Finding that middle road

When Willy and I were dating it was pretty clear that we were coming from two distinctly different planets when it came to our music taste. He shared with me a song by Corb Lund, I shared with him a song by Broken Social Scene. The sole things these two artists shared in common was that they’re both technically Canadian Indie artists.

That day when we exchanged those texts, I think we both had a moment of shock like, “Ok, so this is different.” In fact, Willy tells a story of how growing up he always thought marriage was about ‘sacrificing’ by repainting the living room a different shade of beige to appease the wife who desire change. “I didn’t think it would mean I’d have to listen to this!”

To his credit (and my great pleasure), Willy has never complained about my music. But I have also really tried to make sure I don’t drive him to it, either. Since music is tremendously important to me (it’s a life-giving force, even!) I’ve tried to find a middle ground of music that we both enjoy.

Guess where we found it? Hipster-Pseudo-bluegrass/country!

Here are some of the artists we like best:

  • Joel Plaskett: Example here and here
  • Mumford and Sons (not Canadian, but definitely pseudo-bluegrass) – here and here
  • Civil Wars (thanks Beth!): I die every time I hear this song. And this one is great.

As this is being published we’ll be en route to a marriage conference put on by Family Life in Mont Tremblant. I plan on introducing him to the Great Lake Swimmers (concrete heart) as we drive through the gorgeous Quebec countryside. I’m confident he’ll like the band.

Just like the in our relationship sometimes we need to find the middle road  in order to find moments of peace and enjoyment, we also need to chill out, step away from pushing towards our goals and being productive and just enjoy life.

That’s what I plan on doing this weekend with my husband. You should, too. (Except not with my husband).

Evernote + Food = Productivity (Sugar-free Pumpkin Pie with Spelt Crust)

I use Evernote every day. I use it to manage my to-do lists, store ideas, make grocery lists, meal planning and store/adapt all my recipes there. Another time I’ll show you how that process works in case you’re not familiar. Every so often Evernote does a cook along to advertise how to use Evernote Food for cooking. I’m still not totally sure how to use Evernote Food and plan on making a pie for (Canadian) Thanksgiving this weekend, so I thought I’d give this a shot. In doing the Harvest Cook-along it inspired me to another Evernote organizational activity related to holidays and food. I will post on that as well later.

It occurred to me yesterday that this my first Thanksgiving since going wheat/sugar-free. I’m glad I’ve figured out my life in that way so that I feel comfortable enough to have guests and not worry that I’ll ruin dessert for them. A few months ago I found this spelt pie crust from Seasonal Ontario Food, I have not used anything since. This one is the best/easiest one I’ve tried. Today I made a sugar/wheat-free pumpkin pie which tasted great, adapted from a recipe I found on the Food Network. You can see the Evernote Food post here.

You’ll notice I missed documenting the whole pie filling. Funny story related – a lesson in communication. It was 10PM last night and we had spent a few hours prepping some of the dishes for today’s Thanksgiving Dinner so we could have a more relaxed Saturday. As I was trying to decide whether to prep the pie filling, we walked through how the day would go. I figured I’d have plenty of time to prep a pie especially if I had all morning and afternoon to do it. After saying the turkey would take about two hours to bake, my husband said he would put the turkey in at around 10AM.

“After that, I’ll do the dishes and then I figure people will show up after that.”

That’s odd, I thought, why would people come four or five hours early to thanksgiving dinner? “When exactly are people coming?” I asked.

He gave me a funny look. “Well, we’re eating at one, so probably around noon.”

Ohhhhh. Lunch. Hmm. Missed that one.

This year is the second anniversary of us falling for each other. He invited a bunch of people over for Thanksgiving “Dinner” (lunch), I being one of those people. We fell for each other that weekend, started dating officially shortly after that. Were engaged three months later. Last year we had my dad, brother and his (now) wife over for Thanksgiving “Dinner.” In my mind that was an exception to the rule of Dinner being eaten at Supper time. These last two years have been exceptions to the rule in my mind, where extenuating circumstances have caused the cosmic act of Dinner being changed to Lunch Time. In my husbands mind, that’s the way it just always is. Thanksgiving Dinner and Christmas Dinner are eaten at Lunch. Go figure.

Last night was a great example of how I’m really glad I’m a laid-back person. People were going to arrive 6 hours earlier than I had expected and I didn’t freak out. Ok so maybe just an eensy weensy bit of freak out.

Hence why there are no pictures of the pie filling steps. The adapted recipe for the filling is below, the Evernote Food post is how to do the Spelt Pie Crust. It has a wonderful nutty flavour and honestly, I like it more than regular flour crusts! Maybe it’s the hipster in me that prefers something less mainstream. Another thing Evernote Food didn’t capture well was the hissy fit I had in making the pie crust. Pro-tip: the crust always works better after you roll it out once, get angry, and start all over again. I think it has something to do with the way the butter awkwardly shifts around and distributes itself better under your chagrin.

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Pie*

Pumpkin Pie

  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (500 mL)
  • 4.5T + 2tsp truvia
  • 3 tablespoons fancy molasses
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  •  1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons brandy

Spiced Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  •  teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg


Pumpkin Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to just under ¼-inch thick. Dust the bottom of a 9-inch pie shell with flour and line with dough. Trim edges, keeping scraps to roll and cut for garnish, if desired. Chill while preparing filling.
  3. For filling, whisk pumpkin with brown sugar, molasses spices and salt. Whisk in eggs, then whipping cream and brandy or orange liqueur. Pour into chilled pie shell.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until filling puffs just a little around edges but still has a bit of jiggle in center when moved. Allow to cool to room temperature, then chill completely.
  5. To serve pumpkin pie warm, it is recommended to bake and chill completely, then re-warm in a 300 degrees F. oven for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with spiced whipped cream.

Spiced Whipped Cream

  1. Whip cream with sugar and spices until medium peaks form. Dollop over the pieces of pie.


*This pie would have zero glycemic index if it weren’t for the molasses.

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