Decisions, bartering and resistance: On trading and the nature of rural neighbors


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Pumpkin pie


Recently in Berlin, I meant to make a pumpkin pie. Or at least some pumpkin soup. It did not happen, for whatever reason, but in the meantime, I did stumble on a recipe I used a few months ago when I made a last-minute, kind of makeshift pumpkin pie.

My normal pumpkin pie recipe calls for cream, for example, and brown sugar. This time, I was in my kitchen and had opened a can of sweetened condensed milk to make some other recipe… and then realized I did not have all the needed ingredients to make that recipe. I thought about what I could do instead and decided to have a go at a condensed-milk version of the pumpkin pie.

I whipped up a pie crust (recipe below) and then made the following filling, which actually comes out more smooth and delicate than my standard recipe:

15 ounces pumpkin puree (canned)
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk (most standard cans are 14 ounces)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425F. Whisk all filling ingredients together and pour into unbaked, prepared pie crust. Bake 15 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350F and continue to bake for another 35 minutes.

Refrigerate a few hours or overnight and enjoy.

Pie crust
CRUST: 1 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled butter
3 tablespoons cold water

Stir together flour and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in enough water, with fork, just until flour is moistened. Shape dough into ball, flatten ball. Roll ball on lightly floured surface into 12 inch circle. Place in 9 inch pie pan. Crimp edge. Set aside.

reflections on using and being used


Marge Piercy – “Song of the Fucked Duck


“In using there are always two.
The manipulator dances with a partner who cons herself.
There are lies that glow so brightly we consent
to give a finger and then an arm
to let them burn.”

“Fantasy unacted sours the brain.
Buried desires sprout like mushrooms on the chin of the morning.
The will to be totally rational
is the will to be made out of glass and steel:
and to use others as if they were glass and steel.
We can see clearly no farther
than our hands can touch.”

“You said: I am the organizer, and took and used.
You wrapped your head in theory like yards of gauze

and touched others only as tools that fit to your task
and if the tool broke you seized another.
Arrogance is not a revolutionary virtue.
The manipulator liberates only
the mad bulldozers of the ego to level the ground.
I was a tool that screamed in the hand.
I have been loving you so long and hard and mean
and the taste of you is part of my tongue
and your face is burnt into my eyelids
and I could build you with my fingers out of dust
and now it is over.”

“Nothing I do/smoothes out the feelings of being used…”

(I spent a week trying to remember where these lyrics came from, as they floated through my head… and at last, tonight, waiting on the arrival on uninvited guests, it popped up, clear and perfect.)

Sleater-Kinney – The Ballad of a Lady Man