Okay, here I’ve been having vibrant discussions around what blogs are – conversations on reasonably consistent topic areas is my take on it – and I’m about to deviate madly.  But there is a tenuous edutech connection…
Tissue paper turkey

My American tissue paper turkey

I’m an American-born, soon to be Australian and next week it’s Thanksgiving.  For me, it’s on a par with Christmas yet in Australia it’s just another Thursday, just another weekend.  I’m asking my workmates out to lunch on Thursday and am taking the Friday off to prepare for lunch on Saturday. Many friends and colleagues and new acquaintances ask me about it — and (with moues of distaste and morbid curiosity) quiz me about pumpkin pie.  “It’s a vegetable – how is it a dessert???” So in the interest of using web 2.0 tech and saving trees and email — I’ll post the recipe here and welcome your conversations. This is slightly adapted from one in my much soiled Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1980s. Pumpkin Pie If you’re planning to dine at night, bake this in the morning.  If you’re planning a lunch, bake it the night before so that it has time to chill. In our family we had this at Thanksgiving and at Christmas.  I don’t know why we didn’t eat it more often. The Crust: Use your favourite custard pie crust. It should be reasonably robust.  If you are trying this as your first attempt ever at a custard-type pie, there is pie dough available in the frozen food section of most Australian grocery stores. Or ask your partner or parental or grandparental who does the cooking in your family to help out.  You spend too much time in front of your computer monitor with your online friends anyway.  : P The filling: I always end up with extra here so don’t stress if you do too. Most measures are in US, but I just use my Australian measuring cups and spoons and haven’t had an issue in 10 years. The pumpkin: The end result has to be 2 cups cooked, mashed and strained pumpkin cooled to a point where it won’t cook the eggs in this recipe on contact. (NOTE: No, not sure of how much fresh pumpkin you start with — easily 6 cups is my guess. Use a fine mesh strainer and make sure it is well strained. I find adding one carrot lends additional sweetness. In the States I used a 2-cup can of pumpkin, but it’s hard to find here. This year I’m cooking for 11, so to save time I bought three cans of Libby’s pumpkin from David Jones’ food court but had to pay $7 each.) The rest of the filling: 2 eggs 1/2 cup of sugar 1 can (375 ml) evaporated milk 1 t ground cinnamon 3/4 t salt 1/2 t teaspoon ground ginger 1/8 t ground cloves (or 1/2 t nutmeg) The instructions:
  • Put the oven rack in the middle position and put a piece of aluminium foil or a wide, flat oven proof dish in the bottom of it in case of spillage.
  • Preheat the oven to 220 C.
  • Measure your spices out first.
  • Line your pie plate with the crust.
  • Beat the eggs slightly and then beat in the remaining ingredients until well blended.
  • Put your pie plate on the oven rack and pour the filling into it.  You may want to use a bowl with a pouring lip or use a gravy ladle to spoon it in from a standard bowl.
  • Bake for 15 minutes at 220 C, then
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 180 C and bake about 45 minutes longer or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
When it’s cooked, let it cool a bit — then get it into the frij as soon as you can.  Chill it down thoroughly. Serve it with whipped cream.  It’s very nice with a glass of port or some warmed mead or medium roast coffee.
Pandora and the turkeyIf I’ve already posted this, forgive me.  In addition to writing for the benefit of others, my blog is also my learning journey’s scrapbook and sometimes my memory is scrappy… Thanksgiving time is fast approaching and I’ve decided to add a few decorations to Plot 13 (one of my SL plots). Kitsch is the order of the day when it comes to Thanksgiving, so an animated GIF of a turkey waving tickled my sense of humour enough for me to want to share it in my virtual space. I’ve uploaded animated textures to SL before, but forgot the process. So I backtracked and now I’m going to record this for posterity: 1) Go to Peregrine Salon – http://www.peregrinesalon.com/anim/ and upload your animated GIF.  Set the framerate to 1 second (play with this). 2) Download the resultant TARGA texture and copy the code 3) Upload the TARGA texture 4) Create your object in SL 5) Create a New Script and delete the default script, replace with pasted script 6) Apply TARGA texture DONE! There is a plug-in for GIMP that can break out frames from an animated GIF – http://www.flashingtwelve.brickfilms.com/GIMP/Scripts/mozaicize.scm but I haven’t played with it yet and it doesn’t provide the script for the SL texture as does the other online tool. If you click on the image — you’ll open up a SLURL (Second Life URL) that, when you’ve got SL open, will take you to my upstairs Learning Loft with freebies and tips for noobies.  If you walk down the stairs, you’ll be able to see the turkey in all his glory.