Pumpkin Carving & Popcorn

Autumn LeavesI tend to be a person who dislikes fall because of the inevitability of the winter that follows it, but this fall has been very persuasive. The temperatures have been mild to warm, the red and yellow leaves have been especially beautiful, and thus far those pesky white flakes have stayed away.

This weekend David and I enjoyed one of those quintessential autumn days by visiting the apple orchard with our friends, Ashley and Adam. While the apple trees are mostly bare by now, the orchard also has a couple of pumpkin patches. So we decided to get together for a carving date.

Apple Turnovers & CiderAs luck would have it, the orchard offers icy apple slushies and apple turnovers served hot that just so happen to be vegan. The cinnamon-scented smells emanating from the kitchen whetted my palate, and I could hardly wait to get to the picnic tables outside to start into them.

Apple TurnoverApple TurnoverOn an unusually warm fall day in the low seventies, the apple slushies were more apple juice than icy but still delicious. The crust was soft and flaky with warm bites of apple inside.

Wilson's Orchard

Pumpkin PatchPumpkin Patch

After we found our pumpkins, we headed to Ashley and Adam’s house to do our carving.

Maple Pumpkin Spice PopcornMaple Pumpkin Spice PopcornAshley made Maple Pumpkin Spice Popcorn, and the house smelled wonderfully fall-like. Made with pumpkin puree, pecans, maple syrup, and sea salt, the popcorn had a delightful salty/sweet combo going on. It would be a fun idea for Thanksgiving snacking when people are just arriving, the stomach is growling, but you don’t want to spoil your appetite on anything too filling.

For my contribution, I made a couple of appetizers from Julie Hasson’s newest cookbook, Vegan Casseroles. I’ll be sharing pictures and details of those in a full review of the book later in the week.

Kitty helperMy friend, Dinger, was eager and ready to help with the pumpkin carving.

Carving PumpkinsI’d spied a really clever set of pumpkins last week on Joey’s blog, Flicking the V’s, and was inspired to do something similar. I’d picked up a small pumpkin earlier that morning at the farmers market as well as the one I’d purchased at the orchard. My version is nowhere near as detailed as the one that Joey posted, but I’m happy with how it turned out.

Glowing Pumpkin

Autumn, you minx, you may just win me over after all.

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Twin Peaks, Cherry Pie & Coffee

Twin Peaks - cherry pie and coffee

Today we have a guest post from my husband, David – a fan of Twin Peaks, cherry pie, and coffee…

Hello, dear readers of Cadry’s Kitchen! It’s David, aka “Mr. Cadry” here, bringing you this update from a place where the birds sing a pretty song, and there’s always music in the air. The cherry pie is damn fine, and the coffee is served black as midnight on a moonless night. That’s right – I am writing to you from the mythical town of Twin Peaks, a magical place that we will all get to visit once again in 2016.

If you haven’t heard (or have been wrapped in plastic for the last week), famed cinematic auteur David Lynch announced that he is bringing back his cult favorite TV series, which originally ran from 1990-1991, for a 9 episode run on Showtime in 2016. For those of you who (like me) have been devotees of this strange and wonderful show for the last 25 years, this is the greatest news since that gum you like came back into style!

Cherry Pie & Coffee - Twin Peaks

“How’s Annie?” We’re finally going to find out, in 2016!

So, here’s the thing: I love coffee. Like, really love it. I drink a cup or two in the morning before work, and then another cup or two in the afternoon as a post-lunch pick-me-up. As much as I love the flavor of coffee, I also love the ritual behind it – grinding the beans, starting the water brewing, smelling the aroma as the coffee trickles through the filter into the pot… It’s damn fine, all of it.

But I wasn’t always like this. I am 42 years old, and did not enjoy coffee at all until about 5 years ago. Through a series of circumstances too long and boring to go into, Cadry ended up the recipient of an absurd amount of $5 gift cards to a coffee shop. I started using them since they were free, and thus discovered the joys of the soy misto – coffee with steamed soy milk – and gradually, this set out on my spiritual journey into being a coffee lover.

I bring this up now because earlier this summer, the entirety of Twin Peaks (except, of course, for the new episodes we are soon to get!) was released in a gorgeous new Blu Ray boxed set. Being a video guy by trade, I love to see older series like this get cleaned up and restored so that they look far superior to how they looked when they were first broadcast, and this set has not disappointed on any level. The episodes, which always pushed the envelope for cinematography and visual style, look and sound impossibly good, and it has been a joy to slowly work my way through the series again.

Twin Peaks - cherry pie & coffee

“Damn good coffee! And hot!”

However, as I started working my way through the episodes – I realized that I have never before watched this show as a coffee drinker. The series fetishizes coffee to a ridiculous degree, and there is almost always someone onscreen enjoying a cup, and exclaiming how good it tastes. I have found that I am now entirely incapable of watching Twin Peaks without getting a cup of hot coffee and sipping it along with the characters, even if I am watching late at night. (And, really, this is a show that is best watched late at night!)

Another food that is featured in nearly every episode is pie. A major hangout spot for the denizens of Twin Peaks is the Double R Diner, in which characters discuss murders, conspiracy theories, and malevolent woodland spirits while gobbling down delicious-looking pies of all varieties. The most prominent pie served in Twin Peaks is that old Pacific Northwest favorite, cherry pie. So when the return of the show was officially announced last week, I knew I had to make a cherry pie to celebrate the good news!

Cherry pie and coffee - Twin Peaks

“This must be where pies go when they die.”

I am a pie-maker from way back, and my recipe book of choice is always Vegan Pie in the Sky, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. For this particular pie, I chose to make the “She’s My Cherry Pie” recipe with the “Olive Oil Double Crust” as the base. Both the crust and the pie filling are very simple to make, although I made two changes to the filling: One is that I used sweet cherries rather than tart cherries (which the recipe recommends), as I find the sweet cherries make for a slightly milder, more umami flavor to the pie; and secondly, I added a capful of almond extract to the filling, which gives the pie a bit of an Amaretto taste.

The pie turned out so good that it was gone in two days – necessitating the creation of a second, identical pie earlier this evening! I am just about to brew another pot of coffee and carve up a slice of this second pie, and fire up the Blu Ray player for another visit to my favorite quirky little town. After all, as Special Agent Dale Cooper himself once said, “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen.”

Log Lady - cherry pie & coffee

There was no food-related reason why I should dress up like the Log Lady, but what the hell…

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