Ok, so I have parts of three different pumpkin pies in my fridge at the moment, and all three were made by yours truly in the little-bit-less-than-a-week.  Crazy, I know.  The first one, I made on my self-declared “Pumpkin Pie Day” last Tuesday.  I wanted to buy pumpkin, so I got my butt down to Walmart and I bought pumpkin, gosh darn it!  While I was there, because they were cheap, I also grabbed a couple of graham cracker crusts and a box of vanilla pudding.  Inspiration struck when I got home and was fishing through my mind and the sides of packaging for a pie recipe while thinking of how dang hot it still is around here.  I didn’t want to turn on the oven or the stove, so I invented the recipe for two of those partial-pies hanging out in my fridge.  I call it (you’re going to love this): THE EXTREMELY LAZY CHEF PUMPKIN PIE!  Ok, so here’s what you do.  You get a cheap-o pre-made graham cracker crust.  Then, you start following the directions on the side of your box of Jello-brand instant vanilla pudding until the part where it tells you to let it set in the fridge.  Instead of letting it set in the fridge, whisk in a quarter cup of brown sugar and 1.5 tbsp of pumpkin pie seasoning.  Once those are whisked in, stir in the contents of one 15 oz can  of Libby’s Pumpkin.  Then dump it all into the pie crust, stick it in the fridge, and in 5 minutes you have pumpkin pie.  No kidding.  It really is incredibly good, and everyone who’s tried it thus far has loved it.  I brought the second LazyPie to the jingju cast Halloween party on Saturday, and even the teachers from China loved it, despite the fact the only utensils we had to eat it with were chopsticks.

Now, about the controversial pie I mentioned: As you all likely know, I spend my Sunday nights with the Hawaii Gagaku Society (see “Rum’s Favorite Cookie”, if you need a reference post).  Last week, I promised the gang that I would bake a pumpkin pie.  I used the recipe on the side of the can of Libby’s Pumpkin more or less, but I left out the eggs, added a tablespoon of butter and a half cup of flour.  I also added some ginger along with the pumpkin spice.  The resultant pie was quite nice, and I liked it, and it made the weirdest stir at the Gagaku society.  More or less simultaneously, Evelin across from me made a face and said there was too much spice, Chow to my left turned to me and said “next time, more spice,” and Yuka and Yoko to my right were holding a conversation in Japanese about how they’d never tasted a more perfect blend of spices in a pumpkin pie.  Polly agreed that the spices were perfect, and Yuka and Polly decided between them that their tastes matter more than Chow and Evelin’s because they’ve been in the society for longer.  Yuka claims it was the best pumpkin pie she has ever tasted.  Chow said the crust was too hard.  The rest of the society, I am sure, had an opinion, but they kept it to themselves.

I’m going to eat what’s left of that particular pie for breakfast in the morning.  There’s not much of it left.  The only person who left some on his or her plate was Evelin (who thought it was too heavy as well as over-spiced).  All in all, I’d say it went over well.  If I decide to bring pumpkin pie again, I think I’ll use exactly the same recipe.

Note: Don’t try this at home, kids!  At least not until you’re over 21…

Hawaii Gagaku Society is a weekly social-life-saver.  Yeah, the sitting around practicing ancient music on plastic versions of ancient instruments is pretty dang awesome in itself, but more to the social point, I get to hang out with a bunch of seriously dorky, music-loving adults who bring the most amazing potluck entrees and enjoy talking like pirates, dweebishly punning, and mocking Japanese commercials.  It’s my only big non-theatre-people-and-gamers social outlet.  I bring this up as a sort of prelude to my explanation of how we discovered “rum’s favorite cookie.”  See, I don’t always have time to cook my potluck contribution, and this often means that after I flail at the contents of my refrigerator I resort to hitting the grocery store for a bag of chips or cookies.  A couple weeks back, I saw bizarre specialty Oreo cookies on sale, and I wound up buying a great big bag of the reverse kind that have Vienna finger-style white cookies and chocolate filling.  They’re sort of inside out as compared to conventional Oreos.  Anyhow, at our usual Sunday gagaku rehearsal/potluck yesterday, there was still half a bag left in the storage closet, so they wound up on the table with everything else.  At the same time, someone had brought black-strap “Cruzin” rum (and yes, this meant much pirate-talking).  At some point, nearly everyone at the table started dunking the cookies, and lo and behold, everybody thought the combination was the most awesome thing since normal Oreos met milk!  “It’s rum’s favorite cookie!” someone who remembered the “milk’s favorite cookie” ad campaign declared, and you know, our version is so dang much more awesome than the Nabisco version that I felt like I had to share it with the world ^_^.  And now you know.  Heeeeee.  -EGD