i was in sleep freefall this morning, didn't care when i woke up. i finally got out of bed around 12:30 with a strong desire to do some cooking.

first thing i made was half a dozen flan. while that was baking in the oven, i went to work on making a pumpkin pie. for some reason the pie pumpkin i got was easily hard to cut in half. sawing at it with a serrated knife was nearly impossible. i ended up getting the thing opened by dropping the pumpkin down on the edge of a knife and working my way around the pumpkin.

next i threw the two halves into the microwave with some water for 15 minutes to soften the flesh. afterwards it was easy to scoop out the pumpkin flesh and then blend everything into a puree with an automatic hand mixer. the pumpkin shells remained hard, i'm going to see if i can dry and use them somehow (organic bowls, christmas ornament, who knows). i almost wanted to bake some muffins but stopped myself before i went too far.

this being jawei's last weekend here in boston, i didn't want him to leave town without visiting the mount auburn cemetery. so we got in the car and i drove down there around 3pm. the cemetery was the crowded i've ever seen it, a combination of the nice weather plus peak foliage season here in eastern massachusetts. i made a beeline to the tower, so we could get an overview of the surroundings, then we drove around, stopping occasionally to take photos of particularly colorful trees.

leaving the cemetery, i spotted a particularly magnificent sunset, so i decided to drive out to someplace flat so we could take photos. that's when i got the bright idea that we should go high instead, so we ended up going to the cambridge reservoir in belmont. when we got back home, i quickly went to star market to get some groceries, before returning home to start mixing the pumpkin pie filling. i ended up making a big pie and a small pie (with premade crusts, there are limits to my baking abilities). my parents came over for dinner along with suhan. ironically, even though i was cooking for most of the day, this was in fact my first meal of the day (somehow i didn't feel particularly hungry today). everyone was eyeing the flan and the pie, but neither dessert was ready yet (i like to let the flan sit for a day before eating, to let the caramel dissolve, and the pumpkin was still baking by the time we finished dinner) - we ended up eating the rest of my layered jello.

after they left, jawei and i watched skeleton key on vcd. i remembered the movie didn't make much money at the box office, and although the movie is well-made, the ending's a bit of a downer. it takes place in lousiana, which gives the film a now-tragic sort of vibe (with the recent hurricane disaster), but if the bayou is all about voodoo curses (from what i gather from the movie), then maybe there's a silverlining in there somehow.