Happy Hour In The Heptarchy: Cayenne Pumpkin Pie and a Mason Jar of Milk

by J.R.

It’s five past 5 across Conference III (leave work early, Colorado — you have our permission), time to hit bricks and get that freakin’ weekend started, am I right?

Of course I am.

It’s been a tough week for some of you so loosen your belt, pop a top, grab a spoon and stop being such a sourpuss. III Communication’s got good news for everybody.

The Particulars

pumpkin-pie-spiceWhat We’re Eating: Despite me not being much of a baker, my dear mother has entrusted me with the pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving.

I’ve had some success with making spicy desserts before — a local old-school burger joint called Bobbie’s Dairy Dip makes a milkshake called the “Screamin’ Jay Hawkins” that is essentially a chocolate shake with a heavy scoop of cayenne, which was an inspiration. For example, I modified a recipe for some cookies that are supposed to accelerate the onset of labor in the late weeks of my wife’s pregnancy. Now that recipe is my famous spicy snaps, a staple at holiday parties.

With that in mind, I started playing around with cayenne in pumpkin pie. And let me tell ya, it’s delicious. While most pumpkin pies have a myriad of spices, the strong, smoky and peppy flavor of the cayenne means that concoction is modified. I used just a half-teaspoon of cinnamon, a half-teaspoon of allspice (which I use in pretty much everything I make) and three-quarters of a teaspoon of cayenne. It’s important to bump up the sugar a little, because the cayenne dulls the natural sweetness of pumpkin a bit — I use 7/8 of a cup of sugar, as opposed to the standard three-quarters. Some folks make pumpkin pie with sweetened condensed milk and skip the sugar, but in this case, go with evaporated milk and add the sugar (your mileage may very depending on the pumpkin filling). Other than that, it’s a standard pumpkin pie recipe.

Just trust me.

frothtastic-653x400What We’re Drinking: When I was a kid, I drank so much milk in my early teens that my parents actually started having it delivered, like from a milk man. No, I did not grow up in the 1950s. It just made more sense to have a few half-gallons delivered instead of trooping out to the store every other day, burning the gas and invariably picking up god-knows-what else.

I fell away from drinking all that milk when I went to college and into bachelorhood, mostly because the milk would end up behind a 12-pack of beer for months on end and never get consumed.

Now that I have a kid, milk is part of my life again and fortunately, doctors recommend youngins get whole milk, which is fine with me, because I like it full-fat. And a Mason jar full of milk is perfect with that spicy pie.

Reasons To Celebrate

Chicago: Looks like the great Threero Michal Rozsival is back just as Michal Handzus goes on IR. Little known provision in the CBA: each team is permitted just one Michal at a time. Anyway, Ricardo Yantologist, McDonald’s enthusiast, will be delighted to learn that the Oak Brook, Ill.-based fast-food giant is adding a third drive-thru window.

Your Weekend Jam: “What A Fool Believes” by Self


Colorado: Whoa! A losing streak! If Coloradans need to see a winner, they can head to The 1UP arcade to check out the third annual “Kong Off” Donkey Kong world championships.

Your Weekend Jam: “King Kong Song” by ABBA


Dallas: There is very little bleaker than the Western Canada swing in November, except perhaps the Western Canada swing in January, which it appears the Stars are avoiding. And if Tyler Seguin’s four goals and Jamie Benn’s six-pointer aren’t enough to bring a smile to your face, perhaps the comeuppance given to a retrograde wackadoo by some Richardson High students will do it.

Your Weekend Jam: “Why Won’t You Love Me?” by Bare Jr.


Minnesota: Not much to complain about during a 8-1-1 run, except maybe that Mike Yeo’s coaching strategy could be replicated by any Tom, Dick or John Young. But y’all are a generous lot apparently: Give To The Max Day maxed out the charity drive’s web site.

Your Weekend Jam: “Give A Little Bit” by Supertramp


Nashville: Bit of a scoring slump after putting up 14 in three games to start the road trip. No mind: maybe instead of ponying up for a baseball stadium, Metro can buy the whole dang team.

Your Weekend Jam: “Golden Ball and Chain” by Jason & The Scorchers


St. Louis: The Blues asserted themselves big Thursday, taking down what-was-then Conference III’s leader. Celebrate with a little Steve Miller.

Your Weekend Jam: “Jet Airliner” by Steve Miller Band




Winnipeg: Raise your hand if you had Bryan Little has a Top 10 goal-scorer. Now, put your hands down, stop lying and go get some salvation at Union Point United Church, plumb in the middle of Highway 75.

Your Weekend Jam: “Little Liar” by Joan Jett