Earlier this week we bought a butternut-type squash so that we could make a pumpkin pie. I cooked the squash on Monday, and Tuesday set about to make the pie. Despite the fact that I was short an egg for the filling, the pie turned out beautifully. A little goopier, perhaps - it's texture was a little more like pumpkin pudding than pumpkin pie - but still beautiful and delicious.
The next day Jonathan's sister and her friend came over for a visit. I mentioned to Jonathan that I should serve them some of the pie when they got here. And that is when I found out the awful truth: Romanians don't use pumpkin that way! They would think a pumpkin pie to be quite a strange thing. Indeed, not only do they not use pumpkins in their sweets, but they also really don't make pie. Well, not pie as we think of it, anyway.
How sad. A whole country that's never eaten a slice of pumpkin pie!?! Surely I must start a trend and start handing out free slices of pie along with a recipe!
But that was not the only sad news I received this week.
Me: Do they have apple cider here??
Jonathan: No. They have apple juice, but they don't make cider.
No apple cider AND no pumpkin pie?? How have these people survived the last 5000 autumns?!?
But I am discovering that, in some ways, autumn really is quite different here, and in other ways it's very much the same. Trees shed their leaves, but they don't turn colors like they do in the States. The sky is overcast and there's a nip in the air, but there's no smell of crunchy leaves being burned or decaying on the ground. Perhaps there will be a particular smell as fall grows into winter, but we shall see.
However, right now there are corn husks everywhere! In fields, strewn across the road or yard, and loaded into wagons are lots of corn husks. The harvesting is going on, and this autumn sign is so nice to see.
And even though we have no cider to spice, we did enjoy a lovely cup of tea this afternoon to take off the autumn chill. It's time to pull out the sweaters!
Oh, and Lari and her friend did enjoy the pumpkin pie. Maybe I can change the course of Romanian baking...