The best ideas used to come to me while cooking. So was I paying attention to the cooking? Yes! It’s the rhythm of cutting, stirring, and beating that makes those alpha waves start buzzing and then the words and ideas seem to come from a central holding tank of great ideas. Sometimes those ideas are filed away for later use and other times they slip through the randomness of time – in one brain cell and out the other side.
Latest cooking phase: pies and tarts. My goal was to produce a pie a week for my friends. (Gotta have an audience) For several months my experimenting with fruit pies, custard with fruit, rich chocolate, a big success, was appreciated. That went well until one of the receivers of these delicious edibles was concerned about calories. How many calories are there in a slice of pie, anyway? Well in an apricot tart there are 80 calories per slice.
Note about scalding apricots: there must be a science to it, because only 2 out of the 14 apricots’ skins came off easily! The rest had to be peeled. Ah, yes, patience in all things that involve slow food. It’s the time to practice meditation and get into the flow of peeling the fruit.
Pie crust can be tricky as they are affected by climate. What? Yup. climate. I used a recipe from the south for my first pear pie. I live way up north where it’s cold and dry most of the time. The first batch of dough was too dry. The second batch was a little better. The resulting pie dough smack down had me flipping the dry dough into the pie pan. It slumped and cracked. I patched. The edges looked so “french country”. Rustic is good, right? Nobody complained about eating it, to my delight.
I have since solved the problem of pie dough. I went back to a reliable quiche dough recipe from the “Betty Crocker International Cookbook” and made sure I added enough water for this climate.
Today I was painting on one of my good ideas. It’s a still life of irises. The irises came from some people at the local farmers market. Irises fade very quickly. Drat! In fact, as fast as I would cast and eye on them and scramble to get them on the canvas, they shriveled. So for several years I waited for this special pale lavender-blue iris to be sold in spring, at the farmer’s market. As you might imagine, finding them was hit or miss. The painting languished on top of my refrigerator for a dog’s age. It’s was dusted and inspected on occasion. It called to me to finish it. Oh but that color was so elusive!
Just a few weeks ago I went on a walk in my neighborhood while the irises were blooming. Wouldn’t you know it, there was the pale lavender-blue iris in the yard up the street. This time I took a photograph of it. Color problem solved. Patience paid off.
On to the next experiment in cooking!