Monday, November 14, 2011

you can lead the way

Have I shared with you yet my testimony of down bedding? I have one. Down bedding elevates a regular bed to a bed of supreme comfort and warmth. It helps even a so-so mattress seem more inviting. It is the only true way to sleep. A secret: much of my down bedding is more correctly described as feather bedding, because I got it from Ikea on purpose. Feathers are cheaper than down, and plenty warm for me. Feathers and wool make the best comforters and blankets, in my experience.

I am making pies for a Fakesgiving dinner this Saturday--do any of you have a splendid traditional family recipe that you love beyond compare and would like to share with me? I've got my heart set on grape or gooseberry. My sister Aleece and I made pumpkin and chess pies on Friday. We were doing a taste and texture test of conventional pumpkin pie to see if the Herd Family Way is truly the best. Short answer: it is. For the chess pie we used Tipsy's recipe that she was kind enough to share with us, and I much preferred it to the conventional pumpkin. Those Southerners do not screw around with their pies (Tipsy is not Southern, but chess pie is). It is eggy and rich and sweet--sort of like those dim sum custard pies that are usually disgusting, but were incredible at the dim sum place Tipsy took me to in Chinatown--and I loved it immensely. I also made a discovery: I think what kills restaurant pie is keeping it cold. I put the uneaten portion of the pumpkin pie in the fridge, and when I sampled it a few hours later the crust, which had previously been delicious and flaky (aside from the hated soggy bottom), was super, super gross. Dry, chalky, bland. Truly terrible. Actually inedible--I threw it away. So now you know: don't refrigerate your pie.

We got an American Girl doll catalog in the mail last weekend, which seems very Big Brother to me. It feels like an invasion of my privacy--do they buy hospital records? Old Navy receipts? They should know that I think their dolls are a wicked, homogenized extravagance. Who do they think they are, the Frye Company? Pshaw.


tipsybaker said...

I made a grape pie once, and it wasn't wonderful. The grapes stayed puffed up and juicy. I've seen other recipes with cooked down, jammy grapes and they sound intriguing. I have never cooked a gooseberry. I planted gooseberries so as to have a supply, but in the years I've had the bushes I think I've harvested one gooseberry. Let me know it goes!
What about a raisin pie? Or a vinegar pie? Those are two old-fashioned pies that I'd like to bake someday.