eaters of pie, Settlers of Catan

Last weekend I had dinner with B1 & B2 and Jay. I brought the dessert: homemade pumpkin pie. Mmm...right? Wrong. I was so dissapointed; not only was my "fast" crust terrible, but the pie itself was also flavorless. The three other diners were more than gracious.

For whatever reason (I think the excess of rain due to Irene and other coastal storms) has left the pumpkins less sweet this year than in years past--my pumpkin, my only one, rotted because of all of the rain! Anyway, I learned my lesson last weekend, so when I offered to bring dessert to a dinner at M & N's this week, I vowed the pies would turn out better. I again returned to Mark Bittman's How to cook everything--no longer blaming him for last weekend's failure--and decided to try doubling everything in the recipe. The recipe should be called, "How to double everything pumpkin pie," har har. Anyway, I literally doubled everything: the cream and the eggs, doing this made the pies even custard-ier (is that a word?); doubling the nutmeg, ground cloves, ginger and cinnamon which made the flavor really pop; doubling the sugar which made up for the less than sweet pumpkin flesh. The pies were so good! I was so pleased! (I must say that I cheated and bought ready made crust, since I ABSOLUTELY hate making pie crusts!)

So, moral of the story: if you're not fearful of salmonella, sample everything once it is mixed and ready to go into the crust and adjust the spices/sugar/cream to your taste.

Dinner that night was great, but more importantly we had gotten together to hang out with my bestie Mummy Dearest, Hubby (her husband) and their two kids Big Fish and Little Fish (who are here for the weekend from N.C.). I felt so happy just being with Mummy Dearest and Hubby and their clan, M & N and their clan and their parents (Hubby and M are sibs)--these people are my Farm family and have always been there for me and made me less homesick for my family.

Once we had eaten too much food and pie; all 5 kids were put to bed; beers were grabbed; and the five of us sat down so that Mummy, Hubby and I could learn how to play Settlers of Catan. I had fought learning for some weeks now, but now that I know how to play, I am hooked! Are there any other Settlers fans out there? Are you ruthless? I am super competitive, so would love to hear anyone elses' stories! Waiting waiting waiting to see when the next game will happen...

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