Good news! I finally got my Jammie Dodgers! And I still have TWO whole packages left…which I think shows ENORMOUS willpower on my part. When they are gone perhaps I will try to make Linzer tortes. I have heard they are kind of challenging…but they really are my favorite.
And…it was funny – last weekend, I heard no less than three references to Steve’s Key Lime Pies. One was from the guy who cuts my hair…who also said that his mother baked pies and she used lard in her crusts…which produced a delightfully flaky crust…albeit one that was perhaps somewhat fatty.
After leaving my hairdresser with the pie-baking mom, I went to the grocery store to pick up the remaining items for a key lime (remember Steve?) and a lemon meringue pie. I was a little weirded out because my grocery store only had organic lemon and lime juice (I know, I know…but I would have had to squeeze a LOT of limes and lemons and I just didn’t have the time…even though my Pie book says that if there’s one pie you use real lemon juice in, it’s a lemon meringue. Oops. But time was of the essence, so I slummed it). So…I wasn’t sure if I was overpaying for juice for organic lemons and limes or not. But I couldn’t find any regular lemon or lime juice. I also decided to go a little crazy and throw in some lime zest even though the key lime recipe I had did not call for it (then I found our family key lime recipe – it was on the back of the pie crust recipe that I had tucked away with all the stuff I took to Orlando…phew – not lost forever).
It was pretty much smooth sailing with both pies until I got to the meringue part. I’ve really only made meringue once before and I remember it was something of a pain…but eventually stiff peaks formed. This time, however, I was completely unable to produce stiff peaks…and I beat it forever. (Literally that translates to a grand total of about 30 minutes…with a few breaks in between.) My mother later said if there’s any sort of residue in the bowl at all that you won’t get stiff peaks. So…oops again. And even though I was afraid of being the laughing stock of the BBQ, I had no choice but to throw the stiff-peak-less meringue on top of the lemon curd and bake it so I could get a move on.
And then a funny thing happened. I’m really terrible when it comes to small talk and mingling at social events…so I did a suitably awkward job of making my presence known at this thing…but then when the pies came out, people ate them up and all of a sudden we were talking and interacting and whatever awkwardness I sometimes feel just about being me miraculously disappeared. One guy said he hadn’t had homemade pie in years. A woman said she used to swear by Nigella Lawson‘s book, How to be a Domestic Goddess. Others asked about Waitress. (More on that later.)
My point is not that I did not have fun at the BBQ or enjoy the food or like meeting new people – not at all – but rather that I guess baked goods help me relate to people?