Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pecan Pumpkin Pie (Page 768)

  • Date: Thursday, November 23, 2006 - 8pm - THANKSGIVING!
  • Location: Southboro, MA
  • Kitchen: Richard and Anita's House
  • Dining Companions: Chris, Ana, Renato, Richard, Anita, Terry, Teri, Michael, Ephraim, and Richard H
  • Recipe Rating: A-
I picked this pie for Thanksgiving dinner because it seemed like an interesting twist on traditional pumpkin pie. It was definitely a crowd favorite. Ephraim said, "It was bold, it was wonderful, and I would like to have its babies!" That's a strong endorsement! It was indeed quite good. The layer of pumpkin custard was smooth and flavorful, and the layer of pecan filling was crunchy and delicious without being overwhelmingly sweet. Several people who don't normally enjoy pecan pie commented that they really liked this one -- I think the lemon juice and zest in the pecan filling tempered some of the sweetness, so this filling wasn't as cloying as pecan pie can be. I enjoyed it very much. The thing that made it stand out in my mind was that it was very innovative. I had never seen a layered pumpkin pecan pie before, and it worked quite well. My only complaint was that once sliced it wasn't very attractive. The two layers separated a bit and the slices tended to fall apart. It tasted great though, and that's what is really important!

Last night Ana, Angelica, and Jenny had a joint quals dinner because they all took (and passed!) their qualifying exams last week. Congratulations to them! After dinner I headed over to the gym to lift weights (I am forever trying to accomplish my goal of doing a pull-up!). It was around 9:30pm by the time I got there, so the gym was pretty empty. Of the few people there, there were at least 3 other people from the math department. Mathematicians have a reputation of not caring about things like physical fitness. In some ways I see where that reputation comes from, but it's really wrong I think. At least at MIT there is a large percentage of graduate students and faculty who are very involved in some sort of athletic activity, whether it be running, rowing, lifting, swimming, squash, etc... It's very rare that I go to the gym and not see someone else from the department. Last year it was always the algebraic topologists that were at the gym (me, Mike, Vigleik, John, Peter, etc...). Last night's sample suggests that now it is the differential topologists/geometers who are taking over the MIT gym!

It's time for me to head out to Wesleyan to give my talk! Last night I had a dream that I had to give my talk on ice skates, at an ice arena that sat 53 million people. And all 53 million people were going to be there because my talk was the half-time show for some very important hockey game! Have I ever mentioned that I have crazy dreams?!?

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