Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

And So It Rains.

the rain
Robert Creeley

all night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quite, persistent rain.

what am i to myself
that must be remembered,
insisted upon
so often? is it

that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me

something other than this,
something not so insistent—
am i to be locked in this
final uneasiness.

love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
be for me, like rain,
the getting out

of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
be wet
with a decent happiness.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Caturday: Adoptable Cats

{In which we meet the rescued kitties in need of a home.}

Thumbelina! She's a very adorable polydactyl calico with a huge personality. Polydactyl cats are born with extra toes, so she looks like she has thumbs... Hence the name Thumbelina.

Winston Churchill! Church for short and cute as a button. He looks amazingly similar to my very own gray kitty who is also cute as a button, Geoffrey.

The vet hospital at which I spend 30 hours a week has a very kindhearted doctor who will rescue exceptional kitties from certain death and put them up for adoption. These are two of the four hospital kitties who were lucky enough to receive her care.

Next Caturday you can meet the kitty I rescued from the same hospital!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pie Crust: Attempt Number One

{In which we begin our pie crust journey. One pi(e) day.}

65/366: Culture

When you mention that you are on a quest for the perfect pie crust recipe, the thing you hear most often is "Oh! -Insert dear pie making friend or relative's name here- makes a delicious pie crust! Let me get you the recipe!"

Little does your well meaning friend know, pie crusts that have been passed through families don't have recipes. You consider yourself lucky if a flour encrusted recipe card turns up and even luckier if there are actual measurements on the card. More likely than not the 'recipe' looks something like this:

A dash of salt
A pinch of sugar

And it's true, this is exactly what you need to make a pie crust. However, I'm on the hunt for something a little more scientific. So I started with a cookbook that never lets me down... The Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. Chances are, you have this book on your bookshelf somewhere. Just look for the red checkered cover.

Pie Making

Recipe for Pastry for Double Crust Pie
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
8 to 10 tablespoons very cold water

I stuffed this pie crust with an apricot and cranberry filling, very basic and delicious.

This pie crust was quite beautiful! It baked out to be a lovely color and quite flaky. I opted out of making a closed top due to my complete lack of coordination in rolling out this dough. Quite honestly I spent more time piecing this dough together than I did eating, mixing, cutting out little stars and creating the delicious filling. And rolling it out? Forgettaboutit. Complete disaster.

It held together very well despite the massacre and for my first time trying to get the water to fat ratio down I was quite pleased with myself. Unfortunately there was NO flavor involved in this crust.

Lessons learned this time around: Add more stuff.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Let's Talk Pie

Another Pie Photo

There's just something about a well executed pie, isn't there? The marriage of sweet and salty flavors, the contrast of soft and hard, the fragrance of custard and possibility. Magic and moonlight diners. Truck stops and Auntie Mame.

Sometimes I get carried away.

You see, I'm on a quest to perfect the art of pie crust. This is a good goal... This goal means there will be pie. It is also a good goal because pie crust is not easy. The art of pie crust lies not only in the recipe, but in the technique. And I daresay in personal preference.

I like an even amount of sweet and salty in my pie crust.  Some like it on the sweet, some on the salty. Some like it moist and flaky, some like it dry and flaky. I think the only thing we can all agree on is the flaky part. And when that perfect pie crust does finally materialize, who cares what's in the middle?

But since I can't just bake pie crust all the time (while it would be on of the more pleasurable things to eat on a weekly basis, we need to test how the crust cooks with a filling) I'm making complete pies. Which means pie recipes are in order.

The goal is one pie a week for a year.

Let me preface this by saying that I'm not a professional pie maker by any stretch of the imagination. So this is me starting from the ground up.

Ready? Here we go. We are now on a perfect pie crust quest.