Monday, 5 November 2012

Autumn food = best food?

        As anyone who's hung out with me for more than 5 minutes will realise, I love food. Autumn is a great time for food because suddenly the weather gives us all carte blanche to eat warm, comforting things like mashed potato and sausages, or spicy bonfire soup. For me, it means a new season of baking- the heavy season of cinnamon and ginger and other yummy things that last a long time and so don't have to be eaten with the urgency of scones with cream and fresh cut strawberries.

I made my first ever pumpkin pie! Well, actually, it was half butternut squash, because I didn't get that much pumpkin from my little Jack-O-Lantern.

(Just like last year, I cobbled together a Halloween costume from existing clothes. This year I was a unicorn farmer)

I decorated the top with flaked almonds before I put it into the oven because I thought the plain pie didn't look that appealing. No pie dish? Improvise like me and use the lid of a casserole dish.

The inner pumpkin doesn't brown, so you still get the lovely orange tone. It's all very rustic looking but I still like how it looks and definitely how it tasted! The recipe I used is here, but a) that website is horribly designed, and b) when I next make this I want to make it without the evaporated milk because it makes me a bit ill (lactose intolerance), so I may post my own recipe/how to in the future.

I thought I had a picture of the set-up I used to tote it to uni, but it turns out I don't, which is a shame because it was adorable and practical. What you do is cover the top of the pie in foil, then wrap a clean tea-towel over the top of that, tucking the corners under. Then place that in the middle of another tea-towel, fold 2 diagonally opposite corners across and tie them over the pie, then take the remaining 2 corners and tie them into a handle. I'll take a pic when I make my next one, I promise!

The other thing I have been making is gingerbread:

IKEA do this adorable cutter set with many forest animals of various sizes including a moose, a fox, a squirrel, and... um... a snail. I also made hearts and teapots.

This poor teapot fused with a fox and ended up with a wonky top, so I made that lemon into lemonade with some icing work. I made the dough at my parents' house (I'm really broke at the mo and didn't have cash for all the ingredients) using Saint Delia's recipe from her book of cakes, which I definitely recommend. The dough is easy to work, comes out of the oven at the perfect hardness, and tastes really good.

Lastly, I made my flatmate a little house with a template I made myself. Gingerbread architecture is so fun!

There wasn't much dough left over (because I kept eating it raw) which is why he ended up with such a tiny house. But it meant I could make it look like a snowglobe with the addition of a pyrex bowl over the top and a sprinkling of icing sugar snow.

There will be more baking soon, but right now I am more worried about opening my other "oven" tomorrow- kiln 10. Especially as it went on with a really wonky bottom kiln prop.

It's hard to see from that pic, but the whole thing is literally being held up by a tiny bead of glaze. And that's all my work on the bottom shelf...

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