Well, here it is. Saturday afternoon. Couldn't post last night for fear of being cited for PWI. We had friends over for dinner and had a really nice time. I think we killed 2 bottles of wine in about 20 minutes. Saved the Newcastles for dessert.
Anyway, yesterday morning I got started by making my pumpkin pie. I had baked the pumpkin the day before and had it pureed and ready. I used this very simple recipe. I had made the crust last week, because I made myself an apple pie for my birthday. Just put the extra in the freezer for this week. For some reason, this batch of pie crust really gave me fits. I was always one to just buy pre-made crusts. Last summer, my Mamaw, who probably makes the best pies in all of WV, taught me how to make pie crust. She's getting older and doesn't like to bake as much. Since no other family members were interested in learning how to make pies, I stepped up to the plate. It's hard, and she told me it just takes lots and lots of practice. Well, after working with this round of pie crust I was frustrated to say the least. My birthday apple pie was ugly as hell, but it tasted great! So, after much work and hole-patching, I finally got my crust for the pumpkin pie into the plate. Every muscle in my back was spasming after that! I decided to crack open a nice, cold Newcastle. It was 11:40 a.m. An hour later, the pie came out of the oven looking absolutely lovely. Yay! (Sorry, the photo isn't great. That Newcastle gave me a surprise buzz, and I didn't really care about the damn photo at the time. I sense a new Friday morning tradition coming on!)
For dinner, I made orange-sesame tofu. I thought a nice side-dish would be Asian tahini noodles. I pressed my tofu for about an hour to get most of the water out. Then I sliced it in about 1/4 inch slices. I browned it on both sides to get it nice and crisp on the outside. Very easy. Just spray some Pam in a non-stick skillet, add tofu and brown both sides. I made lots of tofu, so I did this in batches. While the tofu was browning, I made the orange-sesame sauce. This is just something I came up with, so I don't have exact measurements.
1/2 cup brown sugar
zest from 1 orange, juice from half of that orange
2 TBS Shoyu or soy sauce
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp Thai chile paste
1/4 cup water
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
So, once all the tofu is browned and returned to skillet, turn heat to high. Pour sauce over tofu and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thickened to a glaze-like consistency. Sprinkle on as many toasted sesame seeds as you like. Eat.
The Asian-tahini noodles come from a Cooking Light recipe which I have modified to my liking. It's really simple. Here's the sauce:
2 TBS Tahini
2 TBS water
2 TBS rice vinegar
2 TBS Shoyu or soy sauce
1 1/2 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp Thai chile paste
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
Just throw all ingredients into a bowl and mix them up. Noodles go like this:
8 oz. uncooked whole wheat spaghetti (I've also used Soba noodles here with very good results.
Just rinse well after cooking.)
A whole crap-load of uncooked baby-spinach (In my opinion, it would be difficult to go
overboard with this.)
2 cups of carrots, cut into matchsticks
Boil water. Add noodles when boiling. A couple minutes later, throw in the carrots. Near the very end, throw in the spinach. Drain everything, and return to pot. Pour on sauce and give it a good toss. Sprinkle with green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Eat.
I also served a spring-mix salad with my favorite bottled salad dressing. (I stock up when it's on sale. That amazon.com price is ridiculous.)
So, everything turned out really tasty. I have to say, I think the tofu was the best I've ever made. We are very fortunate here in WV to have a great company that makes awesome, organic tofu. I probably wouldn't eat tofu at all if it weren't for them!
Our dinner guests brought a pumpkin pie for dessert. We pretty much finished it off, and washed it down with Newcastles. It was very, very good. So, I didn't try mine until this morning. What's wrong with pumpkin pie for breakfast? It's like a serving of vegetables, right? Exactly. It was very tasty, and I'd say the struggle with the pie crust was well worth it.
Okay, on to music. Yesterday was a drizzly, dark, cool fall day. I was feeling mellow, so I started the day off with Damien Rice's second studio album "9 Crimes". I've had it on my iPod for nearly a year, and just listened to it for the first time. I had myself convinced that I wouldn't like it nearly as much as his debut album "O". Well, I'm happy to say I was wrong. It is a fantastic album. Sometimes I can't quite figure out how his songs make me feel. Somewhere between sad and joyous. Next, I listened to Bright Eyes' "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning". Another killer album. After that it was Neutral Milk Hotel's "The Aeroplane Over the Sea". Wow. That album is just nothing short of awesome every time I hear it. Especially "Ghost" and the untitled track number 10. Unfortunately NMH hasn't done anything since 1998, and from what I understand, that trend will continue. I guess I was really feeling the horns, because after that, I found myself listening to Beirut's "Gulag Orkestar". Blows. My. Mind. If you haven't heard this, do yourself a favor and listen to it right now!
Thanks for hanging in for this ridiculously long post. I'll keep the next one short!