Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pie Day

Every year artquiltmaker and I do pie day. This began when we got tired of not being able to eat pie Thanksgiving or Christmas because of gluten intolerance. Some years we have made as many as six pies! From scratch! In one day!

As the years meandered on we refined technique and made the process easier. The first and best change was the crust. We found GF crusts at WFM, tested them and found them swell! That saved half a day at least. GF from scratch pie crust is very difficult, really hard, close to impossible. Did I say it was hard? Finding tasty, beautiful and gluten free crusts was wonderful.

After the crust we honed down the varieties of pie. The lemon meringue went by the wayside the year
I used Austrian hooch, stored in a lemon juice bottle, instead of lemon juice! The kids were forbidden from that one when we figured out what I had done. It wasn't very good, either. Cherry stopped when we spilled or miss-measured the brandy. Cured Sean of his love of cherry pie. We only make mince now when Cathy comes because she and I are the only ones who like it so the leftovers tend to get moldy. Not good after all the effort.

We have two pies that are always favorites: cranberry-rhubarb and of course, pumpkin. This year those two were definite bakes. As the crowd has been reduced this year three was the magic pie number. So of course it was c-r and p. The third became artquiltmakers choice which turned out to be blueberry.

One complaint AQ always has is sloppy filling. She wants the filling, be it cherry, lemon or any other, to stay in the crust! This year she began internet research on filling early and found a 'gel' which was supposed to keep the in the crust. Tonight will be the test as she cuts the blueberry pie.

In spite of all I have already said I have not yet gotten to the point of this post - this year's pie day. I live 82 miles from AQ. There is no WFM within 50 miles. If I need something from WFM I plan to stop on my way to AQ's. I needed one item from WFM on this year's Pie Day. It would take me five minutes at the most. The hang-up was that the Big Guy was with me. He thinks it is Christmas when he goes into any type of store. He LOVES to shop! We luckily found a parking spot easily and quickly (I know, a miracle). He got a cart – which I didn't need for my one item – and asked if I wanted various items. I told him to have at it, I would just go get what I needed. Which I didn't because they were out! Then began the great search for the husband – whose cell phone was unhearable in the WFM babble. 10 minutes. After finding him I then had to convince him that he had enough stuff (all good stuff to be sure) and find our way to the shortest (HAH) line. Forty minutes later we were once again on our way. AQ texted me while we were going over the San Mateo bridge – she didn't have enough blueberries! We got to DC and stopped at Trader Joe's. They don't carry canned blueberries. We went around the corner to Safeway – no parking spots and a million people driving around the lot in a stupor. Finally found a spot two blocks (it seemed) from the store. The Big Guy (thank you God) stayed in the car. Four and a half minutes later I got back to the car and we headed off, finally, to AQ's. Arrived about 1:45! That made Pie Day half over! We had a bite to eat to refresh ourselves and it was time to pick up the Young Man from school (a happy task I undertake each Tuesday). I went to ARHS and got him. We had a quick errand to do – pick up reeds for his clarinet – and took off from school to San Bruno (I thought) to the music store. Well, the store is actually in South City. When I realized I was lost TYM phoned home and got directions. That should have been that except South City doesn't seem to believe in street signs! Additionally, there seems to be more than one Grand Avenue and the one we were on was an endless loop! I made sure TYM paid close attention because getting lost in LA as a child with my mom gave me a great knowledge of how to get around that giant city. I must have inherited her getting lost gene!

We finally found Braunstein's only to discover neither of us had any change for the parking meter! Since I know squat about reeds and TYM doesn't drive, I sat in the car, ready to move immediately should a meter maid appear, and he ran in to get the reeds. Another ten minutes on the Pie Day clock. As we pulled out of the parking spot TYM stopped me from heading the (wrong) way I planned and unerringly directed me home. It was 4:30! The last pie was ready to go into the oven. AQ did it! I could rest easy in future years knowing there would be pies for holidays whether I was there or not!. I did a little clean-up and helped make dinner. Artquiltmaker you rock!

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