Pumpkin. Plus Pumpkin.

IMG_5324Thanksgiving is on the horizon so today I did a little prep for it. I baked up and then pureed the two pie pumpkins that have been waiting on the counter for just this holiday. My plan is to bake a pumpkin pie (natch) as well as a pumpkin cheesecake. The pie will be light and delicate. I like it like that, different than the denser pumpkin pies I admit to also readily enjoying. The cheesecake will be heavier, a thick creamy cylinder of deliciousness.

Once the pumpkins were out of the oven and cooled and pureed, I tossed the pumpkin seeds with a little oil and a little salt and roasted them up in the hot oven for a pre-dinner snack. They made a fine pre-dinner snack. While I turned those seeds in the oven, and while I whipped up dinner itself, I sipped my latest beer–a pumpkin ale, light on the spice.

I like a decent pumpkin ale but most of the ones I have tried are pumpkin spice ales, heavy on the cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg and hardly tasting of pumpkin. I created this beer to have an ale worthy of the squash moniker. It has a zip to it that makes me say Hmm as well as Mmm. Good stuff.

On another note, I finally (finally) planted the dang garlic. The last week has been crazy cold and things have begun to freeze up. Today, however, offered a warm enough window. I dug up one garden bed and popped in some bulbs saved from this year’s harvest. Hopefully they will appear as green shoots in the spring.

While I will have to wait many months for the garlic, next week I will get to enjoy a pumpkin pie, a pumpkin cheesecake and a fine pumpkin ale, all in one day. In the meantime, there are these toasted pumpkin seeds to polish off. You know, before they get stale.

Resolutions?

I have never been one for New Year’s resolutions.  I have thought about the idea of them.  As in, “Now would be as good a time as any to set some goals for myself so maybe I should.”  But that idea has never really panned out, turned into action.  So here we are again at the turn of the year.  Good old 2009 has begun.  Should I make some resolutions this year?

So here goes with a brainstorming session on what I might resolve to do.  We’ll start with the classics and see if any of them fit me.  One of the most common resolutions, or so it seems to me, is to lose weight.  I guess I could lose a few pounds but I feel pretty solid, so to speak,  in that area.  I suppose I could cut down on candy but that will happen with the natural cycle of saying goodbye to the holidays.  And other foods to cut out?  Well, I did make a cheesecake yesterday, but once that’s gone I probably won’t make another for a year.  So much for food.

Another typical resolution is to quit smoking.  I wish my brother and sister would quit smoking, those addicts, but I can’t change them.  I don’t smoke, so that one is out.  Exercise more?  I have been getting the runs in and I plan to do a lot more but I don’t need to resolve to do that.  Join a gym?  Waste of money if you ask me.  So healthwise I think I am OK.

How about feeding the brain?  We get only one channel on television so I can’t really cut down much on the boob tube.  I read a lot of news.  I listen to all kinds of books when I am in the car.  I could read more books, the paper kind I mean.  How about I go with that one?

Resolution one:  Read more books, especially in view of my children.  No, that’s too vague.  How about:  Read at least one good book every month so my children can see that I am doing so.

I like my job so I don’t need to find a new one.  I already am in the process of doing a better job.  I am not too concerned with making a lot more money.  I spend a lot of time with my children.  I like to hike and I could do more of that, I suppose.  Dang, this is tough.  I make goals, but those are more fluid, arising with whatever situation I might encounter and wherever I find myself.  This seems a little forced.

So maybe this is why I haven’t made New Year’s resolutions in the past.  I don’t feel that I need to and if I am going to make goals I don’t tend to do it at an arbitrary time like January first.  Or maybe it is because I have too much champagne and then my mind is too fuzzy to think about that.

But I’ve got one resolution.  I will start right now, the first day of the new year.  Once I am done here I will grab the book I just got from the library and get started on a good story.  I guess I could narrow it down a bit further and just say that I resolve to this day read at least a few pages in a good book.  Since the high temperature today was nine degrees, it is a good day to make that happen.

Happy New Year from this freezing town in northern Vermont.  And happy reading to you, too.