I’m an all-butter crust kinda gal; I’ll exchange flavor for flakiness any day of the year and, like a lot of us, I’m pretty freaked out by shortening in general. But, I caved this year. One too many articles about the best non-lard crusts resulting from that magical blend of both vegetable and butter fats, plus the seal of approval from the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook (and as we all know, I’ll do anything they say) and there I was, scooping tablespoons of that white stuff from a can. To compensate for the butter lost, I used some Danish butter, so rich that but ten minutes after the pie went in the oven, the unmistakable scent of buttery brilliance hit the air and we swooned.
November, 2006 Archive
My sharp-eyed husband caught this bourbon pumpkin cheesecake recipe while I was — typically — flipping through a Gourmet magazine last year. Although it was a total hit at Thanksgiving, my fleeting recipe attention span struck again this year, but as I began hunting for a new and different fall-themed cheesecake it was made clear I’d still be welcome at the table with something else — just a little less so.
Less than six degree’s separation from my absorption with diminutive baked goods is an almost equally powerful obsession with all forms of stuffed dough, from wontons, gyoza and pot stickers to tortellini, ravioli and turnovers. I am a woman obsessed with eating every type of dumpling this big world has to offer; something about the possibility of biting into something both mysterious and fantastic gets me every time, and forgives the fact that no matter how easy a filling is to whip up, one will inevitably be stuffing, crimping, folding, pressing, deflating and sealing up the little guys up for an hour.
Today was my unofficial return to cubicle-land and it was great! No really! Little did I know all I had to do was fall down a flight of stairs to be overjoyed with the normalcy of showing up to work on a Monday morning. I kid, of course, they’re really very nice to me even when I don’t show up bruised, achy and slinged, regaling them with the now-familiar saga of my drunken bar scrap. But, it was an especially delightfully un-manic Monday as the sharp pain in my right rib cage has finally subsided leaving me with a shoulder that really doesn’t hurt much at all, and also, I’ve gotten this two-hand typing thing mastered so let’s celebrate! Let us eat some cake.
As should not be surprising, my parents have been a little concerned about me since I called them last Friday night and said I’d had a little run-in with the stairs, but I was fine, except I couldn’t really lift my left arm and I’d bumped my head a couple times on the way down but I didn’t really have to go to the emergency room, did I? Because surely this would all be better in the morning? Alas, in the ten days since they’d explained to me six different ways ’till Sunday why that was the wrong answer, but spared me the told you so when the diagnosis was dealt, all they have wanted to know is what they can do for me. You can only tell people “nothing, I’m fine” so many times before they threaten to storm your apartment and cook you dinner — how hard is my life, eh? — and that pretty much brings us up to tonight.
How to make orangettes: Slice ends off four oranges, score the peel from one end to the other, and remove the peels from the oranges.
On my old iVillage.com site, someone once asked me what the trick was to making those lattice-topped pie crusts fusspots like me hold in such high regard. I admitted that many years ago, before the Food Network was the behemoth it is today, the adorable Sarah Moulton once showed her audience a method of criss-crossing those pieces so simple, I haven’t struggled with torn pieces since. Even Alex quickly learned the Moulton Method, and remains unintimidated by pie season, which is great because you know, one of us has to roll out the doughs next week!