Saturday, May 26, 2012
294. The Arrival of Summer
Yesterday marked the beginning of a 10 day stretch which has no other choice but to be fantastic. I've been looking forward to it for some time. It was also the first really hot day of the year, and that means summer has officially arrived.
First, the three day weekend, which afforded me the time to invent a pineapple rhubarb and basil pie. Though I think there are some things I would like to amend for future incarnations, namely, using more pineapple, it was definitely a success. There was a nice balance between sweet and sour and a little savory, which I think worked well. Here's a shot of the filling before it went into the crust.
And a shot of the final product...
This charming number is evidence that I lack my grandmother's skills with weaving a lattice-top crust. I think I let the dough sit on the counter and get too warm while I was working on it. In the end, I decided to just fake it by layering the pieces instead of weaving them. The need to practice will just be my excuse to bake more pies.
If you're wondering how to go about inventing a pie, it isn't difficult to do. Find a crust recipe you like. Crusts can be seasoned all sorts of ways to make them more complementary to your fillings, but in this case, I opted for the basic model because I wanted to let the pineapple do the talking. Second, like anything else one does in the kitchen, find a recipe you like and use it as a starting point. This pie was based on a deep dish strawberry rhubarb recipe I made last summer and loved. I swapped the strawberries for pineapple, cut back on the rhubarb, and swapped the cinnamon and nutmeg for fresh basil from our porch. Easy.
Tomorrow I'm visiting my mum, and Monday I have hopes for Memorial Day grill action. I'd like to try grilling veggie burgers. Then it's back to work, but only for two days.
Wednesday night The Wizard and I have tickets to see Best Coast at The Firebird, and there are plans to ride our bikes there. The following morning, Frank-dog will go and stay with my parents for the weekend, and our escape to Chicago begins! In the two years that I have been living back in Saint Louis, I have left town exactly once. We went camping in Southern Illinois for two nights. To say that I need to get away is a gross understatement.
To start our holiday off properly, I've secured a swanky room on The Magnificent Mile for Thursday night, then we'll be moving in with some friends for the rest of the weekend. Friday (day) we hope to check out the Art Institute of Chicago, both for the college and the Roy Lichtenstein exhibit currently on display. We also have tickets to see a friend's play, The Jammer, on Friday night. I am extremely excited, and it should prove to be an action-packed weekend of adventures and fun. A real, not iPhone camera will be accompanying me, but I haven't decided which one just yet. I'm leaning toward film for its decisiveness and character, but I like the flexibility that digital offers. Decisions!