1. I only recently broke down and bought a pastry blender. Up until now I’ve just used my hands to mix flour, Crisco and water and I’ve been pretty happy with the results. But, after actually using the proper tool, I have to admit that the pastry blender produces much finer pieces of Crisco/flour that, in turn, produces a much flakier crust.
2. My apricots looked sad. I bought them last week but they weren’t ripe enough to use, so they’ve been ripening on my window ledge all week. Oopsie. And they were kind of expensive (and I am kind of poor) so I didn’t buy as many of them as perhaps I should have. (While I was baking, that Carly Simon song came on which was somewhat appropriate and reminded me of an argument friends had once over whether the line was “your scarf it was apricot” or “your scarf it was halfway off.”) I also baked it for a *little* too long so it turned out to be a *tad* on the dry side…
3. My flour/sugar surplus is gone! For as long as I can remember, I’ve had more flour and sugar than I’ve known what to do with…now all of a sudden, I do not have a giant bag of flour or sugar in my pantry. (Old Mother Hubbard??)
4. This didn’t hold true with that fiasco of a Boston cream pie (which turned out to be the biggest cake I have ever seen in my life…as I think I forgot to blog about finishing up the darn thing), but I usually like exact measurements and so I was kind of freaking out about how much sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and cinnamon to use. I hate to be on repeat, but I made blueberry pies for the first time ever before we had a big BBQ at my old apartment and after boiling the fruit down and adding what I thought was a decent amount of cinnamon, etc., etc., it tasted like nothing. So I was totally paranoid about spices this time around.
5. There is something beautiful about an uncooked pie. Maybe it is my overinflated sense of self-importance, but there’s a real feeling of accomplishment when you stare down at this incredible foodstuff, full of promise…before it has leaked all over your oven and set off your fire alarm and/or turned out to taste like nothing…
6. I ended up with a lot of extra crust this time (I was less paranoid while rolling it out and let the pieces that wanted to run free do exactly that) and remember my aunt used to sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar and bake it for us as a special treat as we were impatient when we were little and the requisite hour to an hour and a half was too long to go without something to show for our efforts whenever we helped her make pie.
7. I tried to make L-shaped vents this time (my signature vent??). I prefer the cursive, Laverne-like L…although that is harder to pull off as it means actually cutting circles in the dough.