Monday, October 24, 2016

Now They're Eating Hubbard Pie


So I can’t believe how many people dislike or even hate pumpkin pie.  What?! I have heard it described as “flavorless”, “cardboard”, “slimy”, and worst of all “barfy”.  I honestly don’t get it.  It’s a rather popular opinion though.  I have such vivid memories of making holiday pumpkin pies that my adoration for them almost brings me to tears.  Now that doesn’t mean much--because everything brings me to tears--but still.  I love the sameness of pumpkin pie.  The cans of Libby’s never change, I love their rusty palette and homey font.  The first thing I ever made in my beloved KitchenAid mixer was pumpkin pie filling, and getting to that point always signifies the home stretch of Thanksgiving prep.  For me, pumpkin pie is precious. 

On the other hand, I don’t think anything is ever immune from improvement.  Except of course my shredded abs.  If you believe that, you shouldn’t be on the internet.  The funny thing about my best friend M is that she hates everything.  I kinda hate everything too, except I make up for it by really loving the things I love.  She is by no means subservient in nature, but historically she follows my lead because she can’t be bothered to pick a direction.  If you ask her east or west, she might shrug her shoulders, look away, and ignore you if you ask again.  This contributes to our balance.  As I always have figurative directions mapped to the most inane detail.  So usually I lead and she follows.  But early in our Thanksgiving co-cooking, we hit a snag on menu planning.  She refused to serve pumpkin pie at her family’s Thanksgiving.  This, naturally, sent me into an emotional tailspin.  How could she? Is that even legal? How dare she do this for all of god and country to see?! Of the 20 of us, my cousin is the only one who likes it. Everyone else hates it, it’s gross.  I made an extra one and put it in her trunk so at least her poor cousin could uphold some Thanksgiving dignity. 
Because M hates everything, I figured this was an isolated opinion.  Not until I began asking did I hear the cold truth.  I began tweaking the classic Libby’s recipe.  I doubled the spices, bloomed them in butter, eventually learned the magic of duck eggs, and thought I had really fixed the problem.  My sister would say things like I mean, it’s definitely the best pumpkin pie I’ve had, but it’s still, like, a pummmmpkin pie.  What the fuck?
Last year when I was picking up my turkeys from Elizabeth (she has four unclaimed turkeys if you didn’t pre-order one on November 27 last year like I did), we got chatting about pumpkin pie.  This was two days before Thanksgiving.  She mentioned that she made hers with heavy cream instead of evaporated milk.  Obviously a chance to add more fat to something got me excited.  I hadn’t ever heard of this! What?! And that she’s less scared of the extra fat than whatever goes into evaporated milk.  Now why the fuck hadn’t I ever even considered this myself?  My entire theory and practice of cooking revolves on control at an elemental level, and yet I’ve been dumping canned shit into the storied star of my Thanksgiving dessert? I’m good with canned pumpkin, it’s a whole ingredient.  But canned milk? What even is evaporated milk? I don’t know.  She also mentioned that she uses brown sugar instead of white and that the pie is so so much better than a normal pumpkin pie.  Hers is based from a Nancy Silverton recipe.  So I made a last minute decision to switch my pumpkin pie recipe and try this tweak.  Elizabeth quite wonderfully sent me her recipe.  As I went to pull up the email, my phone died.  So I improvised from the back of the can Libby’s recipe.  I used the same amounts of brown sugar and heavy cream in lieu of white sugar and evaporated milk. 
The pumpkin is from Aero, which has apparently now moved to the Design Center at 200 Lex
One thing I immediately liked is that the filling was not quite as runny as it normally is because heavy cream is thicker than evap milk.  It took a little longer to bake and you do sacrifice the lovely dark orange of a white sugar pumpkin pie.  But the molasses caramelizes beautifully and the pie is a deep mahogany.  Again, I’ve never had anything against traditional pumpkin pie.  I will, however, admit that this is much better.  What shocked me was how much my sister and other pumpkin pie skeptics loved it.  M wouldn’t try it but she hates everything, especially cinnamon (I know, what the fuck).  Perhaps the comment that took me most by surprise was from my perpetually elegant and erudite step-grandma who said this is wonderful because it has the flavor of pumpkin pie but isn’t so barfy.  As it turns out, barfy has been a word many people agree with on the texture of traditional pumpkin pie.

If you or someone you love or merely host also finds pumpkin pie to be barfy, you may wish to try this deviation.  While we’re at it, I will also share my pie crust recipe.  The truth about me is I tend to make things harder or more involved than they need to be.  It boils down to tiny details for me that really don’t matter.  So, yes, my pie crust is a bit more involved than others.  Why do there need to be two kinds of flours?  Well, you want enough protein but not too much.  Duck egg whites have more protein than chicken egg, so if you were to use all AP flour, the pastry would be tough.  Why duck eggs? They have a far more neutral flavor.  I hate a pie crust that tastes like egg.  Gross.  That goes for egg wash, too.  My kitchen gets very hot, and pastry can be temperamental.  The cream cheese helps with strength and ability to handle.  Why does it need oil, too?  Oil helps hydrate the flour and makes the baked crust shiner and softer.  Why do I add liquor to almost all my recipes?  As I learned years ago on Sara’s Secrets, liquor amplifies flavor.  It’s like feeling the sun through the canopy of the trees.  Also, liquor is a better choice for liquid in a pie crust.  It steams and evaporates quickly, leaving flaky pastry behind.  With all the liquid in this recipe, it is a wet dough.  I like that because when I brush it with egg wash for color, it better absorbs the egg wash than the egg wash sitting atop the baked crust and being a foul-tasting discernable lacquer coat vs a cohesive crust that mimics laminated pastry like a croissant.  Have I made my case?  I knooooooow I know, it has a lot of ingredients.  I know my go-to recipes by heart but I even have to check the list to make sure I didn’t forget any.  So if you object to certain things about normal pie crust, try this.  If you don’t, you might not find it to be worth the extra effort.  This is more like a pie crust pastry and danish pastry combination.  Once I have the disc rolled out, transferred into the plate, and trimmed, I let it rest in the freezer about ten minutes before crimping.  All that butter, cream cheese, and oil is easier to work with cold.
My favorite pie plates are these: less fussy than glass, clean white design, and doesn’t scratch or show when cut like stoneware.  I first used one in a vacation rental house and kind of scoffed at using a cheap Corelle pie plate vs Le Creuset stoneware that I had at home.  I couldn’t believe how much more I liked it!
I shared this last year, but it bears repeating.  I loooooove my marble rolling pin! I got mine while unshowered and hungover at an outlet mall on a sweltering August morning in Cincinnati when I was 19, so it always makes me laugh and cringe.  A less emotionally confronting way would be to order this one.  I keep it in the freezer.  Makes such a difference in a hot kitchen.  Just don’t leave it on the counter where it can roll! Your toes will be smashed and frostbitten. 
SAJ Too Many Ingredient Pie Crust
Makes 2 crusts
1 ½ cups AP Flour
1 ½ cups Cake Flour
2 Duck Eggs
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter, sliced and frozen
½ bar Cream Cheese, cut into 1ish inch chunks
3 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
½ teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
¼ teaspoon grated Nutmeg
¼ cup Bourbon Whiskey
¼ cup ice cold water

-Add everything except water and whiskey to food processor
-Combine water and whiskey
-Pulse ingredients in processor twice
-Begin pouring water/whiskey in a slow stream while food processor is running.  Pour until dough begins pulling together.  Turn processor off and check with fingers if dough incorporates readily.  If not pulse a few more times, adding a bit more liquid.  You will likely not use all the liquid.

-Divide in half, cover in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator about one hour.

Not Barfy Pumpkin Pie Inspired by Elizabeth Inspired by Nancy Silverton
Makes two not barfy pies
1 29oz can Libby’s Pure Pumpkin OR 29-30 oz Hubbard Squash Puree
3 Cups Heavy Cream
1 ½ cups packed Dark Brown Sugar
½ cup Bourbon Whiskey
4 Duck Eggs
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground Ginger
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon grated Nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground Cloves

-In medium sauce pan, melt butter over a medium flame.  Add spices to butter and reduce flame to low.  After about 30 seconds, add heavy cream.  Stir mixture on low about two minutes and transfer to mixing bowl. Let cool about five minutes
-Add pumpkin or squash puree and sugar to cream mixture. Combine,
-Once combined and the bowl is cool to the touch, mix in eggs, whiskey, and vanilla.  Mix until smoothly incorporated.
-Mixture is ready to bake.  If prepping ahead, refrigerate filling in mason jar until ready to use.  Do not fill pie shells until you are going to bake. 
To bake, have oven preheated to 425F.  Fill unbaked pie shells with pumpkin filling and bake on bottom rack for 25 minutes.  If your crust’s edge is highly ornamented and you’re worried about burning, use one of these (if silicone, check that it can go above 400F).  Bake for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, reduce heat to 350F.  Bake another 45-60 min (this depends on how quickly your oven cools down).  Mixture will still be jiggly in the middle but cracked and set on the sides.  Remove and let cool at room temperature at least 2 hours. 
I think even snarky Paullywood would approve, a very good bake

You can see that the molasses rises and caramelizes beautifully

from 1950

The back, clearly destined for my collection
 Okay, don’t get mad at me but I have another tweak…only if you want it!  So as you know, I am emphatic about the farmers market.  I am not one of the assholes who goes and strolls and views it as free entertainment, meandering through with my dog and scorched Starbucks coffee all while not intending to buy a single leaf of lettuce.  Buy things! Over the years, many of the vendors have become good friends.  They pretty much all know how obsessed with Thanksgiving I am.  Early this summer, Pam and I were talking about pumpkin pie.  She said that she finds the traditional little pie pumpkin to be disappointing.  She actually preferred the flesh of the Hubbard Squash.  Whaaaaat? The green thing? That’s not a fucking pumpkin, Pam.  But I am much too curious about these things to turn a blind eye.  So I got one when they were mature two weeks ago.  I did the whole song and dance of slicing, gutting, roasting, and extracting the beautiful orange Hubbard flesh.  The first thing I noticed when pureeing was how smooth the mixture was.  So smooth it almost seemed congealed.  I baked a Hubbard and a Libby’s pumpkin pie right next to each other and got as many opinions as I could.  Including the FedEx guy who is always smart to raise his eyebrows and ask what are you cooking today? He didn’t have time to eat then but I put a note on Tupperware that said HUBBARD/LIBBY’S denoting their placement in the container.  So it’s not exactly a Cornell study, but it’s close.  Though the difference is very, very subtle.  The Hubbard has a better flavor.  It’s a little brighter and showcases the spices ever so slightly better.  The difference is so marginal that if the thought of gutting and roasting a squash doesn’t entice you, don’t bother.  On the other hand, if you’re perusing your farmer’s market with no intention or idea of buying, buy a Hubbard Squash and give it a go. 
 
Though Hubbards are not particularly thought of as beauties, I do love their
grey-green skin.
The process is quite straightforward.  Slice the squash in half.  Make sure your knife is sharp! I make cuts like this by sticking the knife in the middle at 90 degrees and rotating down toward the cutting board and then repeating on the other side.  Remove the seeds and stringy middle flesh.  I coated mine in a little oil and honey but I doubt that’s necessary.  I roasted at 375 for about an hour.  Let it cool or be stupid and impatient like me and burn your poor, ugly hands and scoop the flesh out of the skin.  Puree until very smooth.  No straining or sieving necessary.  If you wanted to do this now and have it prepped for Thanksgiving, put the puree in a plastic container, press plastic wrap onto the surface, pressing out air pockets, and freeze until the day before you want to bake your pies.  For two pies, you would want two squashes. 
Hubbard Squash, not as much cracking, but small craters

Libby's canned pumpkin

Research is hard. The Plates are Adams "Fairy Villas"

Tell me, do you like pumpkin pie?  Have you ever found it to be barfy?  Don’t forget the stabilized whipped cream!




90 comments:

  1. I really wish you and your shredded abs (ha ha) had your own tv show or at least a lifestyle cook book. And do not be thinking I am the only one- we all would watch!

    I have made a pumpkin pie once in my life. I don't think we can buy pumpkin in a can here. Sad but true. I used a pre made pie shell and thought it was ok but I didn't think it was great.

    I have no idea where duck eggs could be sourced either. I think you'd be shocked by so many things in this country.

    When I travel with my sisters, I am happy to leave every decision to them- where we go, when and what we'll eat etc. It is such a relief after making hard decisions all day long for my day job.

    Luff your Adams plates. Fairy Villas is a great pattern name xxx

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    1. I agree - you need a cooking show! You'd be brilliant to watch. I think the swearing would give you an edgy feel on TV too.

      I've never eaten pumpkin pie, it's just not a thing here. There might be canned pumpkin in the international food section at the supermarket maybe? But I've never seen it.

      I do think though, that you're probably now eating a pumpkin pie the way they were originally made by the pilgrims (or whomever it was that decided to make that a thanksgiving staple - Libby's maybe?!). They wouldn't have had white sugar, or canned pumpkin, or evaporated milk (yuck). Would most definitely have tasted much nicer, but not been that bright neon orange that people now associate with pumpkin pie perhaps. xx

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    2. Oh I also forgot to ask - do you have Plum Pudding at Christmas as a tradition? It's the done thing here in Australia, but it does divide the masses. I used to be bribed to eat it as a child as you'd get coins in it for good luck. As an adult I love it, but a lot don't. And it has a lot of booze in it, which is a good ending to a Christmas dinner with relatives, but does mean everyone has a nap in the afternoon!! x

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    3. Thank you! Haha I know, if I ever get a quaint Italian house I'll name it Fairy Villa. I understand that! It seems people with very demanding jobs like the option to check out a bit on vacation. The first pumpkin pies I ever made were with store bough crust too!

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    4. Thank you Heidi! I do think some kind of pumpkin custard was at the first thanksgiving but it's funny how contested that all is. Sometimes they say no turkey just venison and lobster and then sometimes they say just turkey. It goes on and on. Pumpkin pie really is good! If you see some Libby's in the store, try it!

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    5. No plum pudding here! I've always wanted to make it though. I should look at recipes. Do you actually have to steam it and everything or can you bake it?

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    6. definitely no baking! It's steamed. You also have to make it about 2 months beforehand to let the fruit really develop the flavours. Nigella does a good one.

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    7. Hello. another Aussie here who has never eaten pumpkin pie!!!! ? Heidi - love myself a good plum pud though. And mince pies. Yum. And prawns. Always prawns at Christmas

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    8. Maybe I will make a plum pudding over Christmas! Wish we could get good seafood here over the holidays (or any time) but we absolutely cannot.

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  2. I LOVE pumpkin pie!! My husband usually bakes them for Thanksgiving - I will try to convince him to try the "not barfy pumpkin pie" recipe but he will squawk: he can't have booze of any sort, even in baking or cooking. What can we use as a substitute? (To me there is no substitute, however, he absolutely can't/won't eat it, and pumpkin is his fav.)

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    1. Well you could always make one of each! Since Libby's comes in a can for two pies. I'd say just omit the alcohol's place in the filling altogether. I doubt that it makes a huge difference. One thing I've done is add a touch more salt and nutmeg for a slightly sharper flavor.

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    2. Thanks for the help! I bake my own pumpkins and puree them. Bit of a PITA, but it works. I definitely have enough for two pies for Thanksgiving, two pies for Christmas, two pies for you ...

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  3. I love pumpkin pie. I'm also allergic to it, which is why I'm so grumpy all the time. Instead I eat egg-free pumpkin pie flavoured things and buy terrible Yankee Candles as an approximation. It's all quite tragic.

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    1. Oops I asked you about your pumpkin allergy on my last post! But are you allergic to pumpkin itself? All squash? How awful! Can you do a cheesecake with traditional PP spices? That would be pretty similar! Or is it eggs? I will figure something out! Haha I have made vegan lasagna!

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  4. I actually love pumpkin pie but because of my stupid gluten free diet I bake them and no longer eat them. This year for our Thanksgiving I baked a pumpkin pie of course (it's actually my youngest's favourite dessert EVER) and I also made a pear compote with cranberries and bourbon, served with whipped cream, as a gluten free option. I have to say it was very good, but in the past I've also baked up the pie filling (which I often make with whipped cream instead of evaporated milk only because I forget to buy it, also evap milk reminds me of living in Newfoundland where it is common to have it in tea- a very weird taste don't try it), anyway it's a sort of pumpkin pie custard which when made with heavy cream makes sense doesn't it? I'll be baking it up for US thanksgiving this year.
    I don't want to miss the pumpkin pie experience, unlike apparently many people (!) I do NOT find it barfy tasting. Though thinking of it described that way makes me feel barfy.
    I love these posts so much and I agree with you that liquor should be used in cooking and baking whenever possible. Stephen Andrew you write so well about food, you've got Nigella and JamieO and dare I even say it Nigel Slater beat. But writing a book is a big pain in the ass so I don't want to wish that on you but maybe a Minion could do it? Big hug to you Darling. XX

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    1. Oh my goodness what a compliment! I can't really accept but, hell, I will! Thank you so much! So let's see, the gluten would be in the crust but not in the filling, right? Can you do a graham cracker crust? Do those have gluten? But I also understand if the substitutes freak you out. My brother and sister both have life-threatening peanut allergies and neither one of them like good, homemade caramel because it tastes too nutty to them. Allergies are vicious.

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    2. I wonder if you could bake pumpkin pie filling in custard cups without the crust?

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  5. I don't know where to begin to comment on either post today. I am entirely overwhelmed by your badass yet gently detailed descriptions of pumpkin pies and Thanksgiving prep. I have asked you before to marry me and in spite of already knowing your answer I'm asking again. It's true I already have a husband, but I want you, instead - with whom I can bake pies. Anyway, he hates cinnamon, too. What the fuck, indeed?

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    1. Haha well thank you again! No one has proposed to me since you so you're still at the top of the list. Life is less like Downton Abbey than I had hoped, with weekly wedding proposals. How can these people hate cinnamon?! Thank you!!

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    2. I'm delighted I'm still at the top of the list! Here in France I can't bake a pumpkin pie, as the canned pumpkin is not available. BUT, this year I'll be heading home to New England for my daughter's Thanksgiving wedding and we'll be cooking up a storm, including pies for the dessert instead of wedding cake so I'm going to try your recipe. I have no doubt it will be a hit!

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  6. Well that settles it; another American celebration I am going to have to co-opt for a work morning tea down here in Australia, solely for an excuse to make this pie. I've only just got people used to Halloween. I'm sure I was born in the wrong country!! And booze in pastry; I suspect that will be life changing. FF you can get usually get pumpkin filling from usafoods in Melbourne (Libby's and a couple of other brands) they do mail order.
    Now I'm craving cinnamon....

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    1. Oh I'm so glad! Yes yes! Have an Aussie Thanksgiving. Too bad you can't roast one of FF's bush turkeys! If you make the pie, please let me know how it goes!

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  7. OMG I love Pumpkin Pie!! Love it! My Grandma made the best Pumpkin Pie ever!! She always only used Libby's and also followed the recipe on the can! We always looked forward to Grandma (R.I.P. Gramcracker) :'( making the Thanksgiving pies. My capitalizing Pumpkin Pie is no mistake, it deserves to be capitalized. She also made Mincemeat which she also loved and my Mom and Dad too, me not so much. I love the idea of using whole cream instead of Evaporated Milk. I agree, why in the hell did I not ever think of that?!

    I remember your Thanksgiving post from last year, thanks to Ellie! Every time I see a blogpost from SAJ in my mailbox I think of Ellie, because of her I found you. Hi Ellie and thank you!! We miss you so much!

    I think I love you SAJ as much as I love Pumpkin Pie! Is that possible, I don't even know you? But I love the way you write and I love your impeccable taste and style. I love dogs as you do and I love the photos you've shared! I'm also into astrology and appreciate the references. I'm surround my Tauruses (my Mom, Dad and Sister are all Taurus suns; my Dad is also Taurus rising and my husband has a Taurus moon! I have Mars in Taurus). I'm a Virgo sun, Virgo rising, Gemini moon. Thank you so much!

    This will be our first Thanksgiving without our dear Mom, she passed on August 28th. We will carry on her tradition of cooking a large meal and I will be making Pumpkin Pie for the family in memory of her and Grandma. I will substitute the cream. I'm not sure yet about the brown sugar, I've got to think on that. I need to make some practice pies ahead of time anyway, so I'll have time to figure it out. We'll set a extra place for each of them and maybe even take some pie to Mom's grave. Cannot believe this year is nearly gone. I love Thanksgiving so much, it's by far my favorite holiday, but sure to be bittersweet this year. My Dad - the Taurus sun and rising - is going to need good food to comfort his grieving Taurus heart. It's the one and only thing I can do for him to try and make him feel better. I'm going to do my best.

    With gratitude for an amazing post! MSDE omg roflmao!!

    Valorie

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    1. Thank you so much! So glad I'm not the only one who loves astrology. I'm so sorry for your loss! So hard to go about all the holidays for the first time without someone, especially someone so important. I love that you are still embracing the holiday and honoring her that way! I'm sure she will visit you on Thanksgiving! Love that you have so many Taurus men around you!

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  8. Fair enough ... I will try not as barfy pumpkin pie, but I'll be going into it biased against it because I also hate pumpkin pie and see no reason for it to exist.

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    1. !!!!! Awful! Haha yes please please try it and let me know!

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  9. I love pumpkin pie, but I add a gingersnap streusel on top. Just a slight amount of the topping so it does not overwhelm the pie.

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  10. I love pumpkin pie...have made many over the years.
    Once at a very low time in my life I sat down and ate an entire pumpkin pie.
    I kid you not, I am not proud of it either and my family always relate the story whenever we eat a pumpkin pie!
    There is no hiding from a family who love to tease...

    I think your new recipe is more like the one I make but I do not use duck eggs.
    BTW I never knew that Fleishmanns' used to make gin!

    Shredded abs eh?

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    1. Oh don't you love how those kinds of stories NEVER die?! Well I think it's wonderful that you can have a laugh over it! I'm sure I could see you and raise you in regards to pies in one sitting! Mine would probably be pasta related though. I never knew that either about Fleischmanns! I wonder if it was any good?

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    2. The pie was far too filling... AND I hosted a dinner party that same evening! I made two pumpkin pies and all I could do when the guests arrived was to smile, pour wine, serve our guests dinner and push the food around my plate. What a crazy time!
      I don't know what possessed me...but it was a stressful time....there was a building recession and my husband was only working part time...we had a HUGE mortgage and I did not work outside the home! Thankfully those days are just a memory...

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  11. I also love pumpkin pie...yours looks divine and I can't imagine Thanksgiving without one. I'm very impressed by all the proposals you are getting. Pretty soon you won't be able to go out in public.
    Great post, great plates.

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    1. Thank you so much! I love the plates so much! I would love to find more of them! I don't think they realize what a depreciating asset I am!

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  12. SAJ btw, I love the photo of the red house.

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  13. I love pumpkin pie, BUT only my mom's pumpkin pie which I also make. I have found other people's pumpkin pie weak tasting, pale, anemic, mushy, yucky or all of these descriptors. My mom's recipe does use evaporated milk, eggs, butter, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and molasses. It is simply the best, although yours sounds pretty great as well. My mom makes the best pies in all forms. She uses a crust made with an egg and vinegar.

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    1. I wouldn't ever try and compete with a mom's pumpkin pie! Well, unless it was my mom's pumpkin pie. Yes vinegar in the crust is a great tenderizer! And that acid helps cut the taste of the egg. I love how much puff egg lends pie crust.

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  14. I adore pumpkin pie, but not on the actual Thanksgiving Day -- I have to have it the next morning with my coffee! My Gramps always told me it was an old New England custom to have pie for breakfast, and even though I live in the middle of the country (at least for now), I carry on the tradition. My family was always known for having an entire table filled with desserts after the main event -- Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, French Silk Chocolate Pie, Black Bottom Pie, Brandy Alexander Pie, Strawberry Cheesecake, Cranberry-Orange Bread, Pecan Pie, and so on -- and my Nana's request was always "Just a sliver of each, dear." Last year, after obsessively reading your awesome Thanksgiving posts, I bloomed my spices for my pumpkin pie -- and will never go back. Thank you! And thank you for your lovely and funny writing and beautiful pictures.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm so glad you tried it and noticed such a difference! Ahhhh those dessert tables sound like heaven! I love pie for breakfast! And agree that pumpkin pie is the best for breakfast!

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  15. Oh- I LOVE LOVE LOVE Pumpkin Pie! It is the Breath of Thanksgiving to me...and I like it even better the 2nd day. I bloom my spices, too, and had never done it until I read YOU did and God knows, if it is good enough for Stephen Andrew it is good enough for me!

    Evaporated milk is actual milk-it has about 50-60% of the water removed from it so it can be stabilized and can be canned and kept for a long period of time. My grandmother said that they used to do that even back when she was a girl to transport milk (in glass jars) to family members that did not keep a dairy cow...yeah..imagine that.

    Not sure I like the look of the craters on top of the pie though (squash). I kind of like that smooth-topped perfection that awaits my knife.

    I am so glad that you are writing and blogging, Stephen. I love reading your posts. I always end up with at least a snort or two right out loud. Lord love ya- xo Diana

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    1. Thank you so much Diana! Haha well I might choose evaporated milk over having to milk my own! On the other hand, I've wanted a Jersey cow since I read "Growing a Farmer" by Kurt Timmermeister (I think). I totally agree! I think normal pumpkin pie is soooo much prettier! I was taken aback last year when I opened the oven door and saw that dark, cracked pie. All that molasses comes to the surface and acts more like a brûlée topping. So it's not the belle of the ball but it has a really good personality!

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    2. I too have read "Growing a Farmer". Great book and he wrote another one I enjoyed, but cannot remember the name.

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  16. I love pumpkin pie, any way you bake it. Where do you buy duck eggs?

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  17. Duck eggs are very hard to source for some reason! Ask around at your farmers market if anyone knows anyone who keeps ducks. They're almost never found at grocery stores! If you're around here though, Elizabeth has them and so does another farm called Darby Meadow.

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  18. it is positively sacriligous sacrilegious sacri UNHOLY to not like punkin pie!
    WHAT is the matter with people???? nobody has ever admitted not liking it in my presence. YET.
    non cook that I am have decided I MUST make your pie and take it with us to Tulsa.
    I will become a non cooking star. I will say it's an old family recipe.
    nah... I'll tell them all the truth. it's really from a food channel star that has his own network.
    get it? NET-work as in brilliant blog on the inter NET! well. you'd have to be there.
    seriously. I adore punkin pie. and yours sounds like heaven. I never get tired of it.
    especially as breakfast with a cup of black coffee.
    also.
    I have decided to vote on the 8th. I have always voted. and I thought I wouldn't but I just have to.
    I cannot choose the wild man. and we're not allowed to write in in our state. so I shall vote for the first woman president. apparently. and hope for the best!
    love and hugs to you and Barbie. XOXO♥

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    1. Good for you! It's not feeling great either way for me either but agree one should vote. Thank you so much! Oh I hope you do make it! It really is wonderful. I'm currently feeling the temptation to just make like 30 pies for Thanksgiving! I could always have a leftovers brunch.

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  19. Forgot to tell you, vis-a-vis the cinnamon and those who hate it: one year, with many cocktails under my belt and laughing with my brother while making stuffing (dressing, whatever), I grabbed the wrong container and dumped cinnamon instead of poultry seasoning into the bread. I dug out a fair amount but there was still a LOT in there. Received so many compliments on it, and all we could do was laugh. He still asks if I use cinnamon in the stuffing!

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    1. Oh how funny!! I think I've added a dash or two of cinnamon to stuffing over the years too. More than anything I like the perfume of the cinnamon hitting the heat with the butter an onion. But what a nightmare for a bunch to drop it in after it's cooked! That is so funny! It's your secret ingredient!

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  20. I have always thought pumpkin pie was for people who were sad. Pathetic. You have made me rethink. I will try pumpkin pie..again........before I die. Not soon.
    Thank you for the reminder!!!!

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    1. Hahaha oh you must try it! I really think you will like it! It has a much darker, toastier flavor.

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    2. Maybe that was why I ate an entire pie...I was sad and feeling pathetic!

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  21. What a delight this is! I love pumpkin pie. I am not on board with the Pumpkin Mania currently sweeping the U.S., but I will do pumpkin pie any time. Which is a problem, living in France, where pumpkin is considered savory, something for soup, and pumpkin pie is unheard-of. I do make pumpkin soup, too. For pie, since those Libby cans weigh a ton in my luggage, I have resorted to making my own purée. I think this might be part of the reason for the Hubbard's superiority: anything fresh is better than anything canned. Libby's is great as far as convenience, but it loses on taste.
    Being in the land of wine and ducks, I can easily get hold of duck eggs (goose eggs, too). I'll give this a try. Unfortunately, my husband is one of those cinnamon haters, but that just means more pie for me. Do the folks in the "barfy" camp also hate pudding and custard? Because pumpkin pie is just a custard pie, like a sweet quiche.
    Thank you for your delightful descriptions and reminiscences and those gorgeous photos (and the recipe!!!). My only complaint about your blog is that you don't post often enough! I could use this uplift on a daily basis (lots of work, I know).

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    1. Thank you so much! Oh I want to live in a land of wine and ducks! And cheese and bread! You know what's funny is she loves custard. Her favorite doughnut is Boston cream which is so gross! I think for her it really is all the spice. I have to admit I have been loving burning a pumpkin spice candle! But you won't find me with a pumpkin spice latte. Pumpkin does make more sense as a savory ingredient. I haven't used goose eggs but have heard they make the best meringue

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  22. I just read online recently that all the store bought canned "pumpkin" is not really pumpkin at all. That pumpkin does not have strong enough flavor or taste and that the canned stuff is really squash. In other words, our ENTIRE lives have been a lie. A LIE. Can you believe it? Of course you can because you have already discovered the truth ~ meanwhile I sit here in a stunned stupor wondering what else we have been lied to about....
    I love, love, love Squash pie and have never found it barfy at all. I dream of making my own fabulous crust but truthfully I use store-bought because, well, I have no good reason. Never tried it so it must be fear of the unknown. Besides, the store bought shit is all natural and has no chemicals or artificial stuff in it, right? ;) I do have a bit of fascinating information to share though: in the October Bon Appetit there is a recipe for a Brown Sugar Apple Pie in which you roast the apples first before even assembling the pie. Revolutionary! I have already made it twice and it is hands down the best apple pie ever. I made it for a dinner party two weeks ago and our guests are still talking about it and texted pics as they devoured the leftovers I sent them home with. Oh, and it also takes a full stick of butter in the apple mixture which I know you will thoroughly appreciate.

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    1. Oh my gosh get practicing on that pie crust now! It is so much better! The hardest part of homemade pie crust is getting it to be workable but not too tough. That's why I think there are so many variations, because each kitchen really needs its own recipe. I need to look at that recipe! It sounds very much like mine. I use 16 apples in mine! I thought I was making enough filling for two pies but it was only enough for one. I cook down sliced apples in a stick of butter, fresh ginger, bourbon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and a little cinnamon. Soooooo good! I need to look into this pumpkin conspiracy!

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  23. OK well obviously your turkey purveyor Elizabeth and I are siblings separated at birth. I have always used heavy cream and brown sugar in my pumpkin pies! And for much the same reason....what exactly IS evaporated milk? And most autumn baking is better with brown sugar, becuase if just gives things a heavier mouthfeel and flavor. Plus milk from a can just sounds gross, right? Anyway, I have a couple of friends who feel pumpkin pie is in the barfy category, and I felt the same until I was well into adulthood. The reason is the texture. And I found that once I used my own pumpkins for the pies, the texture was better for me. So there you go. This year I'm making pumpkin and ollalieberry pies for Thanksgiving, and plan on having BOTH.

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    1. It's funny that I have lots of texture issues with food-why I haaaate beans-but just never felt that way about pumpkin pie! That is really fabulous to serve pies at thanksgiving from your own harvests! You would love Elizabeth!

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  24. Love reading your eloquent raves and stories about your life. Picture #2 notes the molasses in the crust but don't see molasses in your recipe. I've never made pumpkin pie but love the taste of the spices and texture of crust and filling. I think I'll give it a try.

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope you do try it! I'm sorry about that, I should have noted that brown sugar has molasses in it. So the brown sugar is how molasses ends up in there too.

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  25. As you know, I don't live in Pie country - I live in sometimes savoury pie country. I have tried it though and while I have never tasted barf I think it unfair. It is a sweet recipe based on making do of a rather useless ugly cousin of a vegetable and making the most of teetering on starvation so I dare not say a bad word. But it could have a better texture, colour, and flavour. But your friend not liking cinnamon is truly weird. abnormal. Could ginger powder be a possible addition or would it overpower everything? Sometimes I think this is a lot of work to taste some gloopy cinnamony mousse. But i am happy for those who love it and I would have been more than happy to volunteer at your tastings!

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    1. Haha! Oh it's really not that much work! Oh how funny to hear a pumpkin described that way. It is true though. I promise you would love my pumpkin pie. Yes I think one absolutely should add ginger! It's in my filling recipe. I've also made spiced crusts before which are very good.

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  26. PS I concur that you need to write a proper book. And start you tubing. or holding cooking workshops - I would fly over.

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    1. Thank you! Here's the big problem, I really really only want to talk about holidays! I think at some point I'd need to talk about normal life!

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  27. Cooking workshops and flower arranging videos?? Your audience awaits.
    BarbG (also 12:24 pm)

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    1. I could provide the venue......hint, hint, hint....

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  28. No pumpkin pie here. If I'm going to serve and eat all that fat and calories, which I happily do with no guilt :) then it's in the form of a pecan pie. Dan likes chocolate so it usually morphs into a chocolate pecan pie with a splash of bourbon:) I realized a couple of years ago that I was not a pumpkin fan (though I do buy cases of Trader Joe's organic pumpkin for the girls), but I love my pumpkin, cranberry pecan muffins (or loaves). I might have to make up a batch today in fact....
    http://fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com/2010/11/my-thanksgiving-gift-to-you.html
    Is your pie crust posted somewhere? I am a pie crust maker fail :(

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    1. Oh I would love to have your pecan pie! I've only made a few of those and can't remember if I ever actually tried them! I made them for a friend's brunch over the years but I don't think I ever had a slice. Yes, the crust recipe is above the filling recipe. It's a very easy crust to work with! Open your windows when you wake up and let your Island get really cold and it'll be easy!

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  29. No pumpkin pie for me, thank you very much!! I don't like sweet potato pie either, which is the pie of choice here in the Deep South! But one year at Christmas my sister bought a pumpkin cheese cake from Sams which I promptly declared disgusting and that I could not possibly like ... it was sooooo scrumptious. I immediately had to admit I was wrong. It was delicious! But pumpkin pie ... I just don't think so. Prove me wrong, please!

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    1. Oh I love a pumpkin cheesecake! I once made a pumpkin-raspberry cheesecake that was so goooood. I've also made a ginger cheesecake that was phenomenal. Pleeeease try my recipe and let me know! I would love to know I've spread the gospel!

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  30. Oh my you made me laugh - my reaction to your friend not liking cinnamon would have been quite the same as yours. I feel that way every time someone tells me that they don't like chai tea. I am inspired to try your pie recipe! The canned one, of course!

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    1. Thank you so much! I know-cinnamon and the holiday/cookie spices are like the best things in cooking. I really hope you try it! Let me know how it goes!

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  31. I LOVE PUMPKIN PIE! And I just followed the directions for a Libbys - however!! This year I am going to make a Stephen Andrews Pie, You're hilarious!! AS I was reading this post I had just finished writing down the ingredients I needed at the store for a corn chowder I'm making for dinner tonight. One of the ingredients is evaporated milk, LOL! I crossed it off and added heavy cream to the list. Why did I NOT EVER THINK OF THAT!!! I did, however, already think of supstituting brown sugar for white in other recipes. Try making your chocolate chip cookies with just brown sugar, same amount, just no white. BOOM! Love your posts, when are you gonna write that book???

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    1. Haha thank you so much! I have no idea how to write a book or if anyone would publish it! And we all know I'm way too much of a pretentious asshole to self publish! I did switch my chocolate chip cookies to brown sugar and oh my they are sooooo good! Corn chowder sounds fabulous. I missed my opportunity to make it with good fresh corn this year. I don't allow anyone in the kitchen with me when I'm making a chowder or a bisque because the amount of cream I pour in is shocking even to me!

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  32. About that book..... we're not joking here. You've got what it takes. You say you only want to talk about holiday meal prep? Than do it! With SA Hilarity and vulgarity intact! The key is a catchy title.. you've got the writing down already. Section the book off into Season chapters. Add commentary before each recipe... wow, would I love a book like that. It would make a fantastic gift too. You think YOU don't know how? Most really great authors didn't either! Look at JK Rowlings story - how she came to be. She started with NOTHING, less than nothing. Just stories in her head and not a pot to piss in. Now about that Title - Twice the Spice, Stephen Andrews Holiday Kitchen . Keep throwing titles at the wall until one sticks! You can pick this project up and put it down whenever you feel like it. Once it's DONE?... you send it out to a few (like 60) publishers and see what comes back. Not easy to get published but that's how you start. I wonder if Mir (woulda coulda) would have some publishing advice. Make sure as you cook up some of your recipes throughout the year, you either hire a good photographer or you break out your good camera and take a picture. You're already good at the staging. I'll shut up now, but really, truly, seriously... you should do this.

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    1. Haha I really appreciate it! Despite her vast wealth, I probably still have more pots to piss in than JK Rowling does! Thank you! That is definitely the format I would go with. I'm not familiar with Mir. I will investigate.

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  33. Really enjoyed this post.

    I love the recipe in the Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum. You cook the pumpkin and sugar and spices together to deepen flavor and lose moisture. Very delicious! The crust she recommends uses ginger snaps and pecans and is a gorgeous complement.

    Also, I have been using Muffy Aldrich's pie crust recipe (can be found on her blog in the apple pie post). And it is super easy and very tasty.

    A friend fed me some citrus brined turkey last night and it was delicious. I may actually have to make my own this year instead of reheating a Whole Foods turkey.

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    1. Thank you so much! I did that once with my pumpkin pie and agree that it really enhances the flavor. The only thing I didn't like was having to wait for the mixture to cool down to whisk in the eggs! I've often thought a cookie crust would be very good, but can't bring myself to break that far from tradition! Switching to brown sugar was trying enough for me!
      I've always been intrigued to try her crust recipe, it uses milk and oil and is without oil if I recall. If you have them, please share the details on the citrus brine! I think I might make two turkeys this year and sous vide one and brine and roast the other.

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    2. Muffy's pie crust is excellent. I was very dubious, coming as I do from the touch it as little as possible and everything must be ice cold school. I first used it as a topping for the excellent modern chicken pot pie recipe from NYT. Delicious. So then I used her recipe for apple pie, though I added some cinnamon and lemon juice. I think the real beauty of it is that you can measure, mix and roll out in under ten minutes, so it is a total game changer for me in terms of making pie spontaneously. Also, the dough is pretty pliable and easy to work. The only thing I would say as a caution is that you can't wait a day or so to use it by putting it in the refrigerator. It does freeze well.

      Just sent an email to get citrus bringing details and will report back.

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    3. Oh that is wonderful! And I just realized my comment was supposed to read that it is a recipe without butter. Which certainly is interesting. Thank you! Do share the brine when you have it!

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  34. OOOOh, Stephen Andrew you are enticing me to bake. (We've already established that I can't cook.)I actually do make pumpkin pie, directions by Libby, but I am trying yours. Which leads me to a little Thanksgiving story. When I worked and had little time to prepare Thanksgiving, I left the pie-making to a local bakery. I would ask the guests for their favorites, and, inevitably, they would all be different. Not wanting to disappoint, I tried to comply. My boys began to call it the "pie per person meal." Every family went home with a pie. I kept the pumpkin and the apple. It was freakin' expensive, but everyone was happy, including me.

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    1. Yes, yes! Bake! It's totally different to take up cooking/baking when you have time to enjoy it rather than just get it done. Love a pie per person allotment.

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  35. I can't wait to try my pumpkin pie with your amendments this year. I used to make a pumpkin pecan pie that was really good, the best of both pies in one. I should look for the recipe again.

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    1. Excellent! Please let me know how it goes!

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  36. YES,but not as a child!
    FAIRY VILLA...........OMG SHOW me the PLATE In it's entirety PLEASE!
    I want to know who will receive your recipes and I imagine them to be in BOOKS made by YOU once you pass!I would imagine you have given that LOT's of thought!!!BARBI and YOU are SLIM...........at least that is what I am picturing!! How do YOU do IT! ?Love that you feed the FED EX MAN!!! MY apologies as I saw this on my phone but it NEVER came to my BIG SCREEN COMPUTER.......seems my TECHY GUY made the AOL mail MERGE with the GMAIL.........WHAT A NIGHTMARE!!

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    1. Haha they are beautiful plates! There are so few recipes that I actually write down! I'm so bad about just cooking by feel. My brother says I should wear a GoPro camera while I'm cooking so I can watch the footage later and at least guess amounts that I use. Barbie is very very slim! I'm always worried she's too skinny but my vet assures me she is very healthy. she was loving all the trick or treaters last night!

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    2. THAT MEANS YOU ARE THE REAL DEAL........A REAL COOK no recipes!
      YES, A GO PRO!!!!!!!!
      Tell brother that should be under the CHRISTMAS TREE!!!!!!

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  37. Stephen, Carl and I both busted out laughing about the 'barfy pumpkin pie'. I have to admit I've never eaten it because, well, I guess I think pumpkin guts are squishy and... ok, I need to grow up. Carl, on the other hand, has eaten pumpkin pie and though he said he wouldn't go so far as to call it derogatory names, he's not a fan. If there's an apple pie lurking nearby, he will forego the pumpkin in a heartbeat. I am sure if I were so lucky to be treated to one of your pumpkin pies, my opinion would change. Always a treat to visit, you're a bright spot in my day.

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    1. Thank you so much! Will you have everyone this year for Thanksgiving? If you do, maybe you could give this a try! And just use canned...no need to make yourself work with the pumpkin guts.

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