Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This is Christmas at the Robinsons:

In the pool. Caleb just learned to swim.


Self portrait, just to prove I really was there.

Our stockings this year were really hosery (and yes, Santa brings toothpaste) - our stuff still hasn't arrived (it's two months late) - which also means that I had to bake my pies in a casserole dish and its lid. Yes, that is pumpkin pie. I bought a japanese pumpkin and steamed and mashed it. It tasted great, but too much work. I'm not really a fan of pumpkin pie anyway. I just wanted it because I couldn't have it.

Ginger bread houses.

We had dinner and played games with friends, then climbed around on Mount Coot tha.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A tale of two Pies

Thanksgiving was great. We celebrated on Saturday with some fellow Americans. Christy (from Baton Rouge) and Mike (Colorado) cooked the bird (and made Christy's grandma's cornbread stuffing - yum!), which left us with the other stuff. I love pie and I was really looking forward to pumpkin pie. I decided to make a pecan pie too - mostly for Christy - she's southern and she's pregnant. Gotta have pecan pie.
Alright, I admit, I procrastinated. Friday night, I went to the store to get the ingredients. I already had the crust tackled. My mom sent me Crisco for Christmas. (Can't get Crisco here - we cook with butter.) Thanks mom. Pie crust just isn't the same without it.
On to the filling. I asked one of the nice blokes at the grocery store where I might find pumpkin pie filling. He looked at me like I was crazy. Ok. How about just pie filling, do you sell that? "Thud oil on the leeft, might." (Translation - third isle on the left, mate.) He sent me to the pie fillings. There was minced chicken pie, curried beef pie. Hmm. Apparently "pie" here is made with meat. Oh, ok. Could you direct me to the tart fillings? No pumpkin. Do you have pumpkins? Sure, would you like butternut pumpkin? Ok, so pumpkin is squash. How about apples? Do you have those? Good.

On to the pecan pie. My recipe calls for Karo syrup. I already know they don't carry it here, but I have connections. My friend Penny (just returned from living in Finland) just happened to see it at an obscure convenience store ($6 for an extra small bottle.) All I needed was the nuts. Once again, I asked the chappy in produce what he had. Do you have puhCAHNS? No, how about puhCANS? PeaCahns? Oh, never mind, I see them over there. Oh, did you mean PEAcins? Yes. The pie was great.

Next year, I will be ordering pumpkin pie filling from the American online grocery, and those little fried onion things for the green beans.