Thursday, May 22, 2008

cuz I'm a blonde, yeah yeah yeah.....

Chef gave us the day off for good behavior, so I got my hair done. In the middle of the day. Wow.

It's vain. It's superficial. I don't care. My hair is prematurely gray - in the front it's solid white. When I pull it back for work I see my mother. I'm not ready. I don't want to deal. Thanks to Rachelle at Scarlet, I don't have to. It's hot. It's sassy. It will be stuffed under a hat at work because no one wants hair in their pastry or chocolate. And that's ok. It's what's underneath the hat that counts. I feel pretty. I usually don't. I like feeling pretty.

Puppy and I spent the morning at the park. Toward the end of our walk it started raining on us. Puppy, who loves snow and loves to splash around in the ponds and streams is very prissy about being rained upon - she takes great offense, even when there is no thunder. So we were walking very briskly along the lake when I stopped to watch the ducklings. I noticed one of the giant carp swimming up to them. I thought to myself - do carp eat ducklings. That question was answered immediately. Yes. They do. Those ducklings managed to escape being part of the circle of life, but just barely. Puppy had no concern in this drama; she just wanted to get out of the rain. Which turned to hail the moment we reached the car. Somebody up there likes us.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

done at last, done at last.....

60 recipes, around 100 pies, endless tedious test sheets, I'm done at last. YAY!!!

I now make fabulous pie crust - Chef said "you've got pie crust down! this is truck-stop good!". Which he assures me is a compliment - not being one to frequent truck stops, I don't know. But I hear they have good pie.

This pie - I don't know if it's truck stop good, but it's one of my favorites. I made it for Ginger, and brought it to her on moving day. It's spicy apple in a vegan pate brisee crust (there should be some accent marks in there, but I don't know how to do that). Traditional pate brisee is made with butter - this one is made with earth balance buttery spread or buttery stick - they both work. Just leave the salt out of any dough recipe, substitute the earth balance for the butter, and there you go. Flaky pastry - I've also made good puff pastry with the earth balance.

Wen's episode of Road Tasted aired again on the Food Network Sunday. We sent out 6o-some boxes of truffles in the last 24 hours. Chef gave us tomorrow off. Yay.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Victory is Mine!!

Insert manaical laugh here. After three spectacular boilovers, the fourth attempt at New Brown Sugar Pie is a success. Thanks to the combined brainstorming of Chef and myself. The combination of a deep-dish crust and cutting the amount of sugar in half did the trick.

Finally. Brown sugar pies seem to have issues with altitude. Or maybe they were just bad recipes. But the tweaking is done.

Just Caramel Apple pie, maybe Crabapple (if someone comes up with an idea for a substitution for an ingredient so entirely out of season and not very popular to begin with) to go. And data entry. Yay.

Monday, May 12, 2008

48 hours, 14 recipes, 19 pies

Aside from a brown sugar pie that refuses to stop boiling over, it went smoothly. It's almost over, aside from the data entry. Yay.
To the left, Chestnut. Winner of this week's Most Expensive pie award - $16.00 worth of chestnut puree.
To the right, winner of this week's Surprisingly Good award - Gooseberry Pie. Also the winner of the Hardest to Find Ingredient award - the only place in town to carry canned gooseberries - Gold's Grocery. They were also the only store that had plums this week, so they get an award too.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Easy as pie.......

It's 12:33am. My last pie of the day is in the oven - five recipes for a total of 6 pies, because one made two pies. French apple, that one, although aside from thinly sliced apples there is nothing remotely French about it.
This one is Strawberry Daiquiri - it's creamy and is a groovy shade of 50's Cadillac Pink.

2 French Apple and "Hickory Nut" - which had to be made with pecans as hickory nuts are only available in certain areas of the country. They also have extremely hard shells which require a hammer and muscle power to crack. Pecans will do just fine.

This one got me free mounting and balancing of the new tires I had to put on my car. Caramel Coconut - it's a frozen concoction reminiscent of Mounds Bar crossed with a Samoa cookie.

Grape pie. One of the few recipes for such that doesn't require peeling the grapes. Seriously.

The fourth and finally successful attempt at blackberry pie. I really prefer berries to be fresh, but this wasn't bad.
It's been a rough week. 10-12 hours days at work, cake, cake and more cake. Then I come home to pie.......
It's 1:05 am. The kitchen is clean. My last pie - Damson Plum, variation #1 (made with regular plums because Damsons are not available) is out of the oven. It boiled over a bit. Which is ok. It's how you can be sure a fruit pie is done. Besides, I finally got around to buying a silicone mat for the oven. No more scraping - just wipe and go. Easy as pie.
Another 7 of which are waiting to be done........