Sunday, April 26, 2009

My little Notebook

So I got a little spiral bound unlined notebook from my mother about 2 x 3.5 inches in size and I'd say 100 pages. I've filled it about 2/3 full since I started writing in it in April of last year, writing on both sides of the pages. I've used it for my shopping lists, words I've wondered about the etymology of, scheduling, song lyric quotes, websites, and you get the point.

Here's the first page:

Demo. Demonstration or Demolition?
Etm of Tidings
Shop list
Ipod shuffle
face wash
Fresh Step
Special Kitty
red vermouth

shape etm?
Braces v. Suspenders
Sully Sullivan
civil twilight
"Bobby thumbed a diesel down." -- Kris Kristofferson
"Drink their martinis dry." -- Pete Seeger
Shop list
Strawberry shake Oreos

rump etm?
Roy Black old (dog names)
Vega Boxer Staffordshire mix
Cooper Golden Retriever
taxi etm?



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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Never-Fail" Pie Crust

This one goes out to all those fresh fruits, waiting to reach their potential twixt two layers of flaky goodness.

3 Cups sifted all purpose flour
1.5 Cups refrigerated shortening
1 teaspoon salt

1 beaten egg
6 Tablespoons ice water
1 Tablespoon of either vinegar or lemon juice

Cut shortening, flour, and salt together with a pastry blender or large fork until pebble sized. Add combined wet ingredients to flour and shortening mixture and cut together until everything is combined. Refrigerate at least one hour, preferably more than 6, before rolling out. Yield is plenty for one 9 inch double crust pie, or maybe three flats for an 8 inch pie.

I love using Crisco's butter flavored stick shortening. I generally use lemon juice, but I've used vinegar with equal success. I also have a pastry blender that works wonderfully. As much as possible, try not to touch the mixture, and don't overwork it when blending it together. The colder your shortening, the better chance you have of achieving maximum flakiness.

Bon chance y buena suerta.



At April 22, 2009 8:33 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I've read that using half ice water and half cold vodka helps in the tender/flaky department too (source: Alton Brown). Any thoughts on this?

At April 22, 2009 8:59 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

The vinegar/lemon juice seems to be what separates this recipe from a lot of crust recipes I've seen. I don't know why, but I think that acid/base mixture helps incorporate something. So I'm guessing the alcohol has the same effect, and Alton actually uses Apple Jack whiskey in his apple pie crust recipe. Plus along the lines of keep the fat as cold as possible, I think you can keep alcohol at a colder temp than water, which would feed into that theory.


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Monday, April 20, 2009

It Isn't Spring Until You Can Step On Nine Daisies at Once

Actually, it's officially Spring because Nebraska played their Spring Football Game, 77,670 in attendance (this is a lot, Pittsburgh had 6,200; Oklahoma had 28,000 and their quarterback didn't think many schools had that many people) Two of those 77k were Allison and me. And to cement Spring's arrival we made a blubarb pie too. It was made with sorta freezer burnt rhubarb and blueberries, but it is still pretty tasty and as per usual, the crust was excellent.

We also went to the NCAA Women's Gymnastics National Championships which were also in Lincoln this weekend. It was fun watching Georgia win their 10th championship in their coach's last year, she's retiring. Included in that was one of Georgia's gymnasts, Kupets, who won the all-around on Thursday and in the individual event finals on Saturday added three more championships to set an NCAA record with nine for her career.

My Birthday:

I had a wonderful day. We went to eat at the Thai Restaurant and I had some always tasty Tom Kha Gai. And not only did I receive a bunch of excellent recipes, someone even asked me for one. One of my co-workers (while that doesn't need a hyphen, I prefer it when reading, because I can't separate the syllables properly, and I end up pronouncing it like a gaucho working cattle.), Mike, brought in a different recipe that he or his wife selected each day of the week following my birthday (the highlight might be a Brussels Sprouts and Red Grape dish). Another coup for me was a mushroom enchilada recipe I've been wanting for ten years. The recipe is from the wife of my principal in academy. Our new accountant at work is her class agent for Union and emailed her my request. Et Voila! I'm also looking forward to trying Ceri's mother's blueberry muffin recipe.

I made Eric's Potato Salad for Easter. Leah's recommendations were all excellent. The toasted pine nuts, roasted red pepper (I love "roasting" these over an open flame on my gas stovetop.), fresh dill, and slightly caramelized red onions all helped to make the dish. We (Angela, Mat, Allison, and Me) also had asparagus milanois sp? (roasted asparagus with an over easy egg on top) with quail eggs that I got from the Oriental Market. So cute.

I intend to blog more, and much of my fodder for that purpose will be my little note book.

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At April 20, 2009 8:13 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...

I'd love to see your pie crust recipe. I'm still looking for a reliable one.

And I'm glad the potato salad came out well. The pine nuts totally make it.

At April 20, 2009 9:52 AM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

Oooh, I love the Kick Ass Potato Salad--and I do mine with pine nuts, too!

I'm actually eating blueberry muffins right now; I've been eating them a lot this year. I like the flour ratio of 1.5 cups white to .5 cups graham flour. Oh, and you can also use just one cup of berries instead of two, and they're plenty be-berried!

At April 21, 2009 11:28 PM, Blogger Randomness said...

I have read your blog and like your last sentence.


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Monday, April 13, 2009


I copied this from the MSN article linked to from their front page, emphasis mine.

"Bo charmed the first family, a source who was there said. He sat when the girls sat, stood when the girls stood. He made no toileting errors and did not gnaw on the furniture. Bo has, after all, been receiving lessons in good behavior from the Kennedys' dog trainers. These lessons have been taking place at a secret, undisclosed location outside Washington.

Bo, though he was raised elsewhere, already has a keen sense of who's in charge inside the Beltway. When the president walked across the room during the visit, Bo followed obediently.

"He's sooooo cute," the source said, referring, let us be clear, to the puppy. "It's very exciting. They had a great meeting.'"

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At April 13, 2009 8:40 AM, Blogger Curly Sue said...


I just read an article about Easter egg "dying."

If I were in charge of the world, people would write stuff good!


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