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47 recipes down, 184 days to go

Friday, November 27th.

Tonight I made fall harvest butternut squash with almond-pecan parmesan from Oh She Glows. If I am not mistaken, this will be my first side dish I've made so far. I'm really not a super big side-dish person. I don't see much point in spending the time to cook a side dish. Since it isn't enough to constitute a meal, it seems like more of an unimportant, extraneous detail to me. I'd rather make the real deal, hearty stuff. But anyways, I did want to give this dish a shot. And today seemed like a good time to do it, what with all the food leftover from Thanksgiving yesterday. Mine as well, just throw it together with some of that and call it a night. It's written off as a "delectable fall dish." She also says, "It's no wonder this comfort food side dish is one of the most popular on my blog." (guess y'all can make this as well if it's on her blog:

Delectable. Comfort food. Most popular.

She said she buys pre-chopped butternut squash to make this recipe in a heartbeat, and I was tempted to do this as well. But I decided not to slack. I got one whole butternut squash, thinking, it's only one squash, how hard will it be to chop?

My mistake that I forgot about my one other experience with butternut squash, a salad from Deliciously Ella. Truth be told, it wasn't any easier the second time around. Oh my gosh, my back ached by the end. Then I still had to mince the garlic and finely chop the parsley. To heck with the finely.

Yes. I did decide to include the fresh parsley. I've mentioned my aversion to this herb, and have opted to take it out of a previous recipe that called for it. However, in this dish it was cooked with the squash. I thought, maybe I would like it better cooked? Plus, in this case it called for 1/2 cup, which is a relatively large amount, so I thought it might be an important part of this dish's flavor. It would be good to give it another try, at least.

The "parmesan" used nutritional yeast.

One other pretty hilarious incident: putting my groceries away Monday afternoon, I thought the bunch of lacinato kale I'd gotten for this recipe looked a little... different. On closer examination, I saw the label attached to it. It read, "Green Chard."

Oh my goodness, this is chard, not kale!

It does actually look pretty similar. My shopper must not have been paying close enough attention to notice the difference. While I was a little upset about this mistake, I thought this might be a good opportunity to try something different with the recipe. Chard comes from the same family as kale, and it would probably work as a fine substitute in this dish. I didn't want it to go to waste. Why not give it a shot?

I started making this early today! It had to cook for a little while. It was ready to eat, hot out of the oven at 6:45pm.

I good to eat a recipe hot for once! That was a definite highlight. It was quite delicious and satisfying. Chard did just fine. Everyone tried some, and I ate my plateful on the couch tonight because my family members were impatient to start watching a movie. They had been waiting for me to be done with the dish for an hour. They made sure to mention that. Anywho. I've got some leftovers in the fridge I'll get a chance to enjoy in peace.

Also; I didn't notice the parsley at all.


I also realized I should share a tad bit about the pumpkin pie I mentioned making with my Grandma...

raw pumpkin-maple pie with baked oat crust

Oh She Glows

My pie
Grandma's pie

Something that would never have happened without the coronavirus, was zooming with my Grandma to make this pumpkin pie together for Thanksgiving. She lives in Georgia, so while it was in the afternoon my time, it was late in the evening her time—a 3 hour time difference. This was quite a different pie than a traditional pumpkin pie. Now my second time making a "raw" dessert. We made it Wednesday because it had to freeze overnight.

The filling was made from that secret vegan ingredients that lends the perfect creaminess: soaked cashews. I actually forgot to soak my cashews overnight. After I had even texted my Grandma about it earlier in the day! I put them to soak as soon as I woke up in the morning. It's a good thing they only really needed to soak for at least 3-4 hours.

My grandma used fresh cooked pumpkin. I used canned. She's a much better cook than I am. She's also much wiser and knowledgeable than me. No surprise there.

This my first time making pie crust. My grandma and I were a bit worried about whether the crust would stay together when served. We pressed the crumbs into the pie dish as hard as we could. It took me a good 5 minutes to finish pressing them around and up the sides of the dish. The crust baked for 10 minutes minutes in the oven and took on a nice golden hue, before pouring in the filling.

One pretty hilarious mishap: my grandma and I had left each other with putting the pie into our separate freezers. I knew it was supposed to go in the freezer. For some unknown reason, I wound up putting it in the garage fridge. I even moved stuff around in there to give it a flat surface.

I woke up at 1:30am to use the bathroom. Climbing back into bed, the realization of my mistake hit me: I had put the pie in the garage fridge instead of the freezer!

Those midnight realizations...

I didn't feel like getting up again to move it, so I let it be until I woke up for the day.

She gave a freeze time of 5 hours minimum. It was no problem. Just funny. A classic head slapping moment.

So yes, this was a frozen pie. She said it tastes best served after thawing for 10 minutes on the counter. I thought 15-20 was more of the right time actually.

It was cold, creamy, and delicious. The filling was creamy and rich. I thought the "raw" crust was quite good compared to what I've found to be somewhat boring, traditional crusts. It was made primarily of dates, rolled oats, and pecans. There was a certain sweet and salty contrast to it that made it pop from the other flavors of the pie. I served slices with some non-disastrous whipped coconut cream. This time, the canned coconut milk got only a night's worth of refrigeration! This dessert couldn't have turned out more perfectly.

Making pumpkin pie with my grandma was what made this Thanksgiving special for me. Even though it looked very different this year. No matter what, there'll always be pie. And family to eat it with, god willing.

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Hello Friends! It's almost time to close off what's turned out to be a rather sporadic nine months of blogging on this platform, but nevertheless transformative in my learning and personal growth—WOW!

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