Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pie Crusts and Me

I like to try new things.  And I like food.  Therefore, I like to try new foods.  That is one of the reasons I enjoy the Food Network - to watch skilled cooks with new ideas.  Recently, the Food Network debuted a new cooking show by the famous city-girl-turned-country-girl-blogger, the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond. So I tuned in.  I mean, she has developed her talents, so she embodies hope for the rest of us!

She made something that looked so yummy, and she made it look so easy, that I couldn't resist trying it myself.  She called it the "Flat Apple Pie," with a "fool-proof" crust that is supposed to look rustic instead of perfect.  When I located the recipe online, it was even better - it was called "Flat Apple Pie with Perfect Pie Crust."  Boy  - I was flooded with hope!  I had never made a nice pie crust all on my own!  Even following meticulous directions, keeping in mind all the hints and tips from my granny and my aunts, my pie crusts were crumbly and ugly!

I wish I could find a picture for you.  Ree said the pie is designed to be held in your hands.  She made her family so happy!  I was ready to share the love with my family!
After gathering all the ingredients, I got started.  My handy apple peeler/corer/slicer

went to work on the apples.  My first hint at a problem came when I made the crust.  I noticed that Ree's recipe called for about twice the fat (butter/crisco) than any of my other pie crusts recipes.  But I plunged ahead.  Everything was going according to plan until I started to fold the crust over my spiced apples.  The crust really did look better than any I had made before, but it just didn't seem as 'stretchy' as I thought it should be.  "Oh well," I reasoned, "if there was a catch, surely Ree would have warned me!" So I fold the crust, appreciate the rustic look I have achieved, and pop the pies into the oven. 

Boy, did those pies smell delicious!  But my premonition proved true.  All of the wonderful apple-y juices flowed right out of the crust and onto the pan.  The crust had cracks where the apples poked through, and that heavenly juice was carmelized onto the pan. 

If I had more experience blogging, I would have a picture to show you.  It still tasted okay, and it was the best crust I had ever pulled off, but I wouldn't make it again.  The amount of butter and crisco is just too big an obstacle. Mostly I ate the apples out of the middle.  And they were fantastic.

In case you want to try your hand at this, here is the link to the recipe:

Be sure and let me know how yours turns out!
Happy Baking!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Little Cure

Recently I learned something that everyone should know.  So if you are lucky enough to be reading this, get ready for your whole life to change. 

Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration.  But here is one little amazing cure: Flour for burns. 

Sounds absolutely crazy.  I have no scientific research to back it up.  I have done no googling on the subject.  I didn't even learn about it while home schooling!  I learned about it because I burned myself and I happened to be at a friend's house. 

Here is what happened: I was melting a tiny bit of queso (velveeta and rotel) in my friend's demon microwave.  This microwave is linked to some kind of sunspot surge.  Most of the time it won't get your cup of coffee hot in less than 2 minutes.  Then, for some unseen reason, it decides that it is time to let loose all of its pent up anger and return whatever is in it to sub-atomic particles.  This is what happened with my queso.  So when I innocently reached into the microwave and picked up the little cup, the cup was so hot it melted to my fingers.  I had to shake it off, which then poured melted cheese as hot as lava all over my hands, wrists and fingers.  I immediately ran to the sink and started running cold water over the burns.  They were already red and swelling fast.  I was crying it hurt so bad. 

My friend ran in to find out what happened.  She had heard the clattering and the squealing.  She very sweetly and diligently started pummeling me with questions.  Really, the same question over and over, "What are we supposed to put on burns?"  She was very sincere, and upon seeing my tears, and the welts, became even more insistent, "WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO PUT ON BURNS?!"   I wasn't really any help in answering.  We probably looked like an "I Love Lucy" skit.  I just kept saying, "I don't know!"  She then began helpfully suggesting all of the essential oils that she had in her pantry.  "Lemon??? Wintergreen? Lavender? Oregano?"  To which I kept my wits about me and intelligently continued answering, thru my tears, "I don't know." 

Finally, her eyes lit up like saucers! "Flour!" she jubilantly yelled.

 She dashed across the kitchen.  She poured a gallon ziploc bag half full of plain old enriched bleached flour and told me to stick my hands in it.  I could tell the running water wasn't helping.  I could tell that running water, even if it was fresh off a glacier, would never help the burns that demon microwave had given me.  So what could I do besides call 9-1-1? Plunge my hands into that bag o' flour!  Amazingly, INSTANTLY the pain was almost gone! It was unbelievable!  Right up there with Paul being bitten by a viper, and shaking it off like it was a caterpillar.  The natives wanted to worship him as a god.  I mean it - that flour trick was THAT amazing. As soon as I had my hands buried in the flour, my dear thoughtful friend looked at me with an excited, eager gleam in her eyes, "I have just been WAITING to try that!" She quickly caught herself and added, "I mean, I'm sorry you got burned, but,...."  I wondered if she had been secretly planning to burn one of her kids just to try it out.  What a hero I am, saving her kids like that!  Just kidding, she wouldn't do that.  And I am GLAD she had read some crazy thing about flour helping burns.  And I am glad the Lord was able to remind her what to put on burns - during our highly intelligent conversation.

The end of the story is that I kept my hands in the flour for at least an hour, probably a bit longer. When I took them out, the redness was gone, the pain was gone, almost all trace of the severe burns that I received were gone.  There was just one little red spot about the size of a pea, not even a blister.

Rememer - the next time you or your children get burned - FLOUR FOR BURNS!

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Little Update

Well, I guess I should come clean about my 'no sugar/dessert' activities.  I made it for a while - through a visit with friends, a visit with family, and a graduation celebration (which had specialty cake - specialty! - AND cheesecake).  A grand total of maybe 8 days.  Then I fell off the wagon into Christmas. 

So, I didn't do so well.  Actually, I did very well for a short amount of time.  Man is it hard!  But I read this little quote earlier:

Being overweight is hard, losing weight is hard, maintaining your weight is hard.  Choose your hard.
That is exactly right.  Probably it is true across subject matters - money issues, marriage issues, parenting issues, home remodeling issues!  But scripture has something to say about the hard:

...and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.          Romans 5:2a-5
So all my theories, and activities and tracking what I eat is all part of my purpose - to hope in the glory of God, and to persevere, developing proven character, and hope, and being filled with the love of God through the Holy Spirit who is given to me.  Because really, hope in Him is all I have; who He is, not what I can do. 

Again, I bet that is true across subject matters - money issues, marriage issues, parenting issues, even home remodeling issues! 

And there is rest in that - hoping in who He is, not in anything I can do! Glory!  What an unbelievable time we live in - the era of the church.

Okay, back to the original subject - living free of dessert - Sounds like a B horror movie - "The Attack of the Killer Desserts!" I shall try again - resting in Him, drawing from His strength, and persevering.
Let's Go! Proven Character!