Avoidance baking

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I should be doing ‘stuff.’ I was, in fact, doing stuff a few minutes ago. Now I’m sitting in the sun and writing. It’s too nice out here and I don’t want to go in and cook.

I’m doing Thanksgiving today. We got a turkey for €5 and saved it for the occasion. Turkeys are easy, I’m not worried about it, or the mashed potatoes, or the sweet potatoes.

What I’m not looking forward to is making pumpkin pies.

I’m a pretty poor baker. I always think it will be so easy and fun. Instead I end up with a huge mess, no counter space to work in, and cat hair liberally distributed through the either burned or undercooked dessert. It’s like sewing or knitting: I really want to do it, but some part of me just isn’t up to the challenge. It’s time I accept my limitations, everyone in the house will be happier without hearing me screaming curses at inanimate objects.

The dog leaves the kitchen entirely when I start rattling pans, the poor neurotic girl. Can’t imagine why.

Anyhoo, I have 14 cups of pumpkin frozen from my Halloween jack-o-lanterns. A pie only uses two cups, so I can make seven pies! Yay for me! I’m not making seven today, just two. And I doubt I’ll share with anyone but the hubby because I love pumpkin pie and it is rare to get the gourd here at all.

Wish me luck, I’m going in…unless I can think of a few more things in the garden that need tidying up.

Oh! How crazy is this: one of my blueberry bushes has flowers. This is not good! I hope I still get fruit next summer.

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12 responses »

  1. I totally empathize. Reminds me of the incident where I thought it would be fun to join my sister-in-law — who is the most kick-assinest baker I ever ate-from — in making Xmas cookies. Who knew that the enterprise depended on actually measuring things? to the nearest micron? Not my strong suit. She and I no longer speak. Course, I imagine your hubbie might know a thing or two about baking? I really do hope you enjoy the pies. Microns or otherwise. There’s always the cat-hair.

    • The pies are forgiving – nothing rises so amounts don’t have to be scientific. The damn things are still in the oven, hope they are done soon. We need to put a turkey in there. And I have to make whipped cream, too! Vital.

      • Jiggle ’em to see if they’re set. Overbaking custard will make it runny. I know from bitter experience!

        We’re cooking Thanksgiving today, too! We ate way too much Thurs and Fri and I just couldn’t face more food. (Quite a statement in this time of economic privation, but I am grateful for the gifts I receive.)

        I bet the pies will be yummy!

        • I must have known the jiggling trick, I did it. The texture looks lumpy despite ages in the food processor. Oh well, it tasted good when raw 🙂 Just waiting on my barley to cook for my mushroom-barley stuffing (I detest bread-based stuffing/dressing).

          • Ooooo, yum to all! The Big Mister is beginning the preparations. I made a half-crap custard pie yesterday: the filling was fine, tho’ a bit stiff because the timer wound down but didn’t ring… the crust. Curse of the crust! The dough had been in the fridge for at least a week and I shouldn’t have used it because it absorbed water. Blick. Will have to make another one to atone for the half-crap pie!

  2. Baking is the one thing I’m really good at, and pumpkin pie and cinnamon rolls are my specialties. Regular cooking I’m sort of… meh at. You can also put a toothpick in the middle and if it’s clean it’s done. Not a perfect system, but works for me.

    If you are worried about crust try making tiny pumpkin pies in ramekins or other small baking containers. I did that this year and it worked out perfectly fine. Sort of like creme brulee.

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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