Couldn't let Fall pass by without sharing this most awesome recipe with that portion of the blogosphere that visits my humble pixelated abode.
This is not only unbelievably delicious, but it also makes for a great presentation. It's one of those recipes that makes you feel as though you've accomplished something really special.
And don't think to yourself, "I hate pumpkin pie, so I'm not going to make it." Pumpkin pie taste has nothing to do with this. Pumpkin is indeed only one factor in this truly magical mixture!
BAKED PUMPKIN with Apple-Raisin Filling
1 4-5 pound pumpkin (kind of a smallish one, and the *lines* that crease down the sides are not too deep - that's how you can tell a good baking pumpkin - or so I was told by the pumpkin farmer guy last Fall.)
1 tablespoon margarine or butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 - 5 cups sliced, peeled apples (I think I used Granny Smiths, but don't quote me)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Cut out the top of the pumpkin. Reserve the lid. Scrape out the seeds and string. Brush the inside of the pumpkin with the melted butter and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar inside. Replace the lid. Place the pumpkin in a shallow roasting pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl mix together the apples, and remaining ingredients. Spoon all of the mixture into the pumpkin and replace the lid. Return to the oven and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender.
Serve hot, scooping out pumpkin mixture. Make sure you take a spoon and scrape the pumpkin *flesh* -- Ooh! Scary sounding! Ok. Kind of gross sounding -- from the sides of the inside of the pumpkin. It's part of the scrumptiousness.
If you don't overbake the pumpkin, (which doesn't hurt the taste at all by the way) you can serve it, pumpkin and all, on the table. I overbaked it last year and it was a little droopy on the table, but still just as delicious.
Don't think of this as a dessert. I mean it! Don't think that. Don't think to yourself, "That would be great with ice cream!"
No it won't. Ok, it might to some people. But it's not a dessert. It's more of a starchy side dish to a main course.
It's really, really good. I can't recommend it enough.
ProgressiveDepot of Now That's Progress -- a fellow midwesterner by the way -- just left a comment about my Great Sunday New York Times Judy Miller Article Mystery, a.k.a. GSNYTJMAM, (if it turns out to be a conspiracy after I solve the mystery, I shall change the last M to a C) and it reminded me of a story.
Fourth of July weekend in 2000, my husband, son and I went to Washington, DC for the weekend to be tacky tourists and watch the fireworks by the white house. It was a great time.
We stayed at some little quaint hotel in Georgetown and as we got on the elevator on our way downstairs to checkout and fly back home, there was a guy, 40-something, in the elevator.
Guy: "You guys leaving?"
Me: "Yeah, we're flying home today."
Guy: "Where're you from?"
Me: "Cleveland." (I always say with my head held high!)
Guy: "Oh. Cleveland." Nods.
Me: "Have you ever been to Cleveland?"
Guy: "No, but I've flown over it."
I just nodded. I knew what he meant. It's always iffy admitting you're from Cleveland to people in DC, New York City and L.A. They automatically think you live in a area where Lake Erie is on fire 24/7. Yeah, that's been 30 years ago, but the image has stuck.
There's always seems to be a sense of superiority, too. Except when we stuck to our plan two weeks after September 11 and made the trip to NYC despite my darkest fears.
That weekend when someone would ask where we were from, and I answered Cleveland -- every New Yorker, whether the waitress, the bellhop or the guy at the newstand -- they thanked us so sincerely that I'm surprised each one didn't hug and kiss us, too.
I just smiled at the guy in the elevator that day, but thought -- in my best midwestern accent -- "I know what you're saying buddy. You're not fooling me for a minute. If it makes you feel superior, more power to ya."
My Sunday New York Times from yesterday did not have the Judy Miller article on the front page. Or anywhere else in the paper either.
My husband and I searched through every section. Nothing.
When I checked in with Shakespeare's Sister this morning, I was going to leave a comment asking where in the heck the article was placed because I couldn't find it anywhere. But, I decided not to -- I've been a little senile-ish lately -- I figured I just needed to give it one more look.
When I sat down for lunch with today's paper, I immediately flipped to the Letters to see if anyone wrote in responding to yesterday's article.
Yes they did. People from PA, CO and CA.
So, what happened to my edition?
I've got headlines on yesterday's front page about the Trashman in New Orleans, the Iraqi vote, Harriet Miers, Ping Pong Beer Games and Loggers in the Amazon -- but no Miller. The Letters from today reference "The Miller Case: A Notebook, a Cause, a Jail Cell and a Deal" (front page, Oct. 16)
That means front page of the front page, right? I'm double checking it right this second and I swear it's not there.
I called the NYTs this afternoon and talked to a customer service person. She listened to my question and put me on hold for about 5 minutes. And when she came back on the line she said she would have to call someone at the corporate office and have them contact me directly.
Isn't this strange? What should the NYTs do if everyone in this area received this misprint? What if other areas or entire states didn't get the right copy? Is this just a simple mistake or could it be something else? I find it very odd.
I know I can read the article online, but that's not the point. I'm now wondering how many other articles don't arrive in my driveway while the rest of the country receives them.
I live outside of Cleveland and our NYTs is printed in Canton, Ohio. Home of Timken and Deibold.
I filed this post under *random happenings.* We'll see.
Just now, Nora O'Donnell, on a two minute segment on MSNBC, reporting on Bush's new angle in his effort to sell Harriet Miers, used the phrase, "if you will" not four times, not six times, but a total of 10 times!
Seems like it's a little habit, if you will, that Ms. O'Donnell desperately needs to break, unless she wants me to continually yell at the TV and ignore everything she says till the end of time.
The only background I could find quickly on this phrase is this:
Standing (a little) aside from what you're saying
John M. Swales
Consider this short MICASE extract. It is spoken by a student—himself a native speaker of German — at the beginning of his dissertation defense in musicology. His topic is the jazz pianist, Keith Jarrett:
Jarrett's jazz is performed as a chamber musical product, for the concert stage. this predilection appeals to European audiences, who generally come to jazz from a classical western background. in short, i began as a listener, a fan, if you will. Jarett's music fit my own predelictions and, so to speak, my identity needs.
These phrases communicate to the listeners that the speaker is not to be taken too seriously at this moment, not too literally. When speakers use this kind of phrase they stand a little aside from what they are saying; they detach, distance or disassociate themselves somewhat from the actual words. In other words, they are a special kind of hedge.
In this particular case, the speaker first does not commit himself to really being a fan by his use of "if you will". After all being "a fan" of somebody might not be a good academic reason for writing a dissertation about that person! In the second instance, his use of "so to speak" suggests to the audience that "my identity needs" is not to be taken too seriously. Without the stand-aside, the phrase "my identity needs" might be taken as indicating a pyschological complex of some kind. Is Nora O'Donnell attempting to distance herself from her own reporting? Who knows, with reporters behaving the way they are these days. I can tell you this. When she started to talk about Rush Limbaugh's statement that the right-wing is completely unified behind whatever Bush does, Ms. O'Donnell was absolutely enthusiastic! Big smile, hair flipping and lots of gushing.
Teh l4m3 of Freedom Camp left a comment here yesterday telling me to wake up, slave! And I'm really going to take that advice as I head into this new week.
You see last week I was flying by the seat of my pants, or in my husband's black car that can go really fast. I have a new client about 35 miles away, mostly highway. I know where the cops hide on the route, so I know when to slow down to 60 before I rev it up to 75 again to make the meeting on time.
I had to make this trip every day last week. I should leave 35 minutes before my appointment to make it there with 2 minutes to spare. But each day, my husband would toss the work off to me like a frizbee and I was gunning it out of the driveway already 5 minutes late.
On Thursday, as I started the car, I noticed I only had a little less than 1/4 tank of gas. Damnit! So I push the button on the dash that tells me how many miles this actually translates in to.
Can I trust this dashboard computer thingamajig? What if I can't? Nothing works like it should. Who owns Saab now anyway? General Motors? Yeah, like I can trust them. What if I run out of gas on the highway?
I decide to trust it. After all, I'm already late. I cross my fingers and step on the gas.
I'm doing an awesome Danica Patrick imitation, while I'm nervously glancing at the fuel guage while keeping my eyes open for the cops. All week long I've got Genesis' Trick of the Tail in the CD player. I'm like a pre-schooler when it comes to listening to music. I'll listen to the same CD over and over until literally I can't take it anymore.
All the way to the meeting to keep my mind off of running out of gas, I'm analyzing the lyrics to Squonk and comparing them to George W. Bush.
The album cover says, The Squonk is of a very retiring disposition and due to its ugliness, weeps constantly. It's easy prey for hunters who simply follow a tear-stained trail. When cornered it will dissolve itself into tears.
I decide that failure is personified as a hunter in this song and continually stalks George W. Bush throughout his life, always, ultimately conquering his prey: Like father like son Not flesh nor fish nor bone A red rag hangs from an open mouth. Alive at both ends but a little dead in the middle, A-tumbling and a-bumbling he will go. All the King's horses and all the King's men Could never put a smile on that face.
He's a sly one, he's a shy one Wouldn't you be too. Scared to be left all on his own. Hasn't a, hasn't a friend to play with, the Ugly Duckling The pressure on, the bubble will burst before our eyes. All the while in perfect time His tears are falling on the ground But if you don't stand up you don't stand a chance.
Go a little faster now, you might get there in time.
Mirror mirror on the wall, His heart was broken long before he ever came to you. Stop your tears from falling, The trail they leave is very clear for all to see at night all to see at night.
In season, out of season What's the difference when you don't know the reason. In one hand bread, the other a stone. The Hunter enters the forest. All are not huntsmen who can blow the huntsman's horn By the look of this one you've not got much to fear.
Here I am, I'm very fierce and frightening Come to match my skill to yours. Now listen here, listen to me, don't you run away now I am a friend, I'd really like to play with you. Making noises my little furry friend would make I'll trick him, then I'll kick him into my sack. You better watch out... You better watch out.
I've got you, I've got you, you'll never get away.
Walking home that night The sack across my back, the sound of sobbing on my shoulder. When suddenly it stopped, I opened up the sack, all that I had A pool of bubbles and tears - Just a pool of tears.
Lance had written a post awhile back called Lincoln's melancholy, Bush's anger, and he ended his post with this line: In a hundred and forty years will someone publish a book titled Bush's
Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled his
That post depressed me. No offense, Lance, but I don't want to put Lincoln and Bush side by side. I still cannot accept the fact that Bush was re-elected. And I really can't stomach the fact that little kids now are going to grow up and read stories about how he actually was President of the United States, like it was true -- like it wasn't some hideous, horrendous nightmare that it is.
To me, he is a Squonk. Alive at both ends, but a little dead in the middle. Nothing more. Nothing less.
After listening to Squonk four times, I rip into the parking lot and find a space. I make the meeting, two minutes late -- but hey, their watches could be slow. It's all good.
I leave the meeting. I'm waiting at a red light when I notice a car pull up behind me and the guy driving jumps out running up toward me. I sort of panic and make sure my doors are locked. Yeah, he had on a tie and looked maybe two years older than my son -- but Ted Bundy didn't look like Charles Manson either.
He taps on my window and I notice he's holding a phone. Not a cell phone -- but the phone from my house! I unroll the window, kind of shocked and thank him. As he hands it to me, he says, "this was sitting on your trunk." I say thanks again and roll up the window.
When it dawns on me that IT'S MY PHONE FROM MY HOUSE, I unroll the window and thank him again loudly.
Can you imagine me speeding along the highway, doing 80, passing cars with a phone on my trunk? (Not a little cell phone, but a regular sized house phone??)
My son had put it there the night before when he was playing out in the driveway and in my haste, I obviously didn't notice it when I jumped in the car and took off like a bandit.
Somewhat embarassed, I took a deep breath and hit #6 on Trick of the Tail.