What a weekend!

We had a busy Saturday. The kids’ soccer team kept up its string of games without loss. We had a fancy dinner cooked by a chef who is thinking about writing a cookbook and is trying out ideas on our friends and we got to go eat as well. It was very good – two kinds of stuffed pimento peppers – one with goat cheese, anchovies and other things, the other with rice and pinenuts and currants and so forth. Then we had a wild mushroom lasagne with a wonderful bechamel sauce and a homemade tomato sauce on top. It was fantastic. The essence of porcini oozed from every bite.

Main course was a grilled pork loin that had been stuffed and rolled with pancetta, garlic and herbs, served with a dish of roasted butternut squash and green beans and homemade french bread.

But even before that we also went to the NaNoWriMo East Bay kickoff party where we met about 30 other co-novel writers and got encouragement for our efforts.

Sunday was quieter except that we had a pile of pre-teens over in the afternoon. They headed down to the creekbank while I made

Mango Cream Pie

This wasn’t a total success, but here goes. I made a crust out of 11 graham crackers crushed up with a couple of tablespoons of sugar and five tablespoons of melted butter. I mashed it down to coat the bottom and edges of a pie tin. (Tip – make it go higher than you really want – it shrinks) and baked it in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.

While that was going, I blended together (with a spoon) 4oz of creme fraiche, half a tin (12 oz) of mango pulp, 4 oz of mascarpone, about two tablespoons of ground cardamom and about two tablespoons of lemon zest. Then I whisked three eggs and a quarter cup of cornstarch together, put it on the heat and slowly added in the mango mixture, whisking constantly. I kept that up until a little before it would have boiled, just as it started to seriously thicken. Then I let it cool for about ten minutes while the pie crusts cooled and poured it on in and stuck it in the fridge. Then I shaved a bunch of strips of lemon zest over it before serving. It was seriously good, but I have to warn you that the quantities for the filling aren’t quite right. I inadvertently went too far with the cornstarch and then added more mango to thin it out at the end.