Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Finale

Okay, you've caught me, I'm having a piece of pie for breakfast a...gain, apple this time. I know I really shouldn't but surely just a sliver won't hurt me. It's this post's fault. How can you write about pie and not eat it? Especially since it is one of my favorite desserts.

Wait some of you may be thinking, didn't you make that a long time ago? Here comes another confession yes and well... no. A busy schedule kept me from making the pie crust dough for several days. Then the dough got made but it was rather late in the evening to be baking pies so I put the dough in the refrigerator. Two days later, I still hadn't made the pies so I forced myself to whip together a pecan pie filling and a squash filling thinking that would push me to get it done. Then as I was reaching for the pie crust in the refrigerator, I just couldn't stand the body aches anymore and put the fillings in the refrigerator instead and went to lay on our bed. Call me a quitter if you want but all this procrastinating isn't my fault. The doctor did it. Well if you're going to procrastinate royally then you might as well blame someone else too don't you think? One good sin deserves another. Yes, I went to church last Sunday and I've heard the little story about the spider and "what tangled webs we weave when we first try to decease (sorry typo I mean deceive)".
My great grandmother use to recite a poem to the effect instilling in me not to tell a lie. But the truth is, it's my doctor's fault. He thought it would be a good idea to take me off my adrenal medication. We had slowly been able to lower the amount as I progressively got better. BA...D move and then in the flurry of all the discussion of my long list of health issues, all related to one another, he didn't renew the new strength on another medication. It left me terribly achy and depressed and moaning for more hormones. Most of you thankfully have no idea how many of those things the body produces and how the body shuts down without them. The list is long and I swear I'm on most of them. I'm a bit of a drug addict. No not the traditional kind. In fact, I once thought a box of compounded medications made just for me had been stolen in the mail. I called my pharmacist and she laughed. " I'm sorry." she said, " but the image of a drug addict opening the box and finding out what was inside is hilarious. Boy will they be disappointed!" So you see it is my doctor's fault for this post series not being completed sooner. I'm still waiting for my meds but I was too depressed Monday and Tuesday to call him and remind him to call to renew the prescription. See procrastinating is his fault. I know. I know. We are given weakness that we might overcome them and be strong. See I was listening at church. I promise to do better today or... maybe tomorrow.
But all that procrastination did teach me something. Leaf Lard pie dough does stay nicely in the refrigerator. Another tip, you can roll out your pie dough to the desired thickness, put it in a pie plate, then wrap the plate in plastic wrap, then foil , and freeze. It can be frozen for up to --three months. This is great for pumpkin pies and custard types. Or you can roll out several pie crusts layering them with parchment in between to separate them, wrap in plastic, then in foil, and freeze.
Or better yet, assemble a whole pie, the crust and filling such as in a apple pie, then freeze it. It can be frozen for -- one month. When you take it out, it can go straight into the oven. A great idea for when you have company coming. I baked my squash pie and berry pie and froze them. This Friday our daughter and her family are coming and we are going to cut up the beef. I don't have time to worry about baking pies even if they are frozen and I don't have to make them. I know I'll forget about them in the rush and they'll burn so I made them ahead and they can thaw while we're busy cutting meat. Now I just have to think of what main dishes I want to make ahead of time to reheat while they're here.
The whole point of this post was to tout the wonderful properties of Leaf Lard and once again I've procrastinated until the end. But lest you think I never get anything done, I had better tell you about the wonderful virtues of Leaf Lard and the benefits of making it yourself. Using lard in baking is finding a resurgence with cooks and chefs in Europe and the USA right now. Pie crust made from Leaf Lard is more flaky than a crust made with butter. Note that I'm saying Leaf Lard, for this particular lard has the mildest flavor of any of the fat throughout the hog making it perfect for pie crusts. It is the highest grade of fat and if you are purchasing it from a store, look carefully at the label. Most of what is available for you to buy will be a combination of fats from various parts of the pigs body. Some areas of the country are selling Leaf Lard fat frozen for you to render yourself in to lard. In fact, a new industry is booming where specialty farmers are raising old traditional type, fat hog breeds raised especially for their lard.
So if you want a flaky, moist crust try Leaf Lard. You'll really notice a difference. I love it because it is so much nicer to work with and rolls out so smoothly. If you missed out on the post on how to render Leaf Lard and where you can find it on a pig click on the word Lard
and if you want to know about making the pie crust dough click Dough.
Every time I do something I learn. Often what not to do but still, I learn. From making pies this time I found that I like my simple squash pie recipe best. I'm almost embarrassed to call it a recipe. Really its just pureed squash, I used some I had in the freezer, a touch of cinnamon, and a little sugar and goat milk mixed all together until it tastes right and is the right consistency. I thought about measuring just for you but I hadn't the energy. Also I picked up a tip from Throwback At Trapper Creek when she said she pulled the bottom crust up over the top and pinched the edges instead of the other way around. It is so... much easier that way. Now one of these days I'm going to use cute tiny cookie cutters to make the holes in the top crust instead of the boring bland slits with the knife to let the steam out. But first, I'm going to need some medication if I'm going to get much of anything done. If they arrive soon, I might even make Swiss Cheese Chicken Pot Pie with the roosters needing butchered. I can't seem to get enough of Leaf Lard pie crust.

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