemade brownies, queso dip, crab dip, meatballs, I mean it was outrageous. I dipped. Repeatedly.

There were some awfully drunk people there, who were highly amusing and annoying in turns. With LEAF still a vivid memory, I drank very little and we left on the early side of ten o’clock. Meaning that we could all function well the next day.

Brian and his friend took down a tree that was wearing a hole in the roof on Saturday and then – drumroll, please – they patched the hole, too. (Hence the thank-you pie.)

We went to the park on Sunday afternoon. I dropped Brian off at his Sunday social hour and Duckie and I went home to indulge in a luscious cuddly Sunday power nap. If someone had brought us pizza or fried chicken (or, preferably, both) we would have woken up only long enough to eat, pee, and go right back to sleep.

“I so tired,” Duckie said, plaintively. “Will you be my besfen?” (The “s” sound is starting to emerge, slowly but surely.)

Well, sure, sweetie. Anytime.

With the exception of the pastry and party excitement, we had an even-keel weekend.

Er… what?

I’m sorry, you’ll have to speak up. I couldn’t hear you the first time.

Yoga? The imaginary run I wanted to take Sunday morning?

Oh. Right.

Didn’t happen.

Brought my running clothes today. I’ll be doing what I can to burn off that outrageous apple pie.

Plus, I think I’d rather deal with profound stitches in my side than think about this ever-fucking election.



Yogamum said...

That caramel apple pie sounds great -- I have a bunch of leftover caramel dip from my son's Halloween party that I need to use up!

Gingerbread graham crackers? OMG, I wish you hadn't mentioned that!

andi said...

YM, if you do try the pie, go for either super-tart apples or reduce the sugar - really, a whole cup of sugar in an apple pie is just ridiculous even for me.

also, i added a bunch more cinammon and nutmeg than the recipe called for. i'm a spice slut, that's just all there is to it. i'm even planning to buy whole cinammon sticks and grind my spices fresh for cookies this year.

may even have to indulge in that vanilla paste, too.

Kiki said...

"Spice slut," hee! I'm a chile slut myself.

I especially loved the story of Duckie and "besfen." I was babysitting the 5-year-old daughter of a friend last month, we were playing with sidewalk chalk, and she carefully & laboriously wrote: "kele es mi besfrend." It truly made my day.