I'm not a baker. Give me flour and a recipe, and the promised "moist and fluffy" will most likely end up dry, dense, and "Did I just break my tooth?" I think flour is my nemesis. It's such an exciting ingredient that I might just get caught up in the moment of "creating" [the things you can make with flour are practically limitless!] and "splooshing" [that's when the flour dust goes all "ploosh" in the air] to remember the specific recipe instructions.
I'm not a baker, but I do have one redeeming factor in my baking equation: Jason, the "if it has flour and at all resembles a bread-like food, I will eat it, no questions asked" variable. He's quite the morale-saver when it comes to my kitchen experiments. As long as we're not talking about some kind of leafy vegetable or mushrooms, he will eat anything that I put in front of him. Mushy beyond recognition? No problem. So hard it needs to be soaked in a soup before you can ingest it? Again, no problem. And he'll eat it all, complete with the sounds of enjoyment [possibly for my benefit?] and requests for seconds that all meal-preparers want to hear.
Anyway, as of late, I've had urges to sploosh things up in the baking arena. Perhaps it was the purchase of some new flour a few weeks ago. Or maybe it was my craving for pizza. Or maybe it was just the fact that I knew Jason has been studying/stressing hard about his candidacy exams coming up and I just wanted to make something I knew he'd really like [I'm pretty sure his love of pizza just stems from the idea that pizza, at its simplest, is just bread and cheese]. Whichever the case, I decided to make a pizza, and not only was the splooshing a success but, for the first time ever, the doughiness was a success. It actually turned out crust-like and not super dense or purely hard and crunchy as my flour products have a tendency to do.
With this smashing success, I had the immediate desire to do it all over again. More yeasty smells. More splooshing. More rolling pin action. With Jason's first day of school being a stupid long day [he leaves in the morning and doesn't get back until 7 or so], I knew that he would completely appreciate coming home to a fresh pizza and... pie.
The last time a pie was baked in my kitchen was when Colleen was here and she was doing the baking and I was doing the pretending-to-be-baking. Best pie ever. Sadly, this time around there was no Colleen in my kitchen. And no fresh fruit [except for grapefruits... as odd as I am, I couldn't quite convince myself that grapefruit pie would be a good plan]. The only fruit available for a filling was the bag of frozen fruit that we use to make smoothies [apple juice, frozen fruit, blender: delicious]. Now, being a very inexperienced pie filling maker and a very experienced just-throw-things together maker, I put some honey, water, and flour in a pot and dumped in as much of the frozen fruit as I could fit, gave it a stir, and waited for something magical to happen.
Lessons learned from this pie filling experiment:
- Honey is quite sweet. You do not need a cupful of honey to sweeten a pie.
- If you heat up honey in a pot without stirring it, it will start to burn onto the bottom of your pot. Making a candy-like substance. Tasty, but not really desirable (for your pie or your scrub brush).
- Frozen fruit totally works. Peaches? Good. Strawberries? Good. Pineapple and honeydew? Goood.
|we may have already started to eat the pie crust by the time i took this picture...|
As for the second go at the pizza making, it was ridiculously delicious. Jason would take a bite and then convulse [in a good way] for 30 seconds. I was quite excited. This time I wanted to season the crust and so, part of the way through the baking, I sprayed some olive oil on it and sprinkled some garlic powder, salt, and pepper on it. It toasted perfectly and tasted like 20 bucks [i.e. it's going to be hard to convince me to buy from pizza chains anymore].
Well, I was going to write about a couple of other things, but I think they'll save until next time since this went on longer than expected.
|i promise i don't have to do this to jason...anymore.|