Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This & That & Pumpkin Fudge

I've had a very limbo-esque day.
I'm supposed to be in clinical this week but because my police check hasn't come back yet I'm unable to attend as technically I work with the vulnerable population. I emailed my preceptor, no response. I called the police (not 911) and checked the status of my police check - at least another week, possible 2 or 3. That makes me very very nervous.
Went for a run this morning as I've been super lazy the last week and a bit and need to really crack down as I've only got a week and a bit before the half marthon comes around.
Then I did the laundry (took my aunt's wise advice and went down before the dryer finished), hung the laundry out to actually dry (because without fail I always put too much in the dryer), did the dishes, started another roud of ciabatta bread, and watched the season finale of True Blood. So good.
I've got another day in limbo tomorrow but I've invited friends over for dinner so at least I can spend the day cooking and tidying up. Anything that gives me a purpose, really.
On Sunday night I gave John's sister her birthday gift basket and she loved it. She was impressed that everything was homemade and that there was a nice variety of things.
I also artsy-fartsied up a neat birthday card:

It's the comedy/tradgedy mask which I thought might be appropriate as she is a lighting designer and works on a lot of plays.
Yesterday I went out to grab a few things for dinner and in what I like to call the "odds and ends" section I found some pumpkin. Figuring it was much cheaper to buy this than a whole squash (I did though, I bought a spaghetti squash cause I looooove them), I bought it and brought it home to roast it with butter, cinnamon, and a (generous) drizzle of maple syrup.

I posted this picture because there is a recipe where the ingredients would normally go!
Crazy eh?
What's even crazier is that the directions do not specify how much of any ingredient you need!
So this could be a fun game of trial-by-error.
I'm posting an alternate recipe in case anyone buys a chunk of pumpkin and doesn't know what to do with it. Or wants a new pumpkin desert idea for the aproaching Thanksgiving holiday.
Pumpkin Fudge

1. Grease a pan (8x8 or whatever you've got handy) and set aside.

2. In a saucepan, combine 3 cups sugar, 3 tbsp light corn syrup, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir constantly. Reduce heat to medium and continue boiling but do not stir.

3. When the mixture reaches 234 degrees F (if you don't have a candy thermometer, get a glass of cold water. Drop a bit off of a spoon into the water. If the mixture remains in a ball shape then you're done) remove from the heat. Stir in 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 cup butter. Let cool until it is lukewarm, or about 43 degrees F on the candy thermometer.

4. Beat the mixture until it is very thick and starts to lose some of it's shiny glossy quality. Quickly pour into the greased pan and allow it to set until firm. Once it is firm, cut into individual pieces and enjoy!

Aside from roasting the pumpkin, I also bought figs and cooked them with chicken. Oh man I love figs. I drizzled them with balsamic vinegar and with some honey and just let them go.
'Twas a thing of beauty, those figs.
Finally (before I go and ruin one of John's lovely pots in an attempt to make this pumpkin fudge), I also baked up some red velvet mini-cakes last night.

As much as it worries me that I'm home right now, I'm going to be ticked off when I have to go back to school full time and can no longer spend my days in the kitchen.
C'est la vie.

Better go see if any of the laundry items are dry yet.

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