Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pumpkin & Martinis.

So (in Vancouver at least) it finally felt like fall today. We've been having this crazy summer where it seemed the hot weather would last forever. Sun, and then more sun, and then... MORE SUN! But the sun has to catch his flight back to Florida or Waikiki to his true love while Vancouver mopes and sighs and eats pralines n' cream by the spoonful. Yes, it was exactly like that. 
And if you extend my clever little metaphor to a painful degree... the pralines and cream are pretty little leaves falling and all this wonderful comfort food and sweaters that can be indulged in guilt-free (but not the leaves). 
Example: Eighteen 27, nestled in the main strip in Ft. Langley ( Find the big town hall, walk towards the river (there's a trail there too, if you want to work up an appetite) for half of a block. With the dim lights and swanky piano playing, it's (at first) not the image of seasonal anything. But the stuffed chicken breast with granny smith apple.... we both agreed that mash potatoes have never tasted so good. And although we had to squint in the glow of a tiny tea light to determine the types of fall veggies artfully placed around the plate... (asparagus? bean?) who cares about vegetables when you have stuffed chicken? The sweetness of the sauce, cheese and tender chicken made for excellent comfort food, but not the kind that your stomach makes you regret. And add to the mixture a cranberry and raspberry martini, and you have fall eating at its best.  

... and that's just the main course. There's a whole other world of DIY desserts. Neither of us had made cake before, so why not make a pumpkin pound cake? With caramelly walnut sauce, of course. 
Although we did have to buy canned pumpkin to save time, it is the best to take an entire giant pumpkin, saw it into little pieces and stew it for half a day (We did that last year. I really don't know how we found the time). Then you can make seasonal MUFFINS! COOKIES! PIE! CAKE! because you can freeze it and drive your friends/relatives/neighbours mad by using it for the rest of the year. 
Anyways, after dropping an egg on the floor, and totally screwing up the first part of the recipe instructions, we managed to mix together a respectable batter. The inclusion of pumpkin makes it pretty much terms of moisture. and taste. Whatever you do, don't undercook it.. we had to leave ours in for a bit of extra time, which wasn't so bad, because it gave us time to perfect the caramel walnut concoction!! (and do the dishes..) 
To make a long story short, we "inverted" the cake from its Bundt pan at approximately 15 minutes after it came out of the oven, and unable to wait until it cooled fully to sample it, cut two slices. and then two more slices. and then two more. the rest is history. 
(picture courtesy of shaquan)