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Deptartment of Do as I Say, Not as I Do: Once A Month Cooking

A Super Quick Seasonal Pumpkin Custard Recipe

As you know from reading this blog, I love to cook for my family. But man does not live on bread alone, and this morning we went to the Metropolitan Museum to tour the Starn Brothers' sculpture “Big Bambú” on the Museum’s roof garden.

We arrived at 9:20 a.m., only to discover that the morning tours had sold out an hour earlier. We took turns waiting on line until noon, for tickets at 2 and 3 pm. Children under ten aren’t allowed on the structure, so Santa Maria and I went one after another. We got home at about 5 this afternoon, just in time for the Halloween madness.

The sculpture’s subtitle is “You Can’t You Don’t and You Won’t Stop,” and that Beastie Boys lyric could easily be our kids’ motto. I was worn out by the day, and Santa Maria took over dinner, and graciously offered to weigh in here:

Pinta went to the museum in full mermaid regalia, Nina saved her Queen costume for trick or treating. Stay at Stove Dad drove, parked, spent his time waiting on line drawing in his sketchbook, then took the kids on a tour called “Start with Art” that he didn’t like: he texted me “this tour should be called Stop with Art, it’s so booooooring.”

The sculpture was a glorious chaos, and worth the wait. The wind whipped thorough the bamboo poles and the whole sculpture whistled. The views from high above the museum were stunning, and the craftsmanship was amazing. It was a real treat to see something at the Met that we were allowed not only to touch, but to walk all over.

When we got home, Stay at Stove Dad stopped off at the Park Slope Food Coop to do the weekly shop, and I sautéed flounder, roasted purple potatoes, and steamed some broccoli to provide a nice base for the candy deluge to follow.  I couldn’t get the flounder quite right – it stuck to the pan, then all the nice golden parts ripped off.  The next batch turned out worse; it was soggy. 

We had to run out of the house to take the kids trick or treating. If I had just five minutes more before making dinner (or if Stay at Stove Dad hadn’t passed out on the floor and had made the dinner as he usually does), I would have whipped up a pumpkin custard for dessert. The prep time is really only five minutes, and clean up is a snap: you mix the ingredients in the same dish it bakes in.

The truth is, the custard wasn’t missed at all. As Pinta pointed out earlier, “After we eat dinner, we won’t need dessert. We’ll have all our candy to eat!” How true. How true.

Superfast Pumpkin Custard

  • one 16 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. whole milk (or 1% or skim)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ginger
  • 1/4 t cloves
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 4 T sugar

Combine all the ingredients in a 9-inch pie or tart dish.

Bake approximately 30 minutes in oven at 350 degrees.  Let cool 10-15

minutes on your windowsill and the custard will set nicely.


Note: This is a very wholesome and delicious desert, but if you want to make it a bit more impressive (albiet less healthy), serve it with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

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