Thursday, January 20, 2011

Saturday Jan 22: Saint Vincent's Day

Wow. Did you know this? Saturday is St. Vincent's Day. I read about this holiday in my Farmer's Almanac, and I'm pretty convinced it's a day we would enjoy celebrating here at Home Grown Farms. Are you ready for this? St. Vincent is the patron saint of winemakers and drunkards. That's right, drunkards. How you get to be a saint by sponsoring drunkards is something I'd like to know, but that's a conversation that will have to be taken up with bigger powers outside of this blog. But wait, there's more--apparently, on this day, the 22nd of January, NO VINES SHOULD BE PRUNED. Alright! We're down with that, Tammie and I. . . . Certainly this rule is extended to all winery workers, in the vineyard or not.  . .aye? "BY THE LAW OF ST VINCENT, NO WORK IN THE WINERY SHALL BE DONE ON JAN 22." Because we need time to laud the winemakers and drunkards. Amen to that.

(St. Vincent looks a little mischievous in this icon, doesn't he? with that grin and the thumbs up?)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to Make a Pie Crust

Ok, let's take a vote. Who's favorite part of the pie is the crust? Both flaky crust and fresh filling are vital to a homemade pie . But how many times have I heard someone say "the crust makes the pie"??     So readers, why do you buy those yucky store-bought crusts and put your hand-worked homemade filling into them?! They don't deserve it. Is it because you can't bear to see how much butter actually goes into a pie crust? Face it, there's more butter than flour. That's what makes it good.
Please. Making pie crust is easy. And quick. And some would even say fun. Just do it. Here's my best and easiest recipe. And honor your pie by using real butter for goodness sakes!

Put into the bowl of a food processor:
1 stick of VERY COLD unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized chunks.
3/4 cup flour.
pinch salt.

PULSE. That's right. Pulse. Don't turn your machine on and walk away. The goal here is to ever so slightly blend the butter with the flour until it starts clumping. Add a few drops of ice water. Pulse. Another few drops, pulse. Keep doing this until you have something that looks like floury white pebbles. Pour the mixture into a metal bowl and mush it all together so it sticks into a rough ball. Refrigerate one hour. After one hour, take out your dough, flour your surface, and roll it into your desired crust shape. Don't over shape or over roll. Underworking keeps the butter pockets big and tender, making your crust oh so flaky and light!

Do you have favorite pie tips or recipes? Tell me tell me! I love pie. Right now I am in search of a great KEY LIME PIE recipe.