Thursday Tidbits

Posted on September 19, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with no comments yet

My just dessert



“Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man,

Bake me a cake (pie) as fast as you can”

The good news is that I know how to make a pie.

The bad news is that I know how to make a pie.

Growing up in a large family, you were expected to do your chores, which included the dishes, vacuuming, polishing your shoes for mass and yes, cleaning the dreaded French door windows. In our house, baking wasn’t necessarily a chore but we were certainly expected to learn the rudiments of baking and meal preparation.

Many of the recipes we followed were moms and her confreres. So we learned how to make Effie’s chocolate squares and Evelyn’s lemon tarts among many other goodies.

One of the many lessons learned from baking was that this was a selfless task. You would bust your butt to make something tasty and with eight vultures around the table, anything baked was devoured quickly. Sometimes the crumbs didn’t even survive.

I did a fair bit of baking in my 20s when I lived out west. Survival of the fattest!

Last week, I was staring at three overripe bananas. The freezer is full of them, frozen solid and probably never to see the light of day again. I decided right there and then to make banana bread, something pretty basic and simple. It turned out pretty well and no emergencies were reported at Outpatients.

On my walk around the Cabot Trail, I was treated to dinner twice by my friends Kathleen and Alfred in Cape North. The meals were fantastic and the company even better. Dessert on the first night was butterscotch cream pie. Simply put, the pie was divine. If you check Trip Advisor, you’ll see my 5 star rating for Kathleen’s pie…” best on the Cabot Trail”.

I haven’t made a pie in over 40 years so when I decided to try my hand at butterscotch pie, I brought in the big guns. I got the recipe from Kathleen and then enlisted the support of my sister-in-law, Karen, to school me in the fine art of pie making. I learned how to make the dough for the crust. The most important tip for you two left handed men who might attempt this is to not handle the dough too much. Many of you are already good at this having left the money- managing exercise to your much wiser partner.

The proof is in the pudding, they say, and indeed, the filling for the pie is crucial. I learned how to make the custard, even scooping out a few tablespoons of the hot sauce to mix with the egg yolks before putting them into the custard.

Everything appeared fine, as I cooked the pie shell, made the filling and put it in the fridge to set. The only deviation from the recipe is that I chose whipped cream as a topping rather than meringue.

Last week, I had a few friends over for dinner and they became my guinea pigs. The pie tasted fine but the filling never really set leaving some of it to leak out the sides once the first piece had been cut.

I have discovered that cream pie is an excellent dietary source of something and a perfect substitute for scrambled eggs at breakfast. I mean, the recipe contains two egg yolks, after all. I brought what was left of the pie to my brother’s house the next morning and we made short work of the leftover pie (an expression I never heard growing up on Hillcrest Street).

Yesterday, I watched a few YouTube videos on pie making and am happy to report that my second attempt yielded a favourable result.

Now, the bad news. Even after sharing a few pieces with neighbors and friends I have this conundrum. What am I to do with the leftover pie?

I’m pretty sure a call to one of my siblings would solve this problem quickly!

Have a great weekend.

P.S. To my loyal readers spread far and wide around the planet, there’s a link to Amazon on my home page where you can order my Camino book.


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