Thursday, November 08, 2007

Green Curry Blue Orchid Ruddy Oat

Before I went to Lust, Caution on Saturday night, I went to lunch at the Blue Orchid with Angela and Karen. This was my first time there, and on recommendation from Mark (de Mill), I chose the Green Curry (bamboo shoots, green peas, and basil leaf in an oak and peppercorn flavored curry). I really enjoyed it, and I really liked the tom kha soup that was my first course.

One of my student workers acquired a self-diagnosed allergy to wheat at Villa Aurora in Italy. Apparently, she ate too much pasta. Well after some good natured ribbing, I needed her to appreciate what an excellent baker I am, so I got some oat flour from Open Harvest (I am now a member!) to make my pie crust with.

I should have asked my resident food scientist at work (literally, she has written her dissertation on one of the egg proteins), but I did not, and the oat flour crust smelled so good whilst mixing it up. It was lacking the necessary gluten to layer with my chilled fats for which to make a flaky, flaky crust. [It was the first time I remembered missing someone while they were still there.*] So after some struggling with the sticky paste, I rolled out the crust twixt parchment paper and plastic wrap (a technique I'm going to use a lot more) and put it in the oven with crossed fingers and stars.

Instead of the flakes that one is hoping to achieve, I ended up with a mealy, crumby crust, which I felt unworthy of the reputation I'd established. So now Marcy and I get to eat a half-ways decent apple pie (I'm getting really good at apple pies, and the fresh shaved cinnamon and nutmeg are nothing to turn your nose at either.) instead of sharing with my coworkers, allergic or not.

*My friend Brian recommended the "very short story" Pet Milk by Stuart Dybek. He says it is his all-time favorite, and after listening to Mike Nussman read it for Chicago Public Radio's Stories on Stage series (scroll halfway down to Ties That Bind originally aired 11.23.02) I can see why.

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