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:

That most special day of the year is upon us once again! While it will be another 97 years before we’ll have a really special Pi Day (3-14-15, 9:26:53), any excuse to eat baked treats is a good one!

Since the idea of combining irrational numbers and desserts is a bit nutty, we thought we’d offer up two slightly nutty recipes for you today. The first comes from the oldest cookbook we have on the shelf (so far): The Good Housekeeping Cookbook (© 1942, edited by Dorothy B. Marsh). Continue Reading →

Happy Pi Day!!

Hi Folks:

It seems Pi Day (3-14) is upon us once again, and there’s no better way to celebrate all things irrational than with pie! In the past we’ve profiled recipes for pastry and for various dessert pies; this year we thought we’d take a different tack and mention a crustless, savoury pie instead: a potato bacon cheddar tart. The recipe comes from our favourite Canadian chef, Michael Smith, and may be found here: Potato Bacon Cheddar Tart.

As Michael himself would say, the best recipe for cooking is to cook without a recipe! To that end, and since Marcia can’t eat nightshades (including potatoes), we use yams instead. And if you want to switch up the cheddar for some other firm cheese like Havarti, that would probably work too. Have fun with it!! The recipe is pretty simple and straightforward to make, although, as mentioned, it’s important to stagger the placement of the bacon around the centre of the pie plate to avoid having a big mound in the middle. And remember to put a baking sheet underneath to catch the drips.

Bon appetit! Now, the 100,000th decimal place for pi is… ? Oh ya… 6.

Hugs,
M&M

P.S. Happy Birthday, Uncle Albert!! E=MC2, huh. We’ll believe you. You could always see the beauty in the sinuous undulations of the rim of the crust, and you recognized that baking is all chemistry and physics… 😉