Friday, September 22, 2006

Elephant Appreciation Day, Hobbit Day, Egg Equinox Retraction, September 22nd

Elephant Appreciation Day

Elephants are not my favorite animals. Well, mostly because I never liked zoos, because I hate monkeys. I did sort of like elephants because of the Kipling Story, but was always turned off by the smell. But after reading this web story which shows that elephants love to eat pumpkins, I now have a new love for elephants. Elephants love pumpkins; I love pumpkin food stuffs. It's almost like we are the same being! I must now say that I love elephants because they love pumpkins.

My favorite pumpkin recipes are:

Pumpkin Melt in Your Mouth Biscuits

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/3 cup butter, cold
3/4 cup pureed pumpkin (cooked or canned)
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Sift flour into mixing bowl. Stir in remaining dry ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Stir in pumpkin and milk to form a soft dough. Roll out on floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out biscuits with biscuit cutter. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 24 to 30 biscuits.

Pumpkin Smoothie

2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 dash vanilla extract, plus 2 dashes
1 1/2 cups crushed ice
Cinnamon for garnish
In a blender, combine pumpkin, soy milk, yogurt, pumpkin spice, juice of half a lemon, and 1 dash of vanilla extract. Blend together until smooth, and begin adding the ice while continuing to blend. When mixture is thick and creamy, stop and hold in refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread
This is absolutely the best with bagels or crackers! As good as Einstein's!

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Makes 1-1/2 cups (24, 1-tablespoon servings).

And what would pumpkin recipes be without a pie?

Buttermilk Pumpkin Pie

This pie is lighter in texture and a little tangier than traditional pumpkin pie. The buttermilk flavor is wonderful. This pie is best served chilled.

1 disk, Pie Crust
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon., 2t ginger, 1 t nutmeg, ¼ t ground cloves
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 cups milk + 2 Tablespoons lemon juice till curdled

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 12 inch round. Carefully transfer to 9-inch pie pan. Press into pan. Trim and decoratively crimp edges. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake crust until just golden, about 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, whisk eggs, egg yolk and sugar in large bowl until blended. Mix in flour, spices and vanilla. Stir in pumpkin and butter, then milk & lemon juice mixture. Pour filling into crust. Bake until set (center will puff slightly) about 45 minutes. Cool completely.

And with that we are almost ready to celebrate the Month O'Pumpkins! Woo Hoo!

Hobbit Day

If you have any bad rings laying around... please toss them into the nearest volcano, so that we don't have a dark lord and armies of orcs taking over the country... oh, wait... Who ever has the one ring, get rid if it now!

Happy Birthday Bilbo and Frodo!

Egg Equinox Retraction

After further research, I have found that the eggs balancing on the Equinox is an urban legend. Sorry. Apparently, eggs can balance on any old day of the year. It has nothing to do with the tilt of the earth. This astronomy facts website helps answer some of these questions, and guides us to further egg balancing experiments, and blames the media for continuing to do news stories that promote these rumors. Check the site out, see if you want to do your own experiments. Can you balance an egg today? How about tomorrow- Equinox? And then the day after? Be your own myth-buster!