Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Once it was announced, I completely forgot about this book.  Perhaps it was due to the wedding, setting up house, or just getting into the swing of things, but I had no recollection of the book until Brian got it for my birthday a couple weeks ago.  With school reading, I just finished it last weekend.  And it was fun.  Which is probably the most common criticism about the book.

Compared to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies [PPZ], Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters [SSSM] rates a bit higher.  The second author, Ben H. Winters, adds two additional story-lines (which doesn’t just include whether or not a main character is going to morph into a sea monster like Charlotte Lucas’ dilemma in PPZ).   I read through the book quickly, not just for the laughs, but to figure out whether or not Margaret was really insane.  Whereas in Sense and Sensibility she is overlooked, here in Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters she actually takes a larger role.  She foretells the rising of the Leviathan (taken from the book of Job in the Bible). Now, Winters doesn’t take the Leviathan much of any direction, but it is a rip-off of the book, so why put much effort into it?

I doubt that people are going to read the actual stories as a result of reading these and that die-hards are actually going to enjoy them, but they do exceed in the ironic Jane way of reading which is why I like them so much [taken from Natalie Tyler’s book, The Friendly Jane Austen: A Well-Mannered Introduction to a Lady of Sense and Sensibility].  Rather than being over-romanticized, they take the silly approach which is the way I’ve read Jane Austen for so many years.  I could care less about her over-heroic men; what I enjoyed was Jane Austen’s sarcastic and often very insightful outlooks on her society.  And that’s what these books bring to light again — the fun and enjoyable aspect of reading Jane Austen.


Spicy Pumpkin Pie

The pie turned out a success.  As I was making it, I noticed that it was quickly depleting my spices, and with Thanksgiving not quite in view so no amazing sales on spices yet, I didn’t measure the spices exact to the recipe.  It still turned out spicy, but not too spicy.  Just as I finished the pie, the weekend became cool and autumn-like.  It was great timing, or my pie-making skills called down cool weather.  No rain where we lived, but it was nice to see dark clouds above.  Tonight we had chili with cornbread, which was still fitting to the beginning of autumn.  I only hope that as we travel to Monterey this weekend that it will warm up some.  I don’t want to freeze in Monterey.  I want to be able to walk around and enjoy the beautiful ocean.

On to the recipe, though no pictures as some of the filling spilled, so the pies did not look very pretty.  I am no Martha Stewart — all I care about it how it tastes.

Spicy Pumpkin Pie

Rachel Fox’s adaption

1 9 inch unbaked pie crust

2 eggs lightly beaten

1 fluid 12 ounce can evaporated milk

1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit

2.  In a medium bowl mix the eggs, evaporated milk, and pumpkin.

3.  In another bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients.  Slowly stir into the pumpkin mixture trying to avoid lumps.

4.  Pour pumpkin mixture into prepare 9 inch unbaked pie crust.

5.  Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn down heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 – 40 minutes.  Pie is down when the knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.

6.  Let pie cool.  Can serve warm, but too warm.

Adapted from “Mom’s Pumpkin Pie” from

Autumn evenings

I stepped foot into Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf today and was accosted by their apply drinks.  Apple Tea Lattes, Carmel Apple Fraps, Carmel Apple drinks, etc.  Their marketing didn’t grab me (still had my cup of Assam with milk and sugar), but I did think about Autumn all day.  Apple cider, apple pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pies, hot cocoa, carmel popcorn….

So for dinner tonight we’re having Shake n Bake Chicken (a blast from the past!), some veggies, and pumpkin pie.

This year Autumn feels different and for the obvious reason, I am now married.  I get to bake pies and soups in my home.  Feeling cozy in my home warms my heart (as much as that is over-said).  With that, I can’t wait to go home and bake chicken and pies.  I would say that we’d eat pie in front of the fireplace, but it’s still over 90 degrees outside!  We’ll probably end up walking over to Borders to read for a bit.

If the pie is a success, I’ll post the recipe soon.