December 4, 2007 at 7:41 am
God help me, but I learned something from Martha Stewart.
I don’t have anything against Martha Stewart, but I’ve never vibed with her either. She cooks quail eggs. What could I possibly have in common with someone who cooks quail eggs? But when I was out sick I watched daytime television. I don’t have cable, so I have about nine stations, six of them without static. After three cycles through the channels, I watched the last ten minutes of Martha as she made a pumpkin bunt cake. She scooped the pumpkin into her state-of-the-art mixer which probably costs more than my laptop. Simply owning that mixer would probably transform me into the type of person who cooks quail eggs. As she dumped pumpkin into the mixing bowl, she mentioned that if you are using homemade pumpkin puree, be sure to drain it using a cheesecloth because it retains a lot of water. Otherwise your cake will get really soupy.
That same week my mother came over and showed me how to chop, boil and puree a pumpkin. She even brought her own big, orange squash as a demonstration model in addition to the pumpkin I’d bought myself. How sweet of her, she who was well aware that chopping, boiling and pureeing a pumpkin takes more time and effort than walking to the grocery store on your hands to purchase canned pumpkin. I was the victim of a pumpkin dumping ring! I was left with two pumpkin’s worth of puree in my freezer. When I froze them in my disposable Tupperware containers, they turned into mini, pumpkin glaciers.
Taking Martha’s advice, I defrosted a tub and bought some cheesecloth at Kroger. I didn’t even know Kroger sold cheesecloth, but they do. I don’t know if there are any cheese makers in this area, but the fabric must be popular enough to justify stocking it. After draining the pumpkin, I checked the bowl beneath it to see how much water had accumulated. There were one and a half cups. One and a half cups! No wonder I had a pumpkin popsicle. Once I defrosted and drained the rest of my pumpkin, I freed up significant space in my freezer.
I made some pumpkin bread and some pumpkin cheesecake and neither one of them tasted like pumpkin soup, at least partly because of Martha Stewart and partly because I’m too cheap to buy cable.