Tag Archives: baking

More Pie! — Bananas Foster Cream Pie

12 Jul

A few weeks ago, I got an automated email. My domain registration for www.pieareround.com was about to renew itself. At that point, I was faced with a decision: should I let the registration expire or should I re-commit myself to this blogging project. After all, it had been quite a while since I last written anything for this blog. My heart just hadn’t been in writing for the blog lately; the joy had kind of gone out of it. Combined with the time it took to document and write each post, I seriously considered abandoning the whole thing. But a funny thing happened. Just as I was contemplating giving it all up, I had several people ask me, unprompted, what happened to the blog and whether I was working on anything new. Coincidental timing, but it at least inspired me to give it another go. Continue reading

Advertisements

Biscuits and Gravy — Harder Than it Looks

29 Oct

It must have been arrogance.  There is no other explanation.  I had read countless discussions of why biscuits had fallen flat—literally.  But I didn’t think it would happen to me, even though it was my first attempt at biscuits.  No, I thought I had beaten the game.  I had acquired White Lily flour you see, the supposed secret to perfect biscuits.  All I had to do was follow the recipe on the back of the bag, and my biscuits would be wonderful.

Not so much.

Continue reading

A Baking Tradition — Swedish Rye Bread

23 Dec

Once or twice over the course of this blog’s short existence I’ve written about some of my traditional family recipes.  If there was an urtext that was the ultimate and prototypical family recipe growing up, then it was the recipe for Swedish Rye Bread.  My mother’s family is 100% German and my father’s is correspondingly 100% Swedish.  So, one might naturally think that it was my father responsible for introducing and making this bread.

Reality however is much less clear.  It was an ongoing debate in my house as to whether my mother or father is responsible for learning this recipe from my Grandmother on the Swedish side.  Each one claims credit for the original making of the bread.  I, not wanting to get in the middle of such an amusing (and not entirely in jest) feud, will take no position.  Not that I really have any basis to weigh in with my opinion anyway.

Continue reading

Christmas Treat — Lebkuchen Christmas Cookies

9 Dec

Many of my family traditions involve food. (See this earlier post about Chicken Szechwan and Peanuts.)  This food-focused sense of tradition is especially true around the holidays.  Christmas cookie baking was always a big deal growing up, and no Christmas season would be complete without a full complement of different cookie varieties.  And it wasn’t just the resulting sweets that made holiday cookies so special; it was the process of making the cookies itself.

IMG_1767

Every year around Christmas, just as school was letting out for break, my aunt and granddad (my grandfather on my mother’s side) would come for an extended visit.  At some point early on in that visit, me, my sister, my mom, and my aunt would spend a day or two crafting the Christmas cookies for that year.  While some of the varieties we made would vary from year to year, there was some staples that we always made: spritz, snowballs (better known as Russian tea cakes), and befitting of the German heritage on my mom’s side of the family, lebkuchen. (The recipe I have actually spells it lebkucken, but knowing a bit of German myself, I know that just can’t be right!)

Continue reading

Uncommonly Good — Sam’s (award winning) Apple Pie

4 Nov

The name of this blog is not just a math pun.  (Get it, pie are round, not πr2!)  I also really, really love pie.  Of all the things that I create in the kitchen, pie is probably my favorite.  And, it can be any kind of pie—strawberry, blueberry, peach, you name it.  I must admit a strong preference for fruit pies however.  Not to give cream, or other types of pie short shrift, mind you.  But if it’s a fruit pie…well, it has fruit! It’s not just dessert, it’s healthy! (Right?)

My pie obsession isn’t entirely new.  As my mother would be happy to tell you, at some point in elementary school I declared that apple pie was my favorite smell in the world.  This is probably still true.

What is new is the fact that I’m no longer just the pie eater—I’m also the pie maker.  The transformation from one into the other came about in large part because I was seeking out a culinary challenge.  It seems that many people are intimidated by pie crust; making pie crust is perceived as a time-consuming task whose prospects for success are uncertain at best.  With that in mind, I set out to master the art of the crust.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: