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Al Owne in the kitchen (12/08/2013)
By Al Owne
Okay, I know it was after Thanksgiving, but I wanted to make a pumpkin pie anyway. I like pumpkin pie! I read the recipe on the store brand pumpkin can and decided that Iíd bought the required ingredients last November and didnít get around to using them. I knew they wouldnít have spoiled in a year sealed up in those cans.

I had seen a program on PBS once where they found an abandoned cabin somewhere which had canned goods more than 100 years old which were still edible, and some glass jars of homemade canned goods. So one year is no big deal in my kitchen.

Ah, but like so many times in my baking adventures I donít pay close enough attention to what Iím doing and therefore things can go wrong. OK, three eggs gently beaten with my Rachael Ray whisk, followed by a cup of sugar, the spices, and a cup of evaporated milk. Now, I remember from last year, when I used a recipe from one of my late wifeís old dog-eared cookbooks, that the can of milk is actually a cup, so you donít have to measure. However, and thatís a big word in this tale, the two recipes called for two different kinds of canned milk: evaporated, and condensed. Evaporated milk cans contain about 1/3 more than condensed. Therefore, when I poured the whole can in the mixture, it was way more than the recipe called for. But that wasnít the big problem. Because I tried to use the whole can, the batter became thin and difficult to deal with and I was using a store-bought crust complete with a very flexible pan. Do you know how hot the oven is for the first 10 minutes of baking a pumpkin pie? Thatís right, 450 degrees. Do you know what happens when you spill some of that pie filling on the glass of the oven door at 450 degrees? Yes, it bakes right on the door. Do you know what happens when you try to wipe it off? Nothing, but you run a good chance of burning your hands. Once again, Iím glad there was no one there taking movies for YouTube or something.

After that debacle, I had to try again the next day. I measured the milk, and put a cookie pan under the shaky pie pan and had a beautiful pie, but the funny thing was the horrible one tasted better. Go figure.

I thought I went shopping on Grey Friday, but it was actually Black Friday. Iíve told folks not to mention this to any of my children or they might pass out on the spot. It wasnít too bad. Of course it was in the afternoon after all the hard-core shoppers had gone home to bed. I only bought one big sale item: a waffle iron. I took it out of the box, but I havenít tried it yet.

In case you arenít feeling old enough today, hereís a little fact to perk you up. Dianne Lennon, one of the cute little sisters from Lawrence Welk, turned 74 this week.

It turned cold. Make sure your furnace is working right and keeping safely warm.

The big day is right around the corner; are you ready? I donít think I am. Donít forget you can reach Al at alnada2407@gmail.com



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