Thursday, March 18, 2010

By Request: Butternut Pie

A few of you have been interested in the Butternut Pie that I shared at last weekends Pi Day Party. Butternut pie is similar to pumpkin pie in texture and is one of my favorites to make and eat! So, by request I give you the recipe for Butternut Pie (I found it at,1950,156185-238194,00.html)
1/4 c. melted butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. mashed butternut squash
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 unbaked pie shell

1. Prepare the butternut squash by peeling the skin, scooping out the seeds and cubing the squash. The seeds may be roasted like pumpkin seeds if you wish. Boil the squash cubes until you are able to mash them with a fork.

2. Beat the squash until it is smooth.

3. Add melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, milk, salt and vanilla and beat with a mixer.

4. Pour the filling into an unbaked pie shell.

5. Bake at 300 F for 35 to 40 minutes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pi Day, March 14, 2010

Chocolate Pistachio, Butternut, Chocolate Mint

'Pi Day', or more accurately, 'Pi Approximation Day', is recognized on the 14th day of the 3rd month; hence 3.14 the mathematical constant used in geometric equations involving circular objects. It is mostly recognized by geeks and people who love pies. Fortunately both of these apply to me.

I have been aware of Di Day for a few years but have never celebrated it in the past. This year I decided to throw a Pi Day Party. I invited some close friends over to enjoy some homemade pie and good company. I have never had so many people over at my place before and it went great. I am glad that so many people had a good time.

For this party I served 4 different pies: Apple, Butternut, Chocolate Pistachio, and Chocolate Mint. I have made the first three but the Chocolate Mint is a new experiment; it uses a pudding base similar to the one found in the Chocolate Pistachio Pie recipe ( The basic pudding pie filling I use includes pudding mix, maple syrup, eggs, and melted butter. Such pudding based pie fillings usually turn out to be moist, spongy and soft. The chocolate pudding filling is topped with crushed King Peppermints that I received from a care package a few months ago (Thanks Mom and Dad!). It turned out pretty good.

Chocolate Mint Pie

1 pkg. Chocolate Pudding Mix
1 tbsp. Maple Syrup
3 Eggs
2 tbsp. Melted Butter
3/4 c. Milk
1 Chocolate Pie Shell
1 tsp. peppermint powder
1/2 c. crushed peppermints
(The last two items can be obtained from crushing 2 rolls of King Peppermints)

1. Crush peppermints, sift out powder and larger chunks.
2. Mix well pudding mix, syrup, eggs, butter, milk, and powdered peppermints into a large bowl.
3. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and sprinkle with peppermint chunks.
4. Bake for 30 minutes at 325 F.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

One man's junk is another man's treasure

For those of you who don't know what I have been up to recently, I am kind of on the down and out. For the past 3 months I have been looking for work in Edmonton but have been unsuccessful. I am looking for part time work while I deal with some things and I think finding part time work is more difficult than finding full time work.

Although I do have money left over from my last job and I am kind of been supported through family, friends and EI I am still ambitious to make more so I can support myself. Since work is hard to find I have resorted to finding whatever I can as I journey through the city. Some times I find loose change or bottles and cans or discarded clothing... whatever. If I think it is useful and someone threw it away I might take it.

Anyway, Yesterday I started to do something I did not do before, I started to dig through trash cans to look for recyclables. I found many bottles and cans that people had placed in the wrong spot, but also some other interesting items:
  • A decent cake pan (the kind with the removable side)
  • A pair of gloves
  • A slightly dented unopened can of diced tomatoes
  • An unpeeled greenish yellow banana
  • A pair of Uggs
  • A pack of sheets talking about self esteem (very good advice for me on those sheets)

I took everything but the Uggs; they were not my size. Digging through the trash is humbling, but I am sure that it is a reality that many people have come to in these hard times.

I feel that I am being drawn towards a lifestyle of poverty and that I can not seem to escape from it. During the last Bible Study I went to someone posed the question 'What is God doing in your life [right now]?' This question is based on the assumption that God is always doing something in my life whether I am aware of it or not. Therefore, whatever I am going through right now, God has a part to play in it. This leads me to believe that my state of semi-poverty is somehow ordained, even if it hurts and I don't understand. What is God trying to tell me?

In a recent Facebook status I talked about foot washing and how it has appeared in my life throughout the past 6ish years. The symbol of washing someones feet brings up ideas of humility, service, health, cleanliness, relationship, trust, etc.; it is all around a good thing. When I couple foot washing with my exposure to a lifestyle of poverty I begin to wonder if I am supposed to 'wash the feet of the poor' or whatever that might mean realistically. I will have to look at this closely.