28 October 2006

Brit-O-Lantern, et. al.

by Rachy Rach

OK, so, the really great thing in this country is that we have so many holidays that are, like, not all religiously oriented and biased and rooted in materialism and whatever. Like Martin Luther King Day, which was created to celebrate diversity, or Thanksgiving, which has been around for at least a hundred years and is purely a time for family togetherness and old-fashioned home cooking. And Easter too--bunnies, arts and crafts, plain old fun.

Not to mention Halloween! Halloween is an occasion for wholesome, fun quality time, dressing up and carving pumpkins. It's probably the least corrupted, vulgar, commercialized thing you could come up with! Good job USA. Halloween has already improved my daily life this week, or at least one day of it. We invited all our friends over on Thursday and told them to bring a pumpkin and we would provide knives (safe ones) and fun for the whole family. And we carved the pumpkins and made a killer collection of jack-o-lanterns!

Seriously it was SO FUN. People got way into it and the air was full of pumpkin smell and you could really tell that everyone's creative juices were flowing, which I have to say made us kind of proud because it's always good to help stimulate people's minds and make them step out of the box a little bit. And they really crossed that line:

There's a koala my friend carved, and then Britney Spears which I made. That Britney did not look so hot after I carved her, believe me, and I was all worried that it looked more like "Britney shot in the face" as one of my friends said. But the we lit it up and honestly it looks SO good! Ha ha I showed them. It's cool because both koalas and Britney are cute and happy, and I think probably really fun in real life. I only wish we'd had a Kevin Federline stencil to go with Britney because HOW CUTE WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN.

Anyway I just want to encourage everyone to partake in this American tradition and enjoy some time with your family and friends. Also be sure to include any foreigners you might know--we invited our Finnish friend who seriously didn't even know where pumpkins come from, and now she can feel like she fits better into society here.

ALSO, I'm super excited because when I was thinking about this post, I was wishing that I had this recipe for pumpkin pot de creme that I cut out and then could never find again. And then--no joke--I found it on my desk here at my parent's house where I am for the weekend to celebrate my grandmother's birthday! I can't believe it after a whole year it was here at the exact right time. I love that.

Pumpkin Pots de Creme with Amaretti-Ginger Crunch

1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups heavy cream (whoa)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
8 egg yoks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional) (but not really since cinnamon is delicious)
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional) (see above)
2/3 cup crumbled amaretti cookies
1 Tbsp. finely chopped crystallized ginger

1. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring pumpkin, cream and vanilla bean to a boil; set aside for 15 min., then remove vanilla bean. In a medium metal bowl or the top of a double boiler, combine egg yoks and sugar. Place bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Whisk constantly until mixture forms a ribbon when you lift the whisk (about 6-8 min.). Be careful not to overheat, or egg mixture could curdle.
2. Whisk in hot pumpkin mixture, and cook over medium heat, whisking often, until mixture has consistency of thick cream (40-50 min.). Mixture should gently steam; be careful not to overheat. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, if using, and mix well. Strain into a pitcher or a bowl with a pouring lip.
3. Divide mixture among 10 to 12 teacups, ramekins or custard cups. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. Just before serving, combine amaretti crumbs & ginger, and sprinkle on top of each dessert.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i carved a sugar glider jack o'lantern, and trust me, your britney looks far superior to my fearsome critter from down under. --carolyn

29 October, 2006 18:36  

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