Friday, December 28, 2012

Word's out...

Apparently, if you tell your friends and family that you will be baking pie for a year, they will buy you lots of pie related stuff.

As evidence, here are just a few of the things I received for Christmas (there were more ingredients than pictured.)

Probably the coolest thing is the pastry board at the bottom of the pile.  It has sizing guidelines for a variety of different pies and tart doughs.  But even better, it hugs the counter edge so the pastry board doesn't slide-really excellent design.  Only problem is I'm not sure where to store it since it is BIG.

And the girls were not forgotten.  They received a baking set from Grandma (notice the tiny rolling pins) and an adorable little kitty print apron. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Plan

2013 has been deemed the Year of the Pie.  It's also being called the Year of the Elastic Waistband, but that's a whole other story.

I decided I needed to make a few "rules" for my pie project:

1. I'm only making sweet pies, no savory ones.

2. I'm not creating my own recipes- seriously, I don't think I know enough yet to come up with my own recipe.  Since I don't have a family heritage of baking, I plan to test out other people's recipes to see what I want to pass on to my kids (and I will give credit to the creator/source.)

3. Crusts must be homemade- no frozen dough or premade graham cracker crusts.

4. If the recipe has a crust method included I will use it; otherwise I can use whatever crust I want.

5. Each week is a different pie.  However, there can be variations of a type of pie.  I'm guessing we'll have a few different apples along the way.


Introducing my helpers  

I have two little helpers on this project.  Since this is the internet, we'll refer to them as the Big One and the Little One.  Both have been "baking" since they were 18 months old and know their way around a kitchen.  As evidence see the following:

The Little One- 2012
The Big One- 2010
It's pretty funny how serious they look...

And yes, caught in the background I am wearing a muumuu like nightgown.  In my defense, I was pregnant with the Little One.  However, I have the feeling I might be wearing that nightgown 24/7 after eating all this pie.

They're very excited about the pie project.  Well, at least the Big One is.  The Little One doesn't really talk too much.  But she likes to eat, so once she gets pie, she'll be more excited.

Off to find more recipes...

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Pie Project

Every year, around my November birthday, I start to think about things I want to do or change in the upcoming year. 2 years ago I was pregnant with my second daughter so obviously she was the main focus of my thoughts.  Last year, my husband and I were planning to make a major move to be closer to family so that was top of mind.

But this year, I was at a loss- all my major changes were done for a while.  And then I realized that 2013 didn’t need to be about something serious.  It could be about fun, it could be about something sweet.  It could be about pie.

I realized that in the last few years I’ve been so wrapped up in my job and raising small children that hobbies had taken a back seat.  I love to cook.  I also love to bake but I didn’t grow up in a family that baked from scratch; I’m always jealous of those people who bring their Grandma’s tried and tested baked good to a party or a dinner.

Over the course of the year, I am going to make 52 different pies completely from scratch.  When possible I’m going to try to use ingredients local to us here in Connecticut. (And yes, there are easily 52 different kinds of pie which is a question everyone asks me. That’s even after excluding things I don’t like.)

As for the motherhood part, I’m bringing my kids along for the ride. In the immortal words of Evan Kleiman (who bakes a pie a DAY every summer):

“Because food – and, arguably, pie in particular – is all about being at home. …Pie is grandma’s house, it’s mom’s kitchen, it’s our own messy countertop with flour strewn about. And above all else it’s sitting down at the table with the people we love and digging in.”

And it’s about getting small children to roll out dough for me so I don’t need to wear myself out.

Kleiman also says we must forgive our grandmothers their pie failings and be the pie baking grandmother we wish we had. In 2013 I plan to remedy that- in plenty of time for my hypothetical grandchildren.

So when you see the lady with a basket full of flour, unsalted butter and sugar at the market, it just might be me!