Archive for November, 2008


Pumpkin, oh pumpkin in a can

It is Saturday morning (9am) and the temperature outside is 29.5F or -1.4C. All the leaves from our Maple and Ash trees have fallen to the ground. I’m wondering if we are still up to raking up the last of the leaves this weekend. I have just finished talking to a friend of mine from India; she was my guide when I was there in 2006 and we have kept in touch since.

Next week is Thanksgiving weekend, we are foregoing turkey this year for ham. I’m also going to have to dig up my pumpkin pie recipe. This reminds me of the year I made pumpkin pie in NZ. Just FYI, pumpkin puree comes conveniently in a can here but pumpkin puree in NZ is “pumpkin” the fruit. I had to make puree from it. Funny, I’m sure it’s all natural to many ladies out there on how to make puree, but it wasn’t for me. I had a laptop open with step by step instructions. I broke a sieve in the process, almost chop my fingers off (these are not the cute pumpkin you see during Halloween. If this pumpkin drops on your head, I’m positive you’ll suffer a concussion). The process involves, cutting the pumpkin into pieces, bake them and then mash the pieces through a sieve. It was funny how involve it became compared to opening a can ;-) .

Pumpkin in NZ

Pumpkin in US

Both are 100% pumpkin puree

Personally, I prefer the pumkin in the can for baking (yes, I’m sure Martha Stewart frowns upon it). It’s much more convenient and shortens the time it takes to make pumpkin bread or pie.  As for roast pumpkin, that will of course require a fresh pumpkin.  It’s kind of difficult to reform pumpkin pieces after it’s been mashed to a pulp ;-) .


Triple a-ha

A neighbor blog, The Peoria Chronicle, had a post today with little more than an a-ha video in it (yes, that one).  Ah nostalgia.  But the comments linked to a few different takes on the video.  I watched them all, laughed hard, and it was a nice 10 minute reprieve.  So now I’m shamelessly stealing the idea for all to enjoy.  So enjoy (and quit worrying about the US auto industry).

The pristine original:


Brilliantly mocked:


Finally! Election 2008 is over

Well, the 2008 presidential election must be one of the longest versions of presidential campaigns. I recall coming home to Illinois and watching the news channel being completely swamped with pre-campaign stories. I returned to Peoria mid July 2007; the candidates for each party have not been completely named yet. The coverage of world news was measly at best when compared to the CNN International or BBC World which was available while in NZ. The world seems to be in “pause”, while the US preps for election. At least that seems to be the case when news media is concerned; and this is true irrespective of right, left or center media.

As an observer to the 2008 presidential election, I must say that I am quite impressed with the manner this election was held. Those of readers who are more cynical might say this must come from one who is too naive to see beyond the smokescreen. Everything is relative my friend; I come from a country where one party, one race, one gender and one religion have ruled since independence. Do not get me wrong, my home country is a peaceful country and people live in harmony. However looking from the outside in, it is still many decades away from the day when a person who is potentially very capable but not the correct race or religion will be elected as the prime minister. I am proud to have witnessed the democratic ideas in full swing. I am also proud to witness the day the American public officially see beyond one’s skin color.

PS: Don’t worry, my next post will not be about politics ;-) .


Pinch Me

I woke up to the alarm with a tear in my eye.  Not the normal “I want to sleep for another hour” tear, but joy and disbelief that this is probably the last day of the current presidential campaign.

When this all started, Angela and I were living in another country, surrounded by different people, doing different jobs.  I can recall having political conversations in the office and continue to think that they surely must have been about a different campaign, but they weren’t.  I think 21 months or whatever it has been is way way way  too long, and unfortunately there is nothing in place to curtail it going forward.  Maybe the 2012 campaign should start today?  (Sorry, I forgot that it already did–with the Palin selection.)

Despite being weary, I’m also excited to go vote.  And I always enjoy election night.  I just hope it doesn’t end with other Florida-like debacle.  I recently watched “Recount” which reminded me how silly it can all become.  It boggles the mind the technical sophistication that surrounds and connects our lives, yet we cannot reliably and verifiably count anonymous votes.  I very much hope this thing is well and truly decided by the time I go to bed.

So c’mon Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, and all you other states that matter….  Do good work!

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