November 24, 2013

New Twist on My Grandmother's Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

My grandfather's father was a 19th century country doctor. When my grandfather was kicked in the head by a horse, his father didn't mess around. He took my grandfather in the kitchen and performed surgery on the kitchen table. A pumpkin pie was in the oven, ruining the traditional pumpkin pie forever for the young patient - and I imagine the rest of his family, as well.

When my grandparents married, my grandmother was determined to make a pumpkin pie that my grandfather would eat. She found a recipe for pumpkin chiffon pie in a magazine and sure enough, the pie was a hit. It was the only pumpkin pie Granddaddy would eat, and it has been a mainstay of my family's holiday meals for nearly 90 years.

Inspired by a post on my friend Lea's Facebook wall, I decided to try to make a healthier version of Grandmother's recipe. The texture is a little different, but it's still delicious, and has the lighter feel of a chiffon pie.

I changed Grandmother's traditional pie crust by going gluten-free. Similar to a graham cracker crust but with a bit of a crunch, it's the perfect complement to the flavor of pumpkin.

4 1.2 oz. bags of Kay's Naturals "Almond Delight" Protein Puffs
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Crush the almond puffs. (I put mine in a blender but a rolling pin would work.) Pour melted butter over the crushed puffs and mix thoroughly. Press into a pie pan and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.

1 15 oz. can of Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin Pie Mix
1 envelope of plain gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
3 eggs (separated)
1/2 cup soy milk (I used the Pumpkin Spice flavor, but Vanilla would work, too.)
1/4 cup maple syrup (separated)

Soften gelatin in water and set aside. Beat egg yolk and add soy milk, pumpkin pie mix, and 1/8 cup maple syrup. Cook until mixture thickens. Lower the heat and add gelatin and stir in until thoroughly dissolved. The gelatin will thin the mixture somewhat, so continue to cook on low heat until mixture thickens again. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Beat egg whites with remaining 1/8 cup of maple syrup. Fold into pumpkin mix. Pour into baked crust and chill.

We let it cool a couple of hours before my mom and I each tried a piece. Like her father before her, Mom declared it a hit, although she did suggest that it could use Grandmother's crowning touch...Cool Whip.

I guess there's a limit to how healthy you can go with a holiday favorite.

Until next time, 

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure dwells in you as well. ~ 2 Timothy 1:5

November 19, 2013

Not My Place

Source: Google Images
I can't begin to tell you how many times I have seen someone with a "Homeless and Hungry" sign and thought, "If only I had food in the car, I'd give it to them." Then last week, it happened.

I ran some errands during lunch and grabbed a hamburger and french fries from McDonald's, planning to eat them in the car on the way back to the office. I had just begun to sample some fries when I pulled up at a light and saw the "Homeless and Hungry Vet" sign. For a moment, I was uncomfortable. I had long vowed that if I saw someone asking for food and I had food in the car to give, I would do so. But this was my lunch. I had already started eating the french fries. And it was McDonald's so it wasn't the most nutritious meal to offer someone. It might even be seen as downright insulting.

But I couldn't exactly sit there in front of the guy and continue to eat my french fries. There was that promise I had made over and over again. The voice in my head reminded me that I wasn't being asked to make a huge sacrifice, I was just being asked to do what I had said I would do.

I rolled my window down and held the bag out. "Do you want my lunch?"  "Yes," he replied as he came to my car and took the bag. He returned to his spot, stuck the bag in the bushes, and held his sign up.

Seriously? He wasn't going to eat it? Was he just waiting for lunch hour traffic to die down? Was he hoping for something better? Was he afraid if he was seen eating, it would cost him more lucrative donations? 

Heck, if he wasn't going to eat it, could he give my lunch back to me? After all, I had enjoyed the few french fries I managed to eat before the attack of the guilty conscience.

Then I realized it wasn't my place to question what the guy was going to do with the lunch. It wasn't my lunch anymore, it was his. What he did with it was between him and God. 

The truth is, everything I have is on loan from God. It's my place to remember that and to be obedient to His Word, even when it's inconvenient.

Until next time,

"If you have two coats," he replied, "give one to the poor. If you have extra food, give it away to those who are hungry." ~ Luke 3:11