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pie

Oxtail Stout Pot Pies

Oxtail Stout Pot Pies

Many of the books I read as a child were by the British author Enid Blyton - Famous Five and Secret Seven series. I loved them! These kids were having so much fun and solving mysteries to boot! I lived vicariously through their fictitious adventures. But, sprinkled liberally in these books were mentions of British foods! Pies, jams, puddings, teas .. so much more. I fell in love with these delights, without an inkling of what they were or ever having sighted most of them!

Since then, I have developed a lifelong reverence of pies - sweet at first. But, as I grew older and got into more classics and Victorian/Edwardian fiction, the savory kinds. Bakewell tarts, Spotted dicks, cherry pies, steak and kidney pies, stout pies …

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And I Came Home...

And I Came Home...

Just over a year ago, I decided I needed a hiatus. A change. A chance. Something new. Utterly different. Something to slap me in the face and wake me up. A few months ago, an opportunity landed on my lap; it sounded too good to be true. And, it was! Too Good and Too True! :)

The long and short of it, is that I spent 9 months living outside US, for the most part based in Italy, traveling Europe, Asia and collecting information about cultures, peoples' values, real life experiences, what food means to people in different spaces in life and the world,.... and, yet how similar we all are.

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Apple Pie Brandy Pudding

Apple Pie Brandy Pudding

So! I am betting that this Apple Pie Pudding will go down in the anals of food history as an accident that was simply waiting to happen! And, when it did, brought greater joy than either pie or pudding could have in of themselves.

Here is what happened. I have been experimenting with different flours. Recently, I decided to test what wheat I am intolerant to. And, I have reading about how heritage strains of grain may not trigger the same issues as the mass produced, yield enhancing GMO versions. Einkorn has been one of those much talked about ancient wheat varietals that supposedly is less trigger happy than regular all purpose flour. The only problem is that it is more dense and less glutenous. Therefore, it because markedly unlike regular flour. Think, low rise and less flaky.

So, when I decided to make apple pie, using the regular pie recipe....

 

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In the palm of my hands

In the palm of my hands

 Hand pies has always had a certain tug in my heart. The always bring to my mind the image of a child's hand in an adult, being lovingly carried through life. It brings vivid imaginations of baking together with your mom or grand mom, making little versions of adult people food. Having never had that experience in any form, I find this image entirely soothing and sweet. So, please do not shatter it with reality of them being just gimmicks or something of the sort. I will stick my dream of them being small people pies!

These pies are more biscuit like than flaky but I find that crunch a very alluring balance to the softness of poached fruit inside. My filling was a resilient, raw cane sugar and cardamom roasted small asian pears. But, you can just as easily use rhubarb or berries or other smaller fruits in season.

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The Marriage of Curry and Irish

The Marriage of Curry and Irish

Hello there! That was surely the last blog headline you expected to pop into your feed on St. Patrick's day. Spice and Irish are the two words least expected to be juxtaposed. But, yet they make a rather curiously amiable couple. 

Now, I am going to tell you a winding story.... So bear with me.

We all know that Indian cuisine is fairly ubiquitous around the world. There is always a small restaurant somewhere that proffers up piping hot, spicy creations whether from the stove or the brick oven. Yet, not all curries are equal, nor Indian. The first time I realized this was in Japan. Japanese cuisine is inherently not consumed by spices. And, unlike our British and Irish neighbors their cuisine has not been tormented with being boring or bland. Somehow, they make up for the spice with freshness and awesome precision. Sorry, I digress. I was talking about curry. So, the Japanese cuisine has a curry which simply goes by the name 'curry'.

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