News from the EffinArtist test kitchen

We start with an interesting commentary on contemporary life. Just last month pumpkins were as ubiquitous as hair on my back. Now the produce guy tells me there are none in stock. Ten days before the biggest pumpkin holiday of the year and a major grocery has nary a single pumpkin. This just shows how far removed our “food” culture is from actual food. The demand for carving and tossing food is more important that actually eating it.

It makes me more serious about the new ethos that says if you aren’t willing to do what it takes to obtain your food, you shouldn’t eat it. Granted, I just had a cow sent to the slaughterhouse … see photo below… (he looks a little pissed if you ask me, but then again, wouldn’t you be..?)


and while someone else did the honors of execution and hanging and cutting, I made up my mind that I WOULD do it. In fact, next year, I’ll likely ask to find a butcher I can be somewhat more in the process. Likewise, I don’t enjoy tearing the dingy off crabs, but I did it. By the way, my steer — I call him “Dinner” –is now hanging. Dinner came in about 200 pounds overweight (typical a cow in our family would be overweight… but I guess in cow speak its a good thing).

Anyway, before I dive into the pumpkin stories of the day, a thought… speaking of the hairs on my back: My bride did me the favor of shearing me the other day. At my feet was a pile of wool. How is human wool different from sheep’s wool? This seems like a renewable resource that should have a market. Reduce, reuse, recycle and restore, right? So… The Effin Artist Italian Wool Company?

OK… on to the kitchen!  Don’t worry. Know.. wait I mean NO (big difference!) shearing takes place in the kitchen.

This week we have THREE pumpkin projects:

The first, a test pie in preparation for Thanksgiving is already underway…

2013-11-18 19.17.30

This is a beauty. We are going to make a few minor tweaks for the holidays, but this particular combination of pie and filling, culled from the ranks of pie genius, is divine. My biggest complain about pumpkin pie is its too sweet. Not this, full of complex flavors like ginger, cinnamon, and flaky crust. The whipped cream provides the sweetness and can be dolled out by the individual. Our holiday guests will get the chance to chime in, so expect reader reviews soon. We’ve found in person reviews to be a bit kinder than the cyber-kind… not sure what that it is, but my friend told me my recent photo mad me look ‘intimidating,” which he says will scare off publishers. Maybe that has something to do with it. As for scaring publishers, I told him. “You want me to look like a punk? I ain’t no punk.” He said I need to recognize my audience and environment has changed of late. I’m considering that. But I digress.

Project two is our very own invention: a pumpkin empenada. Typically these are sweet, like brown sugar pumpkin turnovers. But my sugar buzz from buttermilk week lingers like a bad hangover, so I’m moving this into the savory realm. Ours will be filled with meat and herbs to offset the sweetness of the brown sugar and pumpkin mix. Stay tuned.

Project three is a return to our foundational elusive artistry: Chocolate, which is the damn point of this whole thing when I’m not chasing after the next shiny thing like a meth addict in the throws of a big one. This will be a pumpkin chocolate truffle.

A fourth bonus project could be in the offing, but we’ll see.

Let the Pumpkin Games Begin! 

To UNSUBSCRIBE call out to the universe for cosmic assistance… what’s that?… oh the universe just called back. She said “no.”

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