My house is already having an odd day today. For one thing, I woke up before dawn. On a weekend. (I woke up at about 9:00.) I woke up partly because the dog was trying to physically merge with me again and I was crushed against the wall, but also partly because I had a strange dream about decorating for Christmas. My family and Shane's family were together, and everyone was baking cookies, making bizarre and elaborate gingerbread houses, and carving pumpkins. Not into jack-o'-lanterns, but into representations of candles, flowers, and with abstract and beautiful swirling patterns. I never knew my mother had such an artistic flair for pumpkin carving before.
Shane was already up (he fell asleep around 9:30 last night while we watched a movie) and he said, "Don't be mad at her now, because it won't do any good, but the gingerbread you left on the counter...she got it." It was really my fault. What was left of the gingerbread was really stale and I wanted to throw it out, but the garbage was full so I left it on the edge of the counter thinking I'd get rid of it today. Now my dog keeps groaning and her tummy (which was looking nice and lean) is all bloated. Then she had the nerve to get upset when I fed the cat and not her! She's getting a huge walk today so burn off some of those calories.
Thanks to my dream, I really wanted to do something with pumpkin. I pulled out some of the frozen stuff and defrosted it. I pulled out a recipe I've been wanting to try for a while, pumpkin waffles. The original recipe can be found here. I, of course, made a few tweaks. For one thing, I doubled the recipe because I don't seem to have frozen pumpkin in a quantity smaller than 2 cups. Here's my version:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup corn starch (or a little bit less)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 big tsp ground ginger
Several dashes of the cloves (it comes out slowly, so it was maybe 1/8 of a teaspoon)
A few dashes of nutmeg
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2ish cups of pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
I didn't make the maple-walnut syrup, mostly because we don't have walnuts. But also because I've moved on to reading a David Sedaris novel ("When You are Engulfed in Flames") and I wanted to read that while the waffles were cooking. Finally, I didn't crisp them in the oven because that just seemed like an unnecessary step to me, but feel free to if you prefer crispy waffles.
When I went back to the bedroom to tell Shane that the waffles were ready he said, "It smells sooo good back here!" After one bite he said, "Umm, I think this is how you should use up all the pumpkin we have left." Good to know. I always like it when I have a hit on my hands. Although, I do have a few more pumpkin recipes up my sleeve that I want to try, such as a pumpkin and pasta dish. But that will have to wait until the new year. (We leave in five days!)
Our total for this week hurts. I keep having to remind myself that we'll be gone for two weeks and therefore won't have to buy groceries, but that doesn't really help since we've spent at least the equivalent of our groceries on Christmas presents instead. (Not that I begrudge the Christmas presents--I came up with several for each of my brothers and Shane had to say no. I had to do the same thing when he got overly enthusiastic about gifts for some friends. "Umm, how much were we going to spend on them again?" "Oh...yeah. I guess I'll have to wait for birthdays.") So the total for this week was $120. And that was with coupons totaling about $15 in savings! (Don't be so impressed--one was for $10 off the total.)
Thankfully, our bill for this week should be much, much lower. Neither of us wants to leave a bunch of food in the fridge to go bad so all we're going to get is some cat food, some frozen fruit, and possibly some milk. (Yes, I decided to include pet food in our totals.) I wanted to not grocery shop at all, but Shane convinced me. The cat food is also necessary, since I don't want our petsitter to run out of it while we're away.
I'm sure we'll be relying on baked root veggie "fries" this week for our vegetables, but they're so good I don't care. I came home on Friday and cut into long slices some potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots. I mixed them in some olive oil, salt, and garlic powder, and baked them at 400 for about 30 minutes. I ate a little bit much, but since it was veggies I don't feel so bad. They were good.
Almost 11:30 and the sun is finally starting to rise. Lovely!