Monday, November 22, 2010

You put the lime in the Coke you nut

As a gift for one of my coworkers for his wedding, I offered to make a pie of his choice. His choice was coconut cream. A pie that I would normally avoid as if it were carrying a new strain of ebola because of two reasons: 1) Coconut, 2) cream pie. The best part about Matt choosing the coconut cream pie is that he chose it BECAUSE his new bride does not like it. Not that he ever even told her that I was going to make a pie for them, but that's beside the point (I think he totally told her today that I just gave them a dirty pie plate as a wedding gift so she would never even know that there was a pie).

I went out on Saturday and bought supplies (notably that sweetened coconut flake stuff ::shudder::). Then I came home and went to pet my cat. Except that my cat didn't want to be pet, and I think I surprised him. So he kicked out with his hind leg and this happened (note: picture taken 24 hours AFTER the scratching incident so it's not a bloody mess in this photo):

This of course meant that I needed to wash and bandage up my hand good and proper to prevent the gangrene from setting in. It should be noted that the cat scratched me, I went and washed my hand for 5 minutes, then got out the cotton wrap and compression wrap, broght them to the couch, sat down, wrapped my hand myself, and it still took my loving husband WHO WAS SITTING NEXT TO ME ON THE COUCH THE WHOLE TIME another 20 minutes to notice that my hand was wrapped up. This event (the scratching not the fact that my husband is unobservant) meant I spent all of Sunday with my hand wrapped thusly (FINALLY a use for all that left over cotton gauze and compression wrap):

Don't worry, I wore a nitrile glove the entire time I was actually doing the cooking, but I just wanted to point out that I had to do things left handed because I couldn't touch my thumb to any of my fingers without feeling like I was going to re-open the wounds.

The recipe:
This one. The one from Emeril Lagasse. The one that I've never tried (see aforementioned disdain of both coconut and cream pies). So I figured "What the hell, how bad can it be?"

Step one: Make the pie shell. Okay, this isn't too bad, but I much prefer the dump and press style pie crust--there's no rolling or chilling. way easier than this version. but it turned out okay (though I think the crust could have used more sugar, but whatever, I was following the recipe). Besides, there are so many other places to go off course anyway. Pricked because I don't have pie weights...or dry beans...mostly because I don't make this type of pie crust and I don't eat beans.

Step two: Make the custard. I've never made custard (okay, that's a lie, I made creme brulee once. But it was a mix and all I had to do was heat some milk, mix and chill). This custard required actually separating eggs and what have you. And, as I've learned from The Spiteful Chef, there are certain steps that must be followed with a custard. These steps basically mean don't follow the recipe as written on Food Network. There's a part where it tells you to boil the custard. I'm pretty sure that's a bad idea. So I used the ingredients, but followed Kristie's steps (which are actually written out and explained). Here is my set up:

Milk is being heated to 185 (yeah, we only had fat free...probably not the best idea to use that in a CUSTARD, note to self for the next time I don't make coconut cream pie), icebath is ready with a strainer to catch insolent little pieces of egg that don't want to become a custard, a wooden spoon for stirring and consistency checking of said custard, and a ladle to aid in the tempering of the egg yolks. Speaking of egg yolks, here they are just before having the almost boiling milk added to the cold, uncooked eggs:

Since the recipe doesn't explain it, tempering is basically adding a tiny amount (I used half a ladlefull) of the hot milk to the eggs. whisk, whisk, whisk. Add a little more milk. whisk, whisk, whisk. wash, rinse, and repeat until half the milk has been added to the yolks and then add the yolk mixture back into the hot milk pot where you heat but NEVER BOIL the mixture until it is thick and gelatinous. Pour into the strainer over the bowl in the icebath, press through the strainer, pour into the prepared pie crust. Now then, I'm not sure if I actually had to strain it, but I did since it seemed like a good idea. Cover in plastic wrap (like a Christmas present!) and place in the fridge to chill throughly. It will look like this (note: you will need approximately a 6-pack of Coke and chocolate chips to complete this look):

You can't really tell in the picture, but I wasn't sure if this would form that disgusting skin on it so I pressed the plastic wrap down until it touched the gooey innards of the pie (minimizing the amount of air that can get to the pie) and let it chillax for about 2.5 hours. Then I moved on to the meringue.

I think I tried to make meringue one time back in the day and it was disastrous. I found some tips online--like have the egg whites be at room temperature (yeah, I didn't do that, I took them straight from the fridge), and using 2 tablespoons of sugar per white (I didn't do that, I did double the amount of sugar from the recipe, though). It did have a tip that I did follow--I whipped those whites like a jockey on a horse in the Kentucky Derby BEFORE adding the sugar. Spread on top of the pie and place in the preheated oven...of course after doing that I decided I should actually Google whether or not Pyrex can indeed go from a 37 degree refrigerator into a 350 degree oven (apparently it can as long as the oven is preheated. That...doesn't make much sense to me--"yes, this dish can go from cold to hot as long as you don't try to ramp up the hot. quick and fast, that's the way to do it"). Then I decided I should take a picture of the pie in case the dish didn't make it through the oven cycle so I could at least say "look! I made you a pie! too bad my oven ate it. It liked it though, so be glad for that." Picture of pie in oven:

After about 10 minutes, it looks like it might be done, and because the recipe told me so, I take it out of the oven and TA-DA:

Look! It's ANGEL PIE! With the haloing effect...get it? no? yes...well...crap.

Of course it didn't look so pretty after I re-wrapped it in plastic wrap and took it to work this morning--it didn't like the 45 minute car ride in a warm car very much. Matt was still nice and said that it looked good. Plus I guess he ate all of it tonight for dinner. But then, I don't know if that really means anything because I think he'll eat just about everything.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Here are my Boston Photos...



As I'm sure you've noticed, I failed miserably in my goal of posting something every day of November. Le Sigh.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm FINALLY finished with the latest (and possibly last?) of my "projects for my friends' babies." And I'm only a year behind. for this project, I once again made cubes with 4 sides being embroidered hot-iron transfers and the 2 remaining sides being a bandanna skull and crossbones number. I, however, did not take a picture...this is mostly because I was finishing up the sewing on it as we were driving to the kid's 1-year birthday party. Because that's just how I roll.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Big Bang

Have you ever paused the television while watching the end of the Big Bang Theory in order to read the Chuck Lorre vanity end cards? I did. Once. But good news, now there's no need to pause the tv and get all close to it to read it, now you can just go to this handy website which catalogues all the vanity cards for you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


from my mom when she was down here in October:
"So the leaves haven't started turning yet. What color will they turn when fall finally hits down here?"

from my coworker:
"Do you consider brown a color?"

Sunday, November 07, 2010


on my birthday, Shawn and I went backpacking with our friend Lon, and his 4-year old daughter, Ma-belle. This is the only photo I took. I figured that it's his kid, he's the one that's in charge of taking the photos of her, right? I let her wear my hat the entire hike in because that's like an ounce that I don't have to carry myself.

Patriot Place

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Mark Twain

"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

Friday, November 05, 2010


And I shall call him 'Lord Farquad'

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Cat Food

I don't know how I managed to start feeding our cat a food that can only be found in 6 pound bags. And I can hear you asking me, "well, isn't that because your cat is on special kidney food?" and the answer is, "yes, but it's not that cat."

That's right, Quazi was put on a special food around this time last year. That food was Oral Sensitive by Royal Canin. The reason why he was put on this food is because he has the bad habit of scarfing food and then regurgitating it on the floor about 20 minutes later. The Oral Sensitive variety helps prevent this because he actually has to chew the food before swallowing it which means he eats slower and therefore won't act like an angsty high school girl. The food is good, Ivy likes it too, the only problem I have with it is that the big name box stores around here only sell it in the 3 pound bags, so I have to go to the ONLY store I've found thus far who sells it in the 6 pound bags.

Since I have to call in Ivy's food to the vet (prescription diet), I think I might ask if it's possible for them to order me Quazi's food too. Kill two birds with one stone.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


It's like I'm on a Holiday roll around here....

But, Machu Picchu, December 2011. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


You know what today is, don't you? It is November 2. 2 days into National Blog Post Month (NaBloPoMo). In other words, it is the month in which I regale you with crappy-ass stories in order to prove to myself that I can, indeed, post something on one of my blogs at least once a day for 30 consecutive days.

And you want to know something else? I've already screwed it up. I forgot yesterday was November 1. But, in the grand scheme of things, this is peanuts compared to the other atrocity that happened yesterday. The atrocity of which I speak is naturally the travesty in which I forgot to have the first two words out of my mouth on the 1st of the month be "White Rabbit."

Obviously this is Shawn's fault because he bothered to ask me a question right after getting out of bed. The question, of course, was whether Daylight Saving time ended on the 31st or not. I think he was looking forward to sleeping in for another hour. In any case, I'll take my semi lucid answer of "no, it ends next weekend, at 1am" over the phrase I kept uttering last night every time there was a clap of thunder that woke me up in the middle of the night...Though I would guess it'd be easier to remember to say "Holy Crap!!!" (and yes, apparently when I'm tired I cuss like a Mormon instead of a Sailor) the first of every month, rather than that silly "White Rabbit" phrase.