Archive | Pie

RSS feed for this section

How to do Things with Apple Cider Syrup

cider syrup how to do things artWelcome to How to do Things Thursdays!

If you were to walk into my kitchen in early November, what you would see is apples. The gnarly red ones that fall from the overgrown antique trees in our lives as well as about 80 pounds of magnificent GoldRush apples that I order annually from my apple-loving friend, Andrew. They are in the dehydrator being dried, simmering on the stovetop as apple butter, and in a slow oven en route to becoming sliceable apple walnut membrillo. And, yes always the apple pies.  Continue Reading →

Comments { 0 }

Speakin’ of Russia …

large-fishnet-pielets

Political vitriolic nattering and scandals aside, I’ve been pondering Russia. Specifically what goes on in and comes out of some extraordinary or even perhaps ordinary Russian kitchens and bakeshops. Pies. Stunning pies and tartelettes. Continue Reading →

Comments { 10 }

On Matters of the Heart

 

love stuff

I'll be yours valentine poem s

 

Valentines Day is nearly upon us and I can’t help but sing this enchanting holiday’s praises. I get that it can be a tough day for those who are lonely and have experienced loss, but it’s also the one time of the year when we somewhat restrained Americans are encouraged to openly express our fondness for one another. And truly, the simpler the bestowing of appreciation and affection the more meaningful to the recipient … so in that spirit, I’m dashing off a few handwritten and typed notes to unsuspecting acquaintances and loved ones. Including you. 

In case you’re in the business of finding romantic love, this is your lucky day. Forget OkCupid and Match, I’ve been accumulating some timeless courtship advice over the years from last century’s experts in matters of the heart. You need look no further than 20th century agricultural journals for good news such as this from a 1926 Rural New-Yorker magazine:

pie supper couple

 

“Who says Rural New-Yorker is not a good advertising medium? The woman who made those cherry pies described on page 827 received an offer of marriage sight unseen. She will continue to make pies at the same old stand.”

(Note to guys: women like men who bake pies too!) Continue Reading →

Comments { 0 }

I got up early ….

blue ridge sunrise

Although the Blue Ridge Parkway national parkland adjoins our backyard in Asheville, we need to drive 20 minutes to catch a view like this. (As long as you get up at 5:30 am, that is.) Continue Reading →

Comments { 5 }

I made you another birthday (orange cake pie) pi, Albert Einstein!

birthday orange cake pi

Saturday 3.14.15 at 9:26  is the BIG pi day and Albert Einstein’s 136th birthday. Two years ago, I wrote an authoritative post on how Albert Einstein came up with his Theory of Relativity and various equations that actually totally escape my understanding, which I am yet again re-posting, as now it’s tradition. Speaking of things that defy comprehension, do you ever wonder how it is that you can create children that have analytical and all sorts of other capacities well beyond your own? Wayne and I ponder this frequently. As it turns out, my ability for doing math ended in 4th grade, and Wayne claims his ended in 3rd. So how did it come about that we managed to raise three scientist kids who DO understand Einstein’s Theory of Relativity? Who use squiggles that aren’t even numbers anymore to figure out that stuff? 

Well, Einstein’s not the only one who can make up theories … I have made up a couple, myself on this topic … Continue Reading →

Comments { 9 }

Frozen rhubarb cheesecake and a confession

0July 4th birthday cake

July 4th is my birthday and this is the “cake” I made for our birthday dinner. Friends suggested that I post the recipe and so I thought I’d share my version/not-recipe of this ice cream sort of cheesecake. And then, I got to thinking about how most of the recipes/foods on this blog are pretty much pie or some sort of dessert. Which led me to ponder what that’s about since (and this is the confession part) I don’t even care about eating pies or cakes or ice cream. And actually, the thing I like best about dessert is what I eat right before I eat dessert, knowing that I need to not fill up so I have room for the dessert.

2lunch

Which looks something like this lunch from my garden and friends from the local tailgate market. (Hmm, this fruit plate looks like dessert already! It was a productive fruit day in the garden.) There is one more piece of the frozen cheesecake left which I will probably just pass to Wayne because I’m over it already. Even though it was fantastic. The truth is that I love the process of cooking, the art, the alchemy, the gardening and shopping and the gathering of loved ones at the table and I want to feed you. Good foods, healthy foods, foods that do not include blobs of pork belly. And, I love and appreciate your healthy appetite because I just don’t have one. A plate of veggies fills me up and I have to be selective about my abdominal real estate. But I will be happy to make this delicious frozen yogurt “cake” for your birthday!  The inspiration came from my new favorite cookbook.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 6 }

I made you a winter squash birthday pi, Albert Einstein! (Plus a Pick ‘n Pie class)

 

pi day 4

It’s 3.14. Pi Day. And Einstein’s birthday. And we’re celebrating around here. But first, I have a basic physics lesson for you that explains quite simply what pi and Einstein and winter squash pie have in common. Since I have successfully avoided most things physics and pretty much all things math during my lifetime, I have consulted with my three scientist offspring about today’s topic. Rita, who studies nursing at  Emory U in Atlanta, says to ask Wes. Annie, who is a medical physicist, says to ask Wes.  And that pi has to do with Einstein’s Field Equation of Relativity which looks like this:

 R_{ik} - {g_{ik} R \over 2} + \Lambda g_{ik}={8 \pi G \over c^4} T_{ik} \!

Wes is a billion floors down in the atomic, molecular, optical physics lab at Kansas State U. where he shoots electrons with a laser and then makes up stuff about why they land where they land. Evidently he’s busy, so I will just fill in the blanks for you about what Einstein had in mind with his equation, that I’ll call “Rik” for short.

pi day 3

When Einstein was about 2, he let go of his ball and became obsessed with why it went down instead of up. Or maybe that was Richard Feynman. Anyway, when Einstein was about 9, he was struck out at a little league game because he was preoccupied with calculating the trajectory of the ball as it traveled toward him through the curve of spacetime. He used pi to calculate the curve. Of course. Well, he got benched after that and he had time to think about electromagnetic fields and linear momentum and stuff like that, and some of these things had something to do with pi. And then, as he was spacing out on the bench, his stomach started growling which reminded him about how a particle of pie would be so nice about now. So as he was walking home to get that piece of pie, he whipped up the geodesic equation which expains how if you drop an electron, it will not go straight down, it will go in the straightest possible line on the curve of spacetime and it will end up in Wes’ lab and he will zap it with a laser as soon as he finishes eating his pumpkin pie.

I think that about covers it, don’t you? Except for calculating the circumference of a 9-inch pie plate. You do that while I tell you about Mrs. Painter’s winter squash/pumpkin pie.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 4 }

Pie Lady Class at the John C Campbell Folk School

rhubarb pie

Sometimes the stars all line up and the electromagnetic vortex of life just falls into place … for example, last week at the JC Campbell Folk school where I had the great honor to teach A WHOLE ENTIRE WEEK of pie-making to a lovely group of ladies from all over the US. (Cooking classes are usually mixed-gender, this was my first ladies class.)  In case you are not familiar with the JCC Folk school in Brasstown, it was established in 1925 as a place where “folk” could come together as a community in a non-competitive environment to learn a trade/craft/skill in the gorgeous western NC mountains.

super flaky quiche crust

And while it might seem like the task at hand for us last week was to learn the craft of the flaky pie crust (oh do get a load of the flakes these ladies produced!), that’s not the actual point. See, pie’s about bringing folks to the table. It begs to be shared, adored, savored, and enjoyed along with the conversation that takes up where the last flake of buttery crust leaves off. Now, that’s the good stuff .. the blabbing among friends and loved ones. Sort of like what the Folk School is all about.

Ladies in black rollin the dough

Just look at the deft handling of these pie crusts. These were Pillsbury pie crust ladies, for real, before last week.

Continue Reading →

Comments { 5 }

Apple cider caramel dumpling pie and sleeping under a frying pan

apple dumping pie

Today, we woke up to a 47 degree bedroom. Woohoo! It’s finally warming up after last week’s cold snap. It’s useless to heat the bedrooms at night in the uninsulated bulk of our 1880’s rustic house, so we just turn off the thermostat before snoozing, and then turn it way up to a whopping 60 in the morning, taking the chill off until the woodstove kicks in.

chilly thermostat

Unheated bedroom + winter wind blowing through the panes of the old rope windows = 6 quilts on the bed and thick flannel sheets. You know there are enough quilts on the bed when it feels like you’re sleeping under a giant cast iron skillet.

Anatomy of a a winter bed

Speaking of which, in honor of the cast iron cooking class scheduled for Feb. 6, let’s make an iron skillet apple cider caramel dumpling pie.

cast iron apple dumpling pie

Continue Reading →

Comments { 6 }