Monday, October 1, 2012

211. Pumpkin Pudding

I cannot believe that it is October 1st.  Where does my time go and why does it fly by so fast?

Here we are though.

The leaves are turning red. The morning is cool.  The air fresh.

This morning as I walked Isabella to school I stepped onto my cracked cement steps, filled with my pots of flowers. The last few blooms of red, yellow, orange and pink trying to hold on for one more day.

The air is too crisp for me to not run back inside to fetch a light jacket.  My breath is visible as I run back outside to meet Isabella for our 5 minute walk to the school.

We notice that our neighbors tree has started to turn red.  We see the puddles left over from the rain the night before.  Change is coming.

I love change.  I love the feeling of something new in the air.  I am always reminded of the movie Chocolat and the wind that always signified change.

It's a good thing.

I have been ready for it to be cooler for a month now. Our summer was blazing hot.  Our waters too full of jelly fish to enjoy the beach.  We missed that family tradition and so we were longing for the traditions that follow us into the months of October, November and December.  My favorite time of the year.

This weekend we planned out our month with the kids.  We are heading to the tree house camp to spend 3 days as a family, we will hit the pumpkin patch somewhere close to our home, do a ghost tour of Annapolis and visit our family in VA.

Our month will be busy and it will go by way to fast.  Like last month.

How do we slow it down?  Do I want to?

For me, I plan it out.  If I don't then time goes by and we don't do anything fun, as a family or for ourselves.  It is important to make the time.  All too often I hear the words from my family, "do we have to go", "can't we stay home",  "lets go next week" or , and this is my favorite, "this will be so boring".

We go any way.  I listen to the groans, and words spilled under their breathe.  WHY?

I know.

I know that this might be our last time together.  I know that we always have a good time.  I know that I can't freeze time.  I know that my kids will grow up and be gone before either of us knows what hits us.

I know.

Time is unstoppable and so is our decision to live our lives.  If we don't do the things we talk about or plan then we will be 20+ years into our life and looking back wondering.

I don't ever want to do that.  I want to look back and know that I spent every ounce of my life doing something for good, sharing it with those that I love and spending my time wisely.

This time of year is always reflective because it is where some of my most precious memories reside from my own family growing up.  I travel back in time and think about time spent with cousins, traditions of pumpkin patches, dressing up in costume and laughing.

We can't stop time but we can certainly make the most of it.

I spent some time last week making pumpkin pudding.  Oh is it good!

I hope you enjoy this simple recipe that can be eaten in a dish with a bit of whipped cream or layered in a trifle with gingerbread chocolate cake and caramel.  The pudding is rich, thick and taste like pie.

It's a keeper of a recipe for this time of year.  ENJOY!

Recipe:  Homemade Pumpkin Pudding

2 cups f 2% milk
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup of corn starch or arrowroot starch
2 large eggs
1 cup of pumpkin
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

Toppings:  whipped cream, sprinkled cocoa powder and chocolate curls

In a sauce pan, add milk, brown sugar and corn starch.  Whisk to combine.  Bring to a boil.

Boil for 3 minutes.  It will start to thicken. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, add eggs. Whisk.

To combine the eggs with the boiled mixture you have to do several things.  You do not want to scramble the eggs so this step is required to slowly integrate the eggs into the milk mixture.

I use a measuring cup and take 1 cup and slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs.  Whisking the whole time.

This brings the eggs up in temperature so that they can easily be added to the remaining milk mixture.

Combine the two, by slowly pouring the egg/milk into the milk/sugar mixture.  Whisking the whole time.

Return to stove and bring to boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.

Pudding should be thick.  Stir in pumpkin, salt and pumpkin spice.

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cooled.  For individual portions, add the pudding to the cups before the set.

Serve with whipped cream, chocolate curls and chocolate sprinkled cocoa.

2017 Spring Break in Portland,OR-LINKS, IDEAS, and PICTURES

This year we have decided to stick around Oregon for our vacations. Our first stop was Portland, OR. This is a place that Cory and I ...