This is an entry from my old non foodie journal. Just thought I’d share. Yes, still me, still insanely silly
My son Zach went trick or treating last year. He was a werewolf…again. He has a fascination with them. I haven’t decided if I simply need to hide the cats during a full moon, wonder if he is Lon Chaney reincarnated or just get him therapy. Zach constantly bemoans the fact that he hasn’t yet grown enough body hair to make a Spyhnx Cat happy much less a werewolf.
I still remember when I found him and his older brother Jordan in the bathroom cutting each others hair and trying to super glue it to their faces. After I stopped laughing and wiped my eyes, I had to figure out a way to get the hair and the glue off their faces. I was tempted to just leave it there and let them go to school looking like the bastard love children of Tiny Tim and The Bearded Lady but the mental image of myself trying to explain to the Child Protection Services why my sons were covered in glued on hair made me think better of it.
Moving on. My father, who died in April of ’06, loved Halloween. Ok, so he was a diabetic who loved any excuse to eat candy but he did adore Halloween. Every year we went through the same routine. I would take him shopping and he would buy six or seven of the HUGE bags of candy. You know the kind; the ones with enough in them to feed either a small third world country or Nicole Ritchie on a binge. Most would be the mini chocolate bars with one or two bags of Smarties and Sweet-tarts. I would nag him about not needing so much because we lived in a rural area where we are lucky (or blessed depending on your viewpoint) to get ten kids coming to the door. He would say that what didn’t get eaten he could give to my kids *snorts… uh huh*.
Come Halloween, an hour after trick or treating would start, I would invariably find him sitting in his lawn chair, candy wrappers around him as he dozed in the blissful dreams of a mini diabetic coma and dreamt of Kim Novak hand feeding him Nestles Crunch bars. He would be surrounded by neighborhood cats and dogs sniffing through the wrappers trying to find some crumbs of forbidden chocolate heaven. I am fairly sure he alone was responsible for quite a few animals dying a sugar induced death. The children loved him though. Where else could they go and grab handfuls of candy without the watchful eyes of an (awake) adult telling them to not take more than one or two?
Every year, the day after Halloween, he & I would go through the kids bags. Ostensibly it was to sift through it and get rid of anything iffy. In reality though it was to take all the good stuff and then when the kids asked where it went to, to point the sticky finger at each other. Last year, the popular item seemed to be Dum Dum Suckers. Lots and lots of Dum Dum suckers. I tried for months to figure out what to do with all. There are only so many times one can serve Dum Dum Roast for dinner with a side of Mashed Dum Dums before the family refuses to eat. Now I just sneak them in like most mothers do Spinach. “Here you go honey… eat your Dum Dums first then I’ll get you some nice chicken… c’mon it looks sooo good doesn’t it? You used to love the Cream Soda flavor”.
I had to laugh when Zach got home with his goodies. He dumped the bag out, got the most disappointed look on his face, turned to me and said “dum dum suckers?! Awww man”!!! My father was surely laughing himself silly as Kim fed him Snickers bars and Three Musketeers.
Dum Dum Au Gratin anyone???? I’ll share.
Ahhh dad, Halloween just isn’t the same without you this year.
In honor of Halloween, I have made a Pumpkin Souffle. I couldn’t resist making a delicious Maple/Brown Sugar Whipped Cream to go with it because…well, because I’m me
This is sooooo good! And contrary to popular belief, not hard at all. Yes, your souffle will fall. It’s supposed to. You have to be quick to serve them but even if they collapse before you get them to your family or guests, they will NOT care. I promise. They will be too busy moaning in ecstasy. So try this. because I said. And because it’s something a little different in the pumpkin arena. And because it’s insanely good.
Pumpkin Pie Souffle With Maple Brown Sugar Whipped Cream
- Maple Whipped Cream-
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (not Mrs. Butterworths… as good as she may be)
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pumpkin Pie Souffle-
- 6 egg whites, room temp
- 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar (do NOT omit. It helps stabilize the egg whites)
- 6 egg yolks, room temp
- 1/2 cup sugar plus extra for coating souffle dishes
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (leave Maryann, Gilligan and The Professor alone)
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Make your Maple Whipped Cream-
- Add the maple syrup and brown sugar to the cup of heavy cream in a large bowl. Beat until the cream is stiff. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Coat 4 8 ounce lightly greased souffle dishes with sugar . I only had mini and extra large dishes so I used 2 ten ounce ones and 2 six ounce ones. Works out the same.
- Set them into a 13×9 baking dish.
- While preparing the souffles, heat up 2 cups of water in the microwave. Leave until ready to use.
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a large GLASS bowl until foamy. Gradually add in the 1/2 cup sugar. Continue beating until the egg whites are glossy and stand up in soft peaks.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Add the 1/2 cup pumpkin and the spices (tip- Have all your stuff measured before you begin making this. It makes the process much easier and you don’t have to worry about your whites deflating while you are scurrying around for spices and sugar and such.).
- GENTLY fold the egg yolk/pumpkin mixture into the egg whites until no streaks of white remain.
- Pour mixture into prepared dishes.
- Put in oven and carefully add the 2 cups of hot water to the baking dish (NOT into the souffle dishes ).
- Bake at 375 until tops are nicely browned and the souffles have risen, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve with the maple whipped cream.