Sunday, October 28, 2012

We are the exception

I've been reading about the Byzantine Empire in this excellent book, and since my mind tends towards disaster and ruin, I was realizing how much we have taken our security and safety for granted.

Do you know how long it's been since we've had a drafting war? Fifty years.

Do you know how long it's been since we've experienced a pandemic? A hundred.

The last time battles were fought around the homes of our civilians? A hundred and fifty.

That's pretty remarkable. It used to be that massive government overthrow, ruinous droughts and breakdown of order were pretty regular occurrences, but we haven't had to worry much about any Hun or Bulgar or Mongol swooping in and raping and pillaging. I, as a scholar, don't have to sit at my perch, listening, praying for really terrible weather. In the margins of a 9th century manuscript, one scribe, maybe studying, maybe transcribing, wrote out this poem:

The wind is rough tonight
tossing the white combed ocean.
I need not dread fierce Vikings
crossing the Irish Sea.

Hurrah! It's terrible weather! No one gets burned alive and dismembered tonight!

We like ghost stories, I love ghost stories, and old places seem to have them hip-deep. Maybe that's because they've built up, but maybe that's because we forget how terrible life has been, how many people routinely died in farming and mining and childbirth. It's a wonder there aren't more ghosts, really. We are a singularly unhaunting generation.

Sumthun pumpkin 5-6

 Pumpkin Molasses Cookies

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sumthin' Pupkin #3-4

Pumpkin Oatmeal: with greek yogurt, nutmeg, allspice... mmmm

Thai onion soup: 1/2 cup coconut milk, 4 cups broth, yellow curry, cumin, 1/2 large onion, 1/2 cup pumpkin

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sumthin' Pumpkin #2: pumpkin smoothie

I saw this smoothie on Pinterest, but when I made it this morning, it wasn't as wonderful as I hoped. It would probably be better with brown sugar added or a flavored yogurt. Still, it was pretty good and this bird seems to like it.

Pumpkin Smoothie;

1/2 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup greek yogurt (I'd go with vanilla in the future)
1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
pumpkin pie spices

Blend it up, drink it own.

Sumthin' Pumpkin #1: Pumpkin Ice Cream Chocolate Pie

Confession: I made this pie in September, because I couldn't wait for "Sumthin' Pumpkin Month." It's still really good.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Chocolate Pie

Step 1: melt chocolate bark and coat the bottom of a premade chocolate pie crust (I guess you could make it yourself if you wanted) This is important, because it keeps the crust from getting soggy.

Step 2: mix 1 cup of pumpkin with a quart of vanilla ice cream (I made my own ice cream with fat-free half-and-half, but that's a little excessive). Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice to taste (I like it spicy!). Freeze.

Step 3: coat with Cool Whip, freeze and drizzle with more chocolate.

When you serve this, make sure to get it out around 20 minutes before serving so the ice cream isn't too hard. This is so good for a party or event when you can prepare it ahead in several steps in the days before.