I want to share with you what I cooked and baked this weekend. First of all, I started out with Zucchini Muffins. They turned out great. Next to the recipe in my Moosehead cookbook I wrote “A-OK.”. I will definitely make these again. They are a great thing to make for breakfast especially when you have guests. It’s a pretty foolproof recipe. It was easy and turned out great – even I didn’t mess it up.
The chicken parmigan came out great according to my husband. I couldn’t eat it due to my milk allergy. I had linguini with red sauce. Good but very basic and not really made with love. Too tired after the all-involved chicken parm. I followed the recipe religiously and I had no problems except that while browning the chicken I burned it a little.
Stove was turned up too high. But other than that no complaints.
For dessert, I baked a peach pie. I used a recipe from a new cookbook called “Sweetie Pies.”. I had a few problems. First of all, I am scared to death of pie crusts. I tried a couple times years ago and quickly gave up. I started cheating using pie crusts in a box that you unfold. Voila. I got spoiled cheating and never gave up. But now that I’m committed to really learning baking, I realized that I needed to learn something as basic as pie crust. There are certain things I just want to know how to do: ice cream, pound cake, chocolate cake, apple pie, etc. Besides, who wants to give up? I just wanted to get back on that bike I fell off of.
So my first problem was that I mixed the flour and shortening with my fingers. It got all greasy and sticky and I couldn’t tell if 1) the shortening wasn’t chilled enough, 2) I got too interactive with my fingers, 3) or there was too much shortening. It’s tricky when you are learning how to do something. Should you trust the expert (in this case the cookbook) or trust your intuition? I decided to trust my intuition and added some flour. Because it was pretty moist with the oil I omitted the milk. Anyway, when it was time to roll out the dough, it stuck to the table. I got most of it off and into the pie plate but I had to do a lot of patchwork. Ok for the bottom that gets covered up. Next I put the peaches in and the brown sugar syrup. The top was supposed to be latticed. It was not pretty. I did the best I can as you will see. When I put it in the oven I yelled down to my husband “it will taste good but it will be the ugliest pie you’ve ever seen”. It actually turned out prettier than I thought it would be bu tnot very good tasting! Being the impatient greed gut that I am, I couldn’t wait for it to cool. I ate it warm and the crust was really weird. It appeared solid but dissolved into a paste! Not what I was going for. So upsetting! I’m so glad I had no guests. How embarrassing. But I know that’s how I will learn. I started looking at other recipes for pie crust and the recipe I used called for 1 cup shortening to 2 and 1/4 cups of flour. That’s a lot! So, maybe I can blame it on the recipe.
Funny thing. About half an hour later I decided I would get another piece and just eat the peach filling. I tried to avoid the crust but realized it tasted better when it cooled. It reminded me of the Apple Brown Betty they used to serve at my elementary school cafeteria. It’s not really crust but a sticky flourlike concoction. I know it sounds gross but it actually tasted good. I found myself eating most of it from the bowl and there weren’t even any peaches left.
I will have to make another pie next weekend with a different recipe. In search of the A-OK pie crust.
I am just a regular girl trying to cook. I need to cook to feed me and my family. And I like it. But I am no gourmet. I won’t pretend. But I’m learning and sometimes I make pretty good things. And most of the time while I’m cooking and baking my kitchen looks like this. 🙂
The real side of baking and cooking…