Last weekend, I was pondering my sanity for signing up to make four pies for a fundraiser, since I've really never made pie. Oh, sure, I can make a delicious pumpkin pie, using
|Picture sideways, but it doesn't matter. |
It's not a circle no matter which way I turn it.
|But I make it work.|
And the filling? The filling was PERFECTION! Coconut cream is probably my favorite pie, especially when it has meringue on top. I learned a lot about "weeping" (which is not only what the pastry chef does but also what happens when the filling is not piping hot when the meringue is put on the pie and a layer of water forms between the two). I also made two French Silk pies, which are decadently rich, especially when made with Ghirardelli baking chocolate and covered with whipped cream.
|Upside down. What's up with my pictures?|
Coconut cream filling. Five eggs, milk, sugar, coconut,
other good stuff. Mmmmmmm!
|Even if you don't like meringue (but you should),|
you have to admit this is GORGEOUS.
|Test piece of French Silk.|
HUGE shout out goes to Christopher Kimball and America's Test Kitchen for being my pie tutor! I am a faithful watcher of the PBS show and proud owner of the cookbook. They don't just show you how to make something or provide you with a recipe, but they also explain why some things work and some things, well, not so much.
I even made lemonade out of lemons with a pie crust fail. I did a horrible job rolling one out, I trimmed it too close and I didn't have enough to crimp the edges properly, making it slide down into the pan. I tried to patch a place that didn't patch so well (figured out how to do that the right way, so it wasn't all in vain), and while the pie shell was cooling on top of the stove, my husband knocked something off the top of the microwave, which, of course, landed right on the pie shell, breaking off the patch plus another huge chunk. Contrary to what you might think, I did NOT get mad about it (seriously, it was a crappy pie crust), especially because he spent the entire weekend doing all the laundry, and by all, I mean probably 9 loads, since Emma finally picked up all the clothes off the floor of her room and made a stab at making it livable again. I rolled out and baked all the other scraps of dough I had been saving, made the filling for chicken pot pie, and we ate that for supper, poured over all the sad, broken pieces of crust plus the extra pieces I baked. Happy tummies!
On Wednesday, my husband had a meeting in Kansas City, so I took the day off from preschool and rode shotgun. We left at 5:30 a.m. (gah!) and hit the road. As per my usual m.o., I drank a diet coke on my way up there. About thirty miles south of Kansas City, I realized I needed to go the bathroom. Like, really go. My husband was concerned he wasn't going to make it on time for his 8:30 meeting, so he didn't want to stop until we got closer. And closer meant about a block from the building, by which time I was absolutely whimpering when I pointed out a Burger King on the corner. "Oh, do you want me to stop?" my husband asked. Barely waiting until the car stopped moving, I lurched into the Burger King and finally relieved my poor bladder.
I also got to have lunch with an old friend from high school ("old" meaning one I've had for a long time, NOT old as in years - we are far too young for that!). Great little Mexican restaurant that had delicious salsa, and we talked and talked and talked. Growing up, I lived on a street with mostly boys, and most of them at least a year younger than me, so when Debbie moved in next door when we were sophomores, I was ecstatic! I love the kind of friends whom you can just pick up with just where you left off last time. Debbie, Heather, and Dawn are all those kind of friends, and I was so lucky to get to see each of them in one day!
My husband and I went to one of my favorite stores while in Kansas City, Pryde's Old Westport, an incredible kitchen store in, well, Westport, just north of the Plaza, if you know anything about Kansas City. They have bakeware and utensils and bowls and specialty items galore and AN ENTIRE ROOM WITH JUST FIESTAWARE! I could have stayed in there all afternoon, but instead, I picked up a couple of things to aid in my pie baking and a Christmas gift for my mom (shhh, don't tell her). The woman who rang up my order commented on the pie shield I bought, and I told her I was honing my pie baking skills. "How long have you been baking pies?" she asked. "Since last weekend," I answered, taking my purchases and heading to the car. I'm a pie baker, world!
We ran into Trader Joe's next, a store I used to shop at in Los Angeles when it was just a cheap place to get groceries and wasn't so freaking trendy. They had brussel sprouts on the stalk, which my husband had never seen before, so we got a stalk, along with various oddball things, including a couple of bottles of Two Buck Chuck. Then, before we took the two and a half hour drive home, we stopped for an early dinner at an Italian buffet, the same place Christine and I, along with Cuckoo and Buttercup, ate at when they were in Kansas City last summer for a soccer tournament. Delicious!
I spent Thursday and Friday making pies, plus a German chocolate cake from scratch, delivered them all to the venue for the show choir fundraiser, then attended the fundraiser, (making sure to eat a piece of my own pie, since it was better than any of the store bought or bakery items available at the fundraiser).
Saturday morning? Made more pies, this time for my mother in law, who commissioned me to make two for her to take to a party. Time out to take a jaunt through a craft fair with my friend Breana, then back to pie baking. A two hour nap while the pie was cooling, delivery to my mother in law, a stop at the mall to pick up a few things from Ulta, back home and to bed ridiculously early, then up again this morning to make the dough for my great aunt's sugar cookies, a family favorite and a requirement at Thanksgiving. Club volleyball practice this afternoon, a workout at the Y, a couple of loads of laundry, a quick trip to buy feathers for the pre-k Indian headbands for our feast tomorrow, and THAT'S WHY IT TOOK ME UNTIL SUNDAY NIGHT TO POST MY TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL!
I sure HOPE there were ten things there....
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, Mother of Imperfection, Rewritten, Thankful Me, The Wakefield Doctrine
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