I did something last night that I swore I never would do. I was so against it, in fact, that I may or may not have mocked people in the past for partaking. And I may have even questioned their morality and intelligence, claiming the smug high road of “oh I’m not much of a tv watcher at all.”
I’m so sorry now. And so humbled. Because last night, despite years of claiming I would NEVER EVER do such a thing–we binge watched Stranger Things. And I have exactly ZERO shame about it.
Because, apparently my disdain for binge watching wasn’t a disdain for binge watching at all. I just hadn’t found the right show yet. And this, friends, this show has done it.
This is not the first time Jeff has binged. He was huge into Breaking Bad back in the day. He tried, in vain, to get me hooked. I didn’t get it. I can sum the whole thing up in one sentence: Drugs are Bad. There. I ruined it for you. Sorry. He loves House of Cards, too. Sorry, Kevin Spacey, you’re a creeper and I knew it long before the world did so that one is out. I will watch Suits with him, but honestly, I can go to sleep during an episode and not really care to be caught up when I wake up. They’ve not grabbed me, obviously.
So why am I now hooked on a show that normally would scare the bejesus out of me (because I’m a total weenie about anything scary or even mildly stressful)? I have no idea. The only thing I know is that when Jeff tried to turn the tv off last night and head into bed like a normal adult around 10:00pm, I just about bit his head off and snarled, “press play” like aliens had invaded my body as well.
And now that it’s daytime and my kids are awake, the only thing I can think about is how to get them to take a nap so we can watch one more episode. I need to find out if Will is actually dead (don’t tell me, we’re just in season one). I have to know if 11 is an alien or a child who had been abducted by aliens or some strange science experiment on a normal child gone wrong. I want to know what happened to Barb.
I’m an inquiring mind now…..
I need to know.
Which is very unfortunate timing because I have a ton of work to do today. Like most of the country, I’m trying to get my act together for a huge holiday tomorrow. I’ve got to get sweet potatoes going, cranberries made, and turkeys prepped. I’m sure that sometime today I’ll also be making an unfortunate and ill-timed run to the grocery store for half and half or some other absolutely necessary ingredient that I inexplicably forgot to get at one of my last 3 runs to the grocery store this week.
But there is one thing that is not on my to-do list. One thing that I couldn’t manage to do right no matter what. One thing that I get a pass on. And I’m so grateful for this.
And that one thing is making the pumpkin pie. You see, even as a food blogger I have one gaping weakness in the kitchen. I admit that I’m not well-rounded. Because sadly, I cannot bake a pie to save my soul. The complexity of them baffles me. I hate that you have to be so precise. I hate that it’s like science. Because science is not my jam. But I’m so lucky and so grateful that I married a man who happens to be amazing at them.
You wouldn’t guess it to know him, but Jeff is quite the amazing baker. Every year at every holiday I sit back in wonder as Jeff creates delicious baked concoctions. He does the sugar cookie baking, the pie creating and has even been known to throw together a killer key lime cheese cake. I think it appeals to his math/science brain. Or maybe he is relaxed by the definitive boundaries laid out in each recipe. Who knows? I just know that like ying and yang, he’s my opposite and my compliment in so many ways. And man I’m grateful for him.
So today, we’re both going to rush like crazy people through our tasks, checking one item off the list after another. Sweet Potatoes are about to be peeled (and if you don’t have yours done yet, go here and use my recipe. I promise it won’t disappoint) and cranberries are about to be boiled. We’re going to knock our cooking and baking out like mad, rushing to get to 8:00pm so we can press play and get sucked back into the 1980’s.
And maybe we’ll answer the biggest burning question of all: How does Stranger Things Winona Ryder look exactly the same as Reality Bites Winona Ryder of 20 years ago?
**Cue spooky music**
And here, friends, is the amazing Pumpkin Pie recipe from my dear husband. Where most pie recipes call for evaporated milk to provide that creamy, smooth texture and richness we all crave, this one relies on a secret super power ingredient, that can arguably be cleaner, too, depending on the brand you buy. Yes, friends, Jeff uses vanilla ice cream in his pie. And the result is extraordinary. Prepare yourself to be blown away by the texture and richness that this one small switch creates. You can thank him later.
- 1 1/2 pints vanilla ice cream, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 16 ounce can pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 9 inch unbaked pie shells
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Step 2 In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Stir int he pumpkin puree, cinnamon, sugar, salt, nutmeg, ginger and pumpkin pie spice. Mix in softened ice cream until smooth. Pour filling into two 9 inch pie shells.
- Step 3 Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake an addition 30 to 40 minutes, being careful to watch the crust. When it reaches your desired degree of browning, use either tin foil or crust covers to protect from burning for the remaining cooking time. Cook until filling is set.
- Step 4 Turn oven off but do not remove pies. Letting them slowly drop in temperature prevents cracking and separating. Remove after about 20 minutes and allow to the rest of the way on oven racks.