Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pie in the Sky--electronic media brings friends

Ah the miracles of modern connectivity! When I posted on FaceBook that I'd made a rhubarb custard pie, and might have to eat the whole thing myself, I got instant volunteers to come and help me out. Beatriz and Diana come over this afternoon, after work and writing group to share.

Beatriz is making plans to move south to NM. David's already down there happily working at a new library. They'll be close to Mike and Katie, who left for AZ a year and a half ago.

I've lived in Port Angeles six years next Monday! and already I've lost good friends to moves south and east...no matter how much we want things
to stay the same, they don't...on the other hand,
connections with friends stretch across miles, and new ones show up.

There was a request for my recipe, originally from Betty Crocker's Pie and Pastry Book, given to me and my ex husband by his mother, Christmas 1968. Neither of the two women who came over today know how to make pies...a tradition handed down from mothers...will it become a lost art? My rebellion against following recipes to the letter makes my baking a bit uneven. All measurements are approximate.

My pie crust is now: a cup of unbleached flour, 1/4 cup wheat germ, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon white sugar--mix well and cut in 1/3 C butter-flavored Crisco and 3 tablespoons real butter.
Use a 1/3 measuring cup and put in ice, water, and a tablespoon of cider vinegar. Mix most of this into the flour/shortening, and form into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least an hour before rolling it out. I roll part way, cut in quarters, stack up the quarters and roll again. I think my ex mother-in-law taught me this trick.

Mix 4-5 eggs, 1 2/3-2 cups sugar (dark brown and part maple syrup), 3 tablespoons half and half, 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix the above with 4 cups rhubarb cut in 1/2 " slices.

Save the cut off parts of the pie crust to lay on top of the filled pie--9" or 10"

Bake 50-60 minutes at 400 degrees. I put my pizza stone on the bottom shelf of the oven while baking the pie to encourage the bottom crust cooking. I love this MUCH more than strawberry-rhubarb...the custard is a nice foil for the tangy rhubarb and the texture feels good in the mouth.

There are certain foods I associate with seasons, as well as holidays. In northern climates rhubarb is often the first edible plant to ripen, and we always had a rhubarb clump in the yard--this year I had to buy the rhubarb at $3 a pound...Yikes! This is the second pie of the season. Maybe I should plant some rhubarb.

I worked more on this painting this morning (love these Tuesdays off!) I fixed it some, but the mouth still isn't right...or the cheek. I'm less afraid of over-working now...practice, practice, practice!

I've been putting more work on my web site, adding some older and newer things that I thought you might like to see. The times when I've just kept plugging away at my art are the times when I've had the best results--check it out. I have difficulty with the rigidity of computer-speak...always distracted by a tangent, so you'll see some incomplete links, which I will fix. If there's no price, that means the piece has sold.

I listened to a whole book today. The library has these clever all-inclusive devices that one plugs a head phone into and just walks around with someone reading a book into my ears...Strange feeling for me, as I have not adopted ALL the modern technology yet. I've been reading a lot of books about brain chemistry and the mind...fascinating stuff!



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