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14May/10

Spring Has Sprung, The Grass Has Ris…

...I wonder how this pie is. To answer your question, pretty flipping awesome.

Did you miss me?

It won't happen again. I promise. I've been doing quite a bit of spring cleaning. Doesn't it feel satisfying to clean? No? Just me? You don't get a certain rush out of scrubbing something so shiny you can see your reflection in it? Or mopping the floor so clean you could eat off it? Or maybe vacuuming every square inch of the floor? Or organizing all 76 fridge magnets into uniform size descending lines? Well I do. And seriously, 76. I counted them.

I'm not sure who decided spring was the appropriate season to clean your head off, but it seems to make sense. Maybe it's something about opening up all the windows and pushing back the curtains that makes you see every last speck of dust and disorganization that somehow alluded your discerning eyes all winter. Maybe it's because spring is the season where everything begins again, grows and transforms, so why not mirror that on the inside right?

I have all these gardening plans this summer that I am so excited about. I've begun planting herbs in peat moss pots inside to transplant into my very own soon-to-be-built herb garden. That way I can make fresh pesto with my own basil and cut chives into sour cream like my mom always did. More often than not when I want to make pesto the supermarket is all out of the fresh kind so I actually buy the diced up stuff sold in a tube. I won't complain about the convenience, but I don't mind dicing it myself when I can be sure it's fresh instead of feeling like I'm squeezing toothpaste into my garlic, parmesan and pine nuts.

Enough about me. I know you're really just waiting for me to shut up so you can hear about that amazing Boston Cream Pie. It's my way of saying sorry for the abnormally long blogging intermission. Now back to our regular scheduled programming.

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7May/10

The Custard Thickens.

I consider this dessert a pivotal personal achievement. I've been putting it off for a long time now since a certain incident involving custard. Very stubborn custard. It was just awful. I don't like to talk about it...

...Ok you twisted my arm.

So it was New Year's Eve and I wanted to make something fancy to celebrate. We bought a shrimp ring and veggies with dip, I made sweet and sour cocktail meatballs and a layered salsa dip. There was just the dessert left to contend with. My mother started making this Angel Icebox Dessert for family functions years ago and it quickly became a family favourite even rivalling my Oma's coveted Cherry Delight. I thought I'd give it a try. How hard could it be right? Famous last words.

So there are three different layers. I didn't have the time or patience to make my own meringue nests or pavlovas so I bought some. Don't judge me, I'm impatient. Next is the whipping cream. That's easy. Then comes the custard.

Up until now I had never made custard and it was a little intimidating to say the least. Despite that I set aside my fears and soldiered on. I followed the recipe exactly. Six eggs yolks. Check. Sugar and salt. Check. Flour. Check. Scalded milk. After a googling what that even meant, check. Vanilla. Roger.

As I was stirring my custard in my makeshift double boiler feeling pretty darn happy with myself I'd come this far I realized to my horror that it wasn't thickening. Why was this happening? What had I done wrong? Were the custard gods punishing me for some significant sin? I read and reread the recipe dozens of times finding no evidence to my fault. After 45 minutes of tedious stirring to no avail I decided to refrigerate it and hope for the best.

Nope. Not even a little thickening. It was custard soup. That just won't do.

So my mother got a frantic phone call that day. Apparently the freshness of my eggs was questionable having bought them from a supermarket and not straight from the hen. I also should have used whole milk instead of 1% like I normally do.

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