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FCN staffer gives pie a good try
Pumpkins, blenders and muddlers, oh my
Pumpkin WEB 1
The pumpkin prior to a lengthy cutting session. - photo by Autumn Vetter

I’m not allowed to use knives at my house.

Several almost-severed-finger scars attest that this is a good idea.

So when the first instructions for this year’s pumpkin pie (which I decided to make out of a real pumpkin for the first time), were to cut the pumpkin in half, I knew I was in trouble.

But determined to give my new husband the best pumpkin pie he’d ever eaten by the time he got home from work, I grabbed our longest, sharpest serrated knife.

I gave my squatty green pumpkin the once-over and set to work.

Five minutes in, I had a millimeter-deep slice made in the skin. I was making so much noise sawing and grunting, both cats came into the kitchen to watch.

When I started stabbing the pumpkin with a menace that would’ve made Mel Gibson in “The Patriot” proud, I’m pretty positive my oldest cat, Milli, set her paw to call 911 just in case.

A half-inch into the pumpkin’s armor, I had a fleeting image of myself poring over the instruction manual of my husband’s chainsaw.

Deciding that would end badly, I continued sawing until a sweat broke out.

Twenty minutes later, we had two halves of pumpkin.

Almost giddy with joy, I looked down at instruction number two: Cut pumpkin into fourths. I should have quit there.

But in another 20 minutes, I was scooping out the “seeds, etc.” with my newly-purchased “ice cream shovel.” No kidding — that’s what the label called it.

After “softening” the pumpkin in the microwave for 40 minutes, I once again grabbed the ice cream shovel and set to work.

This part of the process was relatively easy. And when all the pumpkin “meat” was scooped out and spilling over various bowls all around my kitchen, it seemed the end was in sight.

Now all I had to do was puree the thing and mix in everything else. Little did I know, all the appliances in my house were on strike.

The blender’s blades spun round and round, but never sliced any pumpkin.

The Magic Bullet mini-blender smelled as though it would explode at any moment.

And the food processor’s “on” button seemed to have deteriorated since the last time I used it.

As I bristled with frustration, my dear husband came home from work and to the rescue.

After taking apart the food processor and determining the problem had something to do with a mechanism, he put it back together and the blades began spinning.

I threw a bunch of pumpkin into the bucket, only to realize that the blades were merely “slicing” instead of pureeing.

On the verge of tears, I looked up at my husband, who was about to burst into fits of laughter.

With menace, I responded, “I hope you like your pumpkin chunky!”

Having gotten married about a month ago, we’ve yet to organize all of our gifts. So I sent him to our “gift-hoarding” pile to see if someone had given us a potato masher.

We had no such luck, but he did come out sporting a “muddler.”

We’ve since determined that a “muddler” is used to tenderize meat.

So the vegetarian set to work on the pumpkin with the meat tenderizer. Eventually, you could only see the chunks if you looked real hard, so we mixed the ingredients and poured the pie.

In the end, it really was the best-tasting pumpkin pie I’ve ever eaten.

Dear husband was kind enough not to mention the “strings” that settled in the middle, and the cats didn’t seem to mind either.

The 2/3 of the pumpkin “meat” I have left will have to hold off until I can order a food processor capable of pureeing aircraft carriers.

God bless the people who invented canned pumpkin.