Saturday, March 2, 2013

You can't take the sky from me

I own a spectacular long, brown leather coat. Tapered at the waist, it flares into a full skirt that hits a bit below my knee. It swishes against my body as I walk and it is impossible to wear without standing a little taller, moving with a bit more swagger. I inherited it from my mother, who had it made when she was in her twenties and way more stylish than I will ever be. I don't wear it often enough.

I don't know why I didn't think of this before. I've owned this coat for years. And yet, this year was the first year that I realized I own a brown leather coat. I repeat, I own a browncoat.

I have but one captain and he is Captain Mal Reynolds. My Purim costume was obvious.

My costume was met with a lot of blank stares. Firefly, unfortunately, still only has a cult following and maybe my tight pants were not quite tight enough for me to be immediately identified as Captain Tightpants. (And really friends, if you have not yet watched Firefly, I urge you, nay, beg you, to watch it. It is 14 episodes of perfection). But those who did get it, man, was it fun to watch their faces light up. Browncoats unite.

 And lest you ask what does Firefly have to do with food, I'll tell you this: Every year, every gorram year, when I eat my first strawberry of the season, I think of this scene.  My friends, this is how we should be eating strawberries. That small, delighted smile, that miracle, should be our experience of eating strawberries now and forever. And plus, when it comes down to it, when you leave aside the space-cowboys, Firefly is about family. It's about the family you make when you're far away from the family you have.

I miss my family a lot on Purim. But thankfully I have made family as well. I've been celebrating Purim with my friend Debbie for years now. She's part of my made family. Her Purim meals are always amazingly elaborate affairs, intricately planned to fit with her costume. This year, she went as Laura Ingalls Wilder, and so was met with just as many blank stares as I was. Still, it seemed perfectly fitting that Laura and Captain Mal should meet. Certainly the food they ate- frontier food- would be familiar to both of them. Certainly the ideas of family and self-reliance and the call of the great-wide open would be familiar to both of them.

There was corn-bread, and smoked-meats and homemade pickles. Rhubarb and pecan pie for dessert. I brought pumpkin pie. It's my sister-in-law's recipe, and it's great. It's so great,  that the pie was pretty much devoured in 5 minutes straight. I swear by my pretty floral bonnet that it is one of the best pumpkin pies I have ever tasted. Laura would approve, I'd think. So would Mal.

Aiming to Misbehave Pumpkin Pie

Adapted from Eve Krakowski, who adapted it from this recipe

Notes: this pie is easily made dairy and gluten free by leaving out the flour and using gluten-free cookies and coconut oil to make the crust.  

2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
2 tablespoons mild molasses, or, 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses, or 2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 eggs
1 cup coconut cream
1 9-inch pie crust (bought, made, or otherwise)

1. Watch all of Firefly. Once you have asked yourself if you are a lion, preheat the oven 450 F.  Whisk together the sugars, flour and spices.  Add in the pumpkin, molasses and eggs. Then add the cream. Pour into the pie crust.

2. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 325 F. Continue baking for another 40 minutes until the center is set. Place on a rack to cool. 

3. Watch Serenity. Sob into your pumpkin pie.