Thursday, November 18, 2010

Baking day #1: punkin' pies

3:56 p.m. Today's project was to bake two pumpkin pies. I needed to freeze them in several layers of aluminum foil, because we'll be picking up our grandsons on Saturday, and my traditional pie day, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, will be taken up with family time.
I discovered the recipe I now use last year, after almost four decades of sweating it out as my regular Libby's recipe cooked for at least 30 minutes longer than promised. I had to put foil on the darkening crust while the center stayed liquidy!
And since all this would be taking place on Tuesday night after a long day of teaching, it was one hot kitchen here at home. So I would pray, occupy myself with chopping up celery and onion, frying up the sausage for the stuffing, and try not to snap at the family!!
I would get so convicted! We need to remind ourselves whom we are making this meal for--the Lord, and our families. We homemakers and cooks need to glorify the Lord in all things and thank Him as the Pilgrims and Christian Indian Squanto did, before and during our "meal of the year."
In Nehemiah 9:36, after the Jews who returned to the land of their forefathers had signed their covenant, they recounted their times of exile and then said:
Here we are, servants today!
And the land that You gave to our fathers,
To eat its fruit and its bounty,
Here we are, servants in it!
Can't you just feel their amazement, energy, and total excitement to be in the land? By chapter 11, the people had drawn lots for one in ten to dwell in Jerusalem, "And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered themselves to dwell in Jerusalem" (v.2). The work then began on the House of the Lord.
I thought that this phrase from verse 17 was a blessing: "the leader began the thanksgiving with prayer." And that's how I want to begin thanking the Lord, with heartfelt prayer.
So imagine my delight when, last fall, I was flipping through one of my many dog-eared food/baking/cooking/women's magazines and found the pumpkin pie recipe that produced easy, perfect pies on the first try. God had answered 30 years of prayer and ended 30 years of aggravation!
And also, kudos to Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk!
Perfect Pumpkin Pie
1 15-oz can pumpkin
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in a medium bowl until smooth and pour into crust.
Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat and bake an additional 35-40 minutes or until knife inserted one inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired.

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