This is my second attempt to write about my kitchen adventures from this past Monday. I scrapped the first attempt because, to be honest, it got a bit whiny.
See, I had taken the day off after a weekend out of town, and I had plans. Plans that included baking bread, making granola, and getting some other kinda-fun-kinda-necessary cooking tasks off the to-do list on the chalkboard.
But instead it ended up being a day of mishaps and trying to roll with it. Flexibility is not always (ever?) my strong suit, and neither is accepting my own boneheaded mistakes, so the day was a bit of a challenge.
It all started when I happened to notice that one of our pumpkins, happily stored in the pantry since our fall harvest, was suddenly looking a bit squishy. Wanting to save as much of it as possible from a compost-bin fate, I decided that immediate pumpkin surgery was necessary. I cut it up and put it on the stove to cook. Adelaide helped me pick out the seeds that were still edible (we roasted them using this method). And then I had a couple cups of pureed pumpkin sitting around, so, naturally, pie!
Let's just say, it was not my best work. I won't go into all the details, but in a seriously "duh" moment I baked the pie crust without weighting it, and it shrank down to a flat disc on the bottom of the pie pan. No side crusts. Not even full coverage of the bottom of the pie pan.
There were other "disasters" that day, both related to the pie and not.* And when all was said and done, I'd accomplished zero of the tasks on my original to-do list. I was disappointed. And I felt (and wrote) whiny about it.
Looking at the ill-tempered novel I initially wrote about the day made me stop, shake my head, and get a grip. Day spent in the kitchen with my adorable little helper (who was soooo proud of herself for helping with the pumpkin seeds and the leftover pie crust)? Check. Rotting pumpkin salvaged? Check. Totally edible if somewhat ridiculous-looking pie** for dessert? Check. Time to get to the rest of it (or not...it's not like you don't live blocks from a grocery store, Sarah) another day? CHECK.
*Highlights include: The filling for the pie was too loose, probably because I didn't bother to drain off enough liquid from the homemade pumpkin puree. I burned the tomato sauce for dinner. Oh, and I managed to burn a hot dog bun to death in the microwave.
**As always, I used the Deluxe Butter Crust recipe from The Joy of Cooking. And I used the pumpkin pie filling recipe in that book too. It's the second time, and the first time the filling turned out great. This time, it tasted great but was a mess, but I don't blame the recipe.