Saturday, September 25, 2010

At last

It was a busy summer. The Michigan vacation exceeded all expectations - fun, food and frolic. Almost the whole family came to have fun together, reconnect and just hang out with our warm, incredible family. It was a wonderful time.

For the third year Lee and I hosted the Texas barbecue. We started this party to give our Ohio friends a taste of the West - Ms. Lee's country. The first year nearly 30 people gathered to feast on Kreuz' (Krites) market sausage and brisket, pico de gallo and guacamole, coleslaw, Mexican fruit cup, a vegetarian entree, Texas sheet cake and peach cobbler made from the recipe of the Anadama ranch. This was all capped off with Lee's fabulous pinto's and Texas beers and my sangria. Lee recorded Texas music - anyone who was from Texas and traditional Texas music as well.

This year we imported my parents from Ohio and Lee's brother and sister-in-law from Texas. Nothing like adding a few more authentic Texans to the mix. To go one step further I decided to home smoke three briskets for the party. Sweet Sue, Tom and Lee tasted the maiden voyage for brisket earlier this summer and pronounced it nice enough for company. So 15 pounds of meat later the party was on. The menu didn't have big changes just - queso and pico, but the number of people grew to nearly 40. At the end of the party there was no brisket, coleslaw, a tiny amount of fruit cup and no dessert. People seemed to be happy and well fed and genuinely enjoyed getting to know our families better. Next year's barbecue is already a topic of discussion.

We had a great time hosting our families and watching them get to know our friends. In fact many of the friends said they loved the families and really loved being able to check our our roots. Ted and Suzanne came in on Thursday and we had a wonderful time with them. Blessings to them for all of the help with getting ready for the party. I didn't know how we did it without them. Sunday sadly came and the party was over. Our last hurrah was a trip to Yellow Springs for brunch at the Winds.

On the way back from the airport Lee and I stopped at the apple orchard to pick up some apples. On display were pie pumpkins and a promised recipe. We love pumpkin pie and I was sure a pumpkin pie would welcome fall. The orchard supplied an unusual recipe for the pie. This recipe was contributed by Jane Van Deusen of New York. The pumpkin was opened and scraped of seeds and loose fibers. Then sugar and cinnamon and salt were dusted on the interior of the pumpkin and baked. Once tender the pumpkin is cooled and the meat is blended and mixed with traditional pumpkin pie ingredients. I have to say we were the beneficiaries of fresh eggs from two of the barbecue guests. Those eggs were part of the pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Patch Pie

1 medium pie pumpkin
2/3 C sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
5 oz. evaporated milk
1/2 Cup milk
pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie

Cut a five inch circle around the stem of the pumpkin and remove the lid. Scrape and remove seeds and loose fibers. Combine 1/3 C sugar with 1/2 tsp cinnamon and the salt. Replace the lid and bake on a greased tray at 325 degrees for an hour and twenty minutes. Cool. Remove the meat of the pumpkin to a blender and blend until smooth.

Take 2 C of pumpkin and add the rest of the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Stir and add the evaporated milk and milk with the beaten eggs and pour into the pie shell. Bake at 375 for 75-80 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.