The Mildly Interesting Adventures of a Distracted Baker

Dear Erin,

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day was filled with family, fun, and (really good) food. Little Mister kept asking if we were going to have our Givings today. And we did have “givings” with good friends, which made my holiday unexpectedly easy (relatively speaking). See, I had expected that we would have our own little meal with our own little family, but what with one thing and another, I only made dessert (my favorite course of food to make) instead of turkey, potatoes and all the trimmings.

This was a good thing because just making two desserts took me most of the day. The first choice was apple pie bars – an easy version of apple pie, and a pretty sure thing because I’ve made it several times and use labor-saving devices like pre-made crust and the food processor.

For the second choice, I wanted to try something new. Another pie, because I had heard the words “There can never be too much pie” from someone we would be dining with. And chocolate seemed like the logical choice, as it would balance the fruit and bring a different set of flavors to the table. However, none of the chocolate pie recipes I found struck me. What I normally would have done is made Grandma’s Southern peanut butter pie, but it’s been so long since I made it that I didn’t even think about that.

Let’s play a game. Can you guess what kind of pie I made? Here are some clues.

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Got it yet?

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How about if I told you I heard about this pie from you? On this blog? This year?

And it’s not chocolate or fruity or peanut butter or nutty.

Give up?

It was Crack Pie (although from a different bakery than the one you mentioned in the post that made me decide to try it). I thought, if Erin likes it, it’s probably pretty good.

It was pretty good. (I tasted it before we left, just to make sure.)

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Not to worry: the recipe made two pies. This one was crooked in the oven so not pretty so not going with us. So used for quality control. (Yummy yummy.)

I used the recipe I linked to above, and it was easy enough to do. But there was just one little problem – baking the things. I followed the directions. Set the oven to 350, bake the pies for 15 minutes, open the door and drop the oven to 325, and when it hits that temperature, cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Except my version of that directions continues. “Then cook for another 5 minutes.

And another 5 minutes.

And another 5 minutes.

And another 5 minutes. Pies may be starting to brown on top.

And another 5 minutes. Remove the one that is disturbingly dark but still not set.

Cook the last one for another 5 minutes and hope for the best.”

Anyway, I guess they came out more or less right. No one eating them copped to having heard of crack pie before, so hopefully no one knew any better. They still tasted good to me, but they were too sweet for Charles, so I probably won’t keep the recipe.

How about something completely different? We went to the museum on Monday, where Little Mister got to try on his Halloween costume from an alternate reality

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and Captain Wiggles got to spend some quality time with his favorite person in the world

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Talk to you in December!

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Trying Old Things

Dear Kristen,

Beautiful job on the knitting!  The sweater turned out gorgeous.  Munchkin has enjoyed all her Aunt Kiki hats so I know the little one will love that one.  I am impressed that you are getting those things done.  My New Year’s Resolutions for this year?  Failing.  Dramatically failing.

Projects are piling up and not getting done.  I blame…

I can’t blame anyone or anything but myself.  Gotta get on that.

I have been trying some new old recipes, though.  Here are the books I’ve been contemplating as of late.

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The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook was a gift from a friend after she and I and another friend visited Magnolia in New York City.  It was delicious and I have an affinity for cupcakes.  It was a match from the very beginning!  Originally I only used the cookbook for cupcakes and icing, but recently I’ve been taking a turn down a more simple road.  Muffins and breads.

Last night we had corn bread from this book, and I’m a big fan.  It was the perfect accompaniment to chili last night.  And the zucchini bread??!!?!  Yum!

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The Mrs. Rowe’s little book of Southern Pies is a collection of classic pies.  I’ve never been much of a pie person, preferring cakes and cobblers, but my tastes are becoming refined I think.  That doesn’t mean I like pumpkin pie, yet (sorry Mom!) but I have enjoyed some good pies recently.

For instance, there is a local cake place that also sells pies.  Everything from this heavenly spot I’ve tried so far has been DELICIOUS!  The most intriguing though, was Crack Pie.  I don’t know the specific recipe for this addictive pie, but Mrs. Rowe’s Brown Sugar Pie seems like it might be very close.

Perhaps my resolutions should have included pie baking.  Or eating.