Happy Pi Day!!

Hi Folks:

It’s that time of the year (3-14) where we get to celebrate all things irrational, and so as we’ve done for several years now we thought we’d add a recipe or two. Mike’s Auntie Dona – at various stages in her life – ran a bakery, a restaurant, a catering service for several small airlines, and a cooking school. She was also quite a character. Wherever she is now, she likely has flour in her hair. These recipes are hers.

In case pastry has become your bête noire, here’s the one I used in the bakery and still do.

5 cups flour, 1 lb. lard, 1 tsp. salt… blend with pastry blender. Break 1 egg into a cup, beat and fill with water. Add to flour and stir and knead until it’s ready to handle. Seeing as how you’ve got that great lump of pastry there, make a pie or two, some butter tarts, turnovers (apple pie filling, zipped up with cinnamon and a few raisins) or raisin squares or just bake the shells and store them on a shelf. They’ll stay good for ages.

Now about those butter tarts. This recipe I gleaned from an old Mennonite cookbook and have used constantly over the years. Surprise, no butter in butter tarts.

Dona’s stolen recipe for butter tart filling

2 eggs, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 cup brown sugar, handful of raisins. Beat the hell out of the eggs with your balloon whisk. If you don’t have one, stop right now and go and get one. I mean, really. Then put in the sugar and beat until you have big glutinous bubbles on top. Add your vanilla and raisins, put in tart shells and bake. Do use a 2-lb jam can to cut out your tart shells, 4-lb size for turnovers. Don’t bake butter tarts or anything with an egg base in a high oven. 325° at the most. I find 325 is best for these as a nice crust will form and they look beauteous. Gravy ladle fills the easiest. The amount makes 1 dozen.

So there you go. Have some fun with it! And since you have pastry dough left over, maybe put together a pumpkin or lemon pie or something. Check our Food section for more recipes.

Hugs,
M&M

Happy Pi Day!!

Hi Folks:

It’s Pi Day! (3.14), so in honour of that most famous of all mathematical constants we thought we’d do something completely irrational and post a couple of recipes.  Pi(e) recipes, of course.  And a story or two.

There weren’t a lot of male cooks around in the circles where I grew up (BBQ aside), but from the time I started Boy Scouts when I was 10 I’ve learned how to cook.  Okay, not always well, and a fire doesn’t have a dial for temperature control, but like everything else, it takes some time to learn.  By the time I started college I could cook and bake fairly well, despite the fact that my mother lovingly weighed me down with packages of freezerable food every time I went for a visit.  When Marcia and I first moved in together I told her the kitchen was mine and she told me I was welcome to it (Marcia’s actually a very good cook herself, and one of our many shared activities is cooking together).  Anyway, I digress. Continue Reading →