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September 29, 2002: Does pumpkin ice cream count as a vegetable?

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Tonight was the annual homemade ice cream contest and potato feed at the church. My dad and I had been debating whether we wanted to go or not, but when it appeared that there'd be only one entry in the ice cream contest, we figured it was our duty to show up, if only to give the other entrant a challenge.

The past two years I have participated in this thing I have brought fresh peach ice cream. This year, since my dad wanted to do peach, I decided to have fun and try something new. I flipped through my little book of ice cream recipes, found one, and decided that was it: Pumpkin Spice. I tossed all the ingredients in the blender, dragged Richard downstairs for a taste test, decided to up the level of spices a tad, and then lugged the whole ice cream freezer contraption off to the church to get ready.

As it turned out there were five of us contestants this year - two different varieties of peach (one more like a delicious peach ice, the other obviously made with real cream - velvety and rich), vanilla, peanut butter, and my pumpkin spice. We all joked that it was the year of the yellow ice cream. I wasn't sure how the pumpkin spice would come out, seeing as how this was the first time I'd ever tried the recipe, but oh, wow! I decided that it had to be vaguely healthy too, because it has pumpkin in it (hush - leave me my delusions). It took second place, right behind that incredibly rich peach ice cream. I'm thinking that I may just have to make this ice cream again - perhaps for Thanksgiving (what better time for pumpkin-based foods, after all?). Pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin spice cake, pumpkin pie. Our families will never know what hit them.

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We're off to Chicago tomorrow for two weeks of what we've been told will be an extremely intensive boot camp. I can tell it's been a while since I've done any business travel since we actually packed today instead of what I used to do near the tail end of my traveling days - tossing everything into my suitcase about half an hour before I had to leave for the airport (which is, I might point out, a good way to discover how to survive without socks). There were other non-packing things to do, however, and it's been nice to be able to take our time about doing them. The house is cleaned (mostly), and there are extra bags of litter and food for the cats. Directions for everything are printed out and placed on the table (including a request to occasionally collect all the dragons and return them to their windowsills so Rosemary is continually amused. By the way, in case you were wondering, she's been actively carting those eight tiny stuffed dragons around for 5 months now).

I'm feeling rather smug about the fact that I've been able to continue my trend of getting absolutely everything into my carry-on bag (I'm allergic to checking luggage), even though this is a two-week trip. Okay, before you all throw things at me, I'm not really *that* amazing a traveler. it's really only a week's worth of stuff, and if we can't find a laundromat like I'm counting on, I may be washing my socks in the sink (yes I know hotels do laundry, but I don't trust them when half my things can't be tossed in the dryer. Stupid women's fashion using stupid non-permanent press fabrics. Grr).

A quick thanks to all of you who wrote or commented on my previous entry regarding the difficulty I had finding appropriate business attire for women. A large number of you pointed me toward Land's End, so I promptly checked out their website and after I oohed and aahed, I requested catalogs. Come spring, when I'll most likely have to go through the whole sorry shopping-for-business-clothes mess again, perhaps it'll be slightly less appalling. Granted I only gave it a quick skim, but from what I could see on their web site Lands End's clothing seems to be refreshingly lacking in fringe, see-through blouses, and reflective pants. I'm taking this as a very good sign.

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