Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's 'jes' pie.'

Chess Pie.  Never heard of it?  It's a southern thing.  The name could refer to men playing chess, but it's more likely that it refers to a "chest" pie-- one that could be stored in the pie chest.  Or, it could refer to lemon curd "cheese pie" from the UK.  Or, it could be what a northerner heard when a southerner told them it was "just pie."

I can see it now.

"This lovely custard pie is divine.  What do you call it?  "
"Oh, dear-- it's jes' pie!"

Well, really. Who gives a damn, because it is GOOD.  And, with my current obsession with all edibles from the south (I made my very first attempt at Fried chicken a couple weeks ago.), and my fond rememberance of the pie from my mother's kitchen, I decided to give it a go.

My version?  Jack Daniels Chess Pie.

As you can see, seedling #1 decided to poke it.  ugh.
Why yes!  That IS homemade whipped cream, Mrs. Deen!
I made it in a bigger pie pan than I should of, so the custard a bit thinner than it could have been, but DANG if the cornmeal crust didn't make up for it.  A 1/4 c. of JD in the custard didn't hurt either.

*twirls around*  This midlife crisis of mine may be bad for the hips, but it's heaven on the lips.

I plan to make a pecan pie later this week.  I AM turning 34, you know, pecan IS my favorite.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Adventures in Baking.

So.  I read a book in which one of the main characters makes blue ribbon pies for the county fair.  Suddenly, I have the urge to dig out the pie recipes, and attempt to recreate the flavors, textures, and neighborhood mom envy.

I break out the book:
Note the title: The "Perfect" Pie.  Because if I use this recipe, and follow it as I should, my pies will be the talk of the town.  Is this the equivalent of buying the makeup that Jennifer Garner models, in the hopes that I'll sprout amazing skin and perfect dimples?  Probably.

Not one to do anything at half tilt, I quaintly pick out 3 recipes that remind me of my childhood.  Apple pie, Kentucky Bourbon Chess Pie, and Pecan Pie.  I imagine amazing pies popping out of the oven, seemingly on their own accord and with the help of the faeries.... and neighbors drifting over, following their noses to the bliss.

I research pie crust.  Lard, butter, pastry flour, cornmeal.....  I research pre-baked, partially baked.... fillings, pie shields, cooling times, blind baking, custard, etc....... If you're not familiar with me, I LOVE to research.  Last summer it was the Tudors, this fall it was the fall of Rome, and it appears that this spring is baking.

So.  First up--- I had apples and everything else in the house to make apple pie.  The research paid off!!!
Apple Pie.  Martha would be proud.
The boys helped me crank the apple peeler/corer/slicer, and we had a blue ribbon winning pie in no time flat!  The crust, I decided, should be 1/2 lard and 1/2 butter fat.  The flakiness was superb!  I juiced a fresh lemon, and grated fresh nutmeg and cinnamon in the filling.  Green apples for the tart, Gala for the body.

I thought about inviting Jennifer and Martha over to enjoy a piece with me, but the boys had other ideas. The neighbors never had a chance.

Next up--- Good old fashioned Kentucky bourbon Chess pie.  It just came out of the oven, and smells divine.  I did a cornmeal crust, and made the custard with love.  :)  Why the pies?  Possibly I'm going through a mid life crisis.  I have been nesting quite extensively lately, a la redecorating, organizing, cooking ridiculously expensive dinners for myself and the two little boys who would be happier with hot dogs.  But they eat it and smile, God love 'em.

My quote for the day?

"Well fed, flat broke."  I've been spending all my disposable income at the local grocery store.  :P

Monday, February 25, 2013

Back to Writing......

So...... hello!

I'm back.  *meekly looks out on the blogosphere*

I won't be setting up guidelines for myself this time.  I'll just write when I feel like writing.  I'm too much of an adventurer for strictness.

I had a very busy Holiday season, followed by a post-holiday depression of inactivity, followed by some redecorating.

My almost finished breakfast nook!
I hope to share some food with you.

I hope to share my adventures in decorating with you.

I hope to attempt the biggest, most productive garden to date in the evenings. 

I hope to get some orders and be busy with those during the day, and share the projects with you.

I hope to write about all this.  I need a chronicle.  Even if I'm the only one reading.  :)