Monthly Archives: January 2009

Lisa Lacy’s Top Ten Reasons to Celebrate National Pie Day at Greenwich Village Bistro

Believe it or not, National Pie Day is just over 24 hours away.

I’ve certainly baked a lot of pies for it…but I wanted to give you a *really* compelling reason to celebrate with me.

So…with that in mind, I give you:

Lisa Lacy’s Top Ten Reasons to Celebrate National Pie Day at Greenwich Village Bistro on January 23 From 7:00 On

10. I’ve given all the pies whimsical names.

9. You can investigate whether the infamous Charlie Papazian was right about certain pie/beer pairings.

8. Marvel at my extensive line of baked good carriers!

7. There’s a self-proclaimed social media guru out there who doesn’t think I can break 100.

6. I’ve made pies *especially* for so many of you!

5. Depression-era pickle pie! What is it? Come and see!

4. When I was running around before my cousin’s wedding to try to take care of last-minute things, my dad said to my date that someone will have to “tackle and sedate” me at my own wedding. This may be a good opportunity to see me in a similar state.

3. What better way to celebrate National Pie Day for the first time?

2. My publicity team has been working overtime!

And…1. I am on the brink of Internet fame! Endear yourself to me while you can!

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In Which I Attempt to Explain How My Mind Works…

(And perhaps rip off Tumblr a little, tiny bit…)

I was out with somebody once, telling him a story — oftentimes when I’m out and about in the world and I am not feeling shy, I will see something that triggers a memory and launch into a stream-of-consciousness rendition. Not everyone has patience for these verbal meanderings, but those who do tell me it’s sort of the equivalent of having to strap yourself into a speeding car — I always get where I mean to go and it always makes sense when you’re there…it’s just that sometimes it requires a wild ride along the way.

So. Back to that Pittsburgh Steelers bar a couple of years ago (But! I love a good underdog story, so it’s all about the Cardinals this year). I was telling him what I *thought* was a charming anecdote about some wacky thing that happened to me once upon a time…and when I was finished, the guy just sort of looked at me with this mix of awe and wonder and cocked his head and asked, “How does your mind work?”

Well, after all this time, I think I finally have a good example…

I have a friend who is getting married and who asked earlier today if I had gotten the save-the-date. I had not yet. Then I saw there was some chatter online about stuff, so I added my two cents…and I went out to get the mail…and there it was! So I was *going* to add, “I got the save-the-date!” but then I thought that maybe that would be a bad thing to say in a public medium and she’d get mad at me because her wedding is a highly sought-after affair and not everyone can get in. So…*then* I thought, “Ooh! I can abbreviate it!”…until I realized that then I’d be writing, “I got the STD!”

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Neal Boulton Likes Apple Pie…& So Should You.

I have been forbidden to apologize for anything at the Pie Day celebration. Every time I say, “I’m sorry,” in fact, I have to buy my friend a book. That’s the deal.

So…since I am *maybe* a little neurotic and feel the need to compulsively explain the imperfections of my baked goods, I figure I’ll get it out of my system here and do all of it ahead of time.

The first pies? Apple. And, boy, were there a lot of them. My aunt’s recipe calls for three to four apples per pie…but that would have meant upwards of 15 apples…and I was already spending a lot of money on this venture, etc., etc., so I decided to see if I could get away with a few less. Not *totally* skimping, but, you know, perhaps not going completely overboard either. Besides, my apple pies are always HUGE and they leak and it’s a giant mess. Maybe fewer apples would take care of it?

The recipe also calls for 2 cups of sugar…which always seems like a TON, but the pies are never overly sweet. (Although my aunt eats them with cheese to cut down on the sweetness…) However, with fewer apples, 1 cup of sugar pretty much drowned the first layer…and I was afraid another whole cup would yield a sickeningly sweet pie without enough super-tart Granny Smiths to counter it…so I ended up cutting back. A smart move? Who knows. I can’t actually try any of them yet. But I’ll certainly keep you posted.

I also let the crust get too brown on some of them. (They’re supposed to bake at 425 for an hour to an hour and a half…and at an hour, they were probably okay…although light. And so I maybe did one 10-minute interval too long thereafter…) And one of my Ls is leaning precariously in the L-shaped hole in the crust. It’s not as cute as it could be.

I’m also not really sure how to store these suckers. I’m afraid they’re going to be horribly stale by Friday. I have wrapped them up the best I can…but by the end of the day, I will likely have run out of space to store all these damn pies. I live in a studio. Quelle disastre!

And…perhaps the most shocking development of all…a certain Neal Boulton found me on Twitter and commented about food blogging and we got to chatting and now he’s slated to make an appearance at Pie Day. I even offered to make him his favorite pie (apple — like many a good American)…but then he sort of waffled about coming and I’m not sure how badly I want to bake an *additional* pie for someone who may or may not be there. So, Mr. Boulton — it’s your move.

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Sked: Write, Bake a Pie, Write, Bake a Pie, Sleep.

So…legitimate journos are descending upon DC this week to report on the inauguration and I feel a little silly saying this because obviously what I’m doing pales in comparison, but…after freaking out on a MAJOR scale about how I’m going to make ends meet next month, the universe came through in its weird way and now I’m filling in for my old job…and I’m a little worried how I’m going to get everything done. The hours are kind of nutso — I’ll do 9PMish to midnight for a European mutual fund pub and then rise at 4:30 and work until 6:30 for a NY-based hedge fund newsletter…and then I get a break until about noon when I have to write *more* hedge-fund-y stuff until about 3. But…I also have to bake PIES this week. Like crazy. So…I think my routine will be something like: write, bake a pie, write, bake a pie, sleep. Except I’m not really sure which pie I should make first. Which ones can sit the longest before consumption? I know the chocolate cream pie says it does best if its in the fridge overnight first…but surely being in the fridge for a whole WEEK wouldn’t be the best thing in the world? I don’t know — this may require some consulting with my mother and my aunt.

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(20?) Pickle Pie

I’ve mentioned my (sort of) obsession with Twitter before, so I won’t beat a dead horse. But one of my recent “tweets” (I’m not crazy about that word) that got a lot of attention was about Depression-era pies — chess pie, vinegar pie, buttermilk pie and pickle pie — from a story in the Columbia Tribune.

It turns out that people are genuinely interested in pickle pie! So…to the Googles!

Here’s what I found: pickle pie is apparently pretty low maintenance and really just requires smushing up sweet pickles. So, at the request of a choice few, I’m adding it to the Pie Day menu. I worry the weak of stomach will turn up their noses — fried pickles didn’t get a very good reception. But, at the same time, on my last birthday I declared this the year of not caring so much about what other people think…so I’ll try to look at this as a fun experiment…and to heck with those who don’t get it?

(This was also a fun surprise: 20 Pickle Pie.)

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Lessons From Julia

Sometimes I have ADD with books and I start them, but if they don’t suck me in wholly and completely right away, I get about halfway through and never finish. I have a number of these books lying around my apartment. And…since I am in the midst of “looking for my next job opportunity” and have been going a bit stir-crazy, a friend suggested I do things I wouldn’t normally have time to do. So…I’ve been watching Destinos obsessively (although I am still a bit reluctant to actually practicar espanol con mi amiga mejor porque es de Colombia y tengo miedo que voy a decir cosas tontas)…and reading said books…including — I know, I know… — Marley & Me, which my mother gave me about a million years ago…and which I am sure the literati would ridicule me for reading. But! I thought it was sweet…and a good example of a journo writing what he knows (and getting a handsome payday — if only we could all be so lucky)…and it struck a certain chord…which I’m not sure it would have done a year ago because I still had Fatty.

But…the *other* book — and the whole reason for this entry, mind you — is Julia Child‘s My Life in France. I stopped reading at some point during her initial time in France and never got around to reading the end. (Then I got a kitten who mercilessly attacked the spine of the poor book and now it is very sad-looking, indeed.)

I was struck by a lot of things Julia said (including, “Balls!” Who knew Julia Child said, “Balls!” when she was mad?).

In my initial read-through my favorite part was that she never apologized for anything when she first started cooking — even when the food was bad. She said it wasn’t fair to the people who came over and who had to *eat* the bad food because then not only did they have to choke it down, but they would *also* have to make her feel better about herself…and that really wasn’t fair. (Which…wow! I apologize for everything! So much so that the friend who offered advice about what to do with all my free time told me that I cannot apologize for ANYTHING on Pie Day…and every time I *do* say, “I’m sorry,” I have to buy her a book. [She’s an avid reader.])

My favorite part in the *second* half of My Life in France was when she talked about first taping her TV show. She said that they couldn’t do it live, but she still liked to tape it all in one fell swoop because she always sort of got into a rhythm and, this:

“One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed.”

Things *always* go awry with me! So…I find it totally comforting that things went awry with Julia, too. And maybe I can chalk up all my baking crises to a  learning curve…and I’m really en route to becoming something. Maybe?

In anticipation of finishing My Life in France, I got the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking…but now I feel like I *have* to have the second volume (though it’s hard to find!) as well as From Julia Child’s Kitchen. Which is one more reason I need a bloody job. (Balls?)

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Pie Day plans are in motion…

I will surely be able to come up with something far more eloquent as the pie-making begins next week (I think two pies day for three days…?), but a rough sketch:

On Friday, January 23 at Greenwich Village Bistro (around 7), I will have pies to celebrate National Pie Day: peanut butter, sweet potato, apple, chocolate cream and chocolate chip bourbon pecan.

Peanut butter seems to be a broad favorite. Plus, the Bistro has come up with beer pairings…and the Kelso Nut Brown Ale is supposed to be a good fit for this one. (I understand there is some apprehension about pie and beer…but, to those who are fearful, I implore you to check out Charlie Papazian’s blog.)

Obama’s favorite pie is allegedly sweet potato…but then that story surfaced that he *also* likes a peach cobbler at a Chicago diner and so now I feel like I can’t properly pay homage to the inauguration if I don’t make that as well.

What’s more, I’ve sold my first pies…so I will be making not one but FOUR apple pies next week…so I have to buy something on the order of 12 Granny Smith apples. (That might be skimping it…but I have to use throwaway tins or I’ll never get my Pyrex back…and too many apples means the pies will bleed and the crust already has a tendency to get funny in the tin — just ask an ungrateful Hooman.)

I really like one of the chocolate cream pies from Epicurious.com. You make your own pudding. It’s…wow. (Though I’m not entirely sure about the raspberry lambic they’re pairing with it.)

And…a good friend of mine is helping me out PR-wise and *she* really liked the sound of the American Pie Council’s January pie — the bourbon pecan — and so that partially explains why it is on the menu as well.

Just about a week to go!

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