The Wide Angle: Here’s pie in your eye and the floor and the counter

Published 6:30 am Saturday, October 17, 2020

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As I sit here, typing from the living room at home as the good folks from G&G install our new air conditioner, my thoughts drift back to this past Saturday when everything smelled like and was covered by pumpkin.

As it turns out, creating a pumpkin pudding (pie as us Americans call it) is a messy endeavor — at least the way I make it it apparently is.

In short, the pies turned out to be not great, but not bad; the glaring issue being that I clearly got way too much pumpkin into the pie.

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It REAAALLLLYYY tastes like pumpkin. Also the molasses for some reason didn’t really spread about the pie like I would have liked. One bite REAAALLLLYYY tastes like pumpkin while the next bite will only REALLLLYY taste like pumpkin. It tends to be the difference in the number of A’s.

I don’t really understand the molasses spread problem either, especially considering I beat the everloving stuffing out the batter. A good solid 10-15 minutes so one would think it would have dispersed in good order, but then again if I have proved anything; it’s how I can really make a simple thing difficult.

But, I get ahead of myself. Those of you who enjoy a good trainwreck are probably wanting to hear how I got pumpkin everywhere.

First, it started with the cutting of the pumpkin and the time-hallowed tradition of getting seeds and innards everywhere.

Slimy and slippery, the seeds refused to stay where they were meant to go and I would be finding pumpkin strings for a couple days after the fact.

Once prepped, the pumpkins went into the oven at 350 degrees for an hour in order to make it easier to get the skin off.

Elsewhere in the process, the pumpkin leaked all over the open, pumpkin juice adhering nicely to the oven base, boiling up and burning, creating a lovely smell of burnt pumpkin, which if you want to break the love of pumpkin spice, introduce burnt pumpkin spice. Just imagine the sweet smell of pumpkin with the harsh burn of pumpkin.

I ushered the baked, burnt pumpkin to the counter, dripping pumpkin liquid on the floor as it fell off the pan.

Next came the mixing of ingredients and this is where the two much pumpkin came into effect.

The pumpkin mashed remarkably easy, but it certainly wasn’t the pint the recipe asked for, which I neglected to really check. Classic Eric cooking.

On top of that, the recipe calls for a quart of milk and four well-beaten eggs. It became quickly apparent that I did not have a big enough  bowl.

By the time I completed said beating of the batter, it was just about an inch from the top so the mixing I’ve alluded to sent batter all over the counter and the floor.

This was made easier by the fact that the batter was the consistency of well melted milkshakes and it shouldn’t be ignored that pumpkin strings came along for the ride and had to be removed as well, which was just a hoot and half.

The pie crust behaved so there wasn’t anything to worry about there and luckily the pie didn’t spill everywhere which, to be honest, I fully expected at this point to put one on the floor.

And, as I’ve said, the pie came out okay. Not great, not bad.

I’ll try it again at some point because the smell in the kitchen — once the burnt pumpkin went away — was divine, thick with allspice and ginger and molasses sweeping through the house.

Maybe next time I’ll trying measuring.