Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

I will be absent for the next several days, but for a good reason.

Next week is our 25th wedding anniversary. After considering a few options, we decided to host a small dinner party at the lake house to celebrate. I’ve never hired a caterer, or a restaurant, to provide food for a party, but we decided that it would be appropriate to do so for this occasion. Well, that didn’t work very well. We couldn’t decide on the type of food, or the caterer/ restaurant, and so it was eventually decided that I would make the meal. It would be an easy, mostly made-ahead dinner. Nice thought, wasn’t it?

The resulting menu features a mix of purchased items, plus some which are made ahead, and it is supplemented with a few things to be prepared at the last minute. Really, it seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I wish I had held out for my choice of restaurant to provide our dinner! I should have known, I can’t do anything simply and easily. I over-do everything, make it into a production. I mean, we are having three different types of ravioli and tortellini!

Tomorrow we shall pack up and go to the lake house, to host our party on Saturday evening. I have baked the cake and the bread which are now in the freezer. I squeezed 2 cups of lemon juice, two cups of lime juice, and pureed mandarins for one before-dinner cocktail; made a cranberry-orange syrup for another. The ingredients for the non-alcoholic punch are ready to go as well. Two weeks ago, while we were spending the weekend at the lake house, I made a roasted pear and butternut squash soup and put that in the freezer along with the stuffed pastas (which I bought! See, it was easy on me!!!). The pomodoro sauce for the tortellini has been made as well, but the other 3 sauces will have to be prepared prior to serving.

I couldn’t find cranberry vinegar at the store for the pear-cranberry salad dressing, so I whipped up a quick substitute (basically heating white wine vinegar, then steeping chopped cranberries in it for a couple of days). I have made the cake frosting as well. I should be in good shape, but as I obsessively go over and over the lists, I am still afraid that I may have forgotten something!

Anyway, the next few days are going to be very busy and I will not be posting until next week sometime. Wish me luck! :)

One last food post, though, before my "vacation".

I was so “into” the party preparations, and decorating our farm for Christmas, that I made a very basic Thanksgiving dinner this year. These were all tried-and-true menu items except dessert.

I am not a big pie fan. Probably because I know how many calories and how much fat is in the crust! Pie crust, not my favorite thing any longer. But I love pie filling, especially pumpkin pie filling. With whipped topping, it’s such a wonderful thing. So this year, I made the filling and baked it in 6 ramekins.

Each serving was topped with a generous dollop of cool whip lite, and sprinkled with chopped, toasted pecans. And nobody missed the crust. :)