Yesterday was our friends’ annual Pie Day party (in celebration of National Pie Day) and we sure couldn’t miss it. In the past I’ve spent the entire week leading up to it thinking of pies, but this year (more on this later) I didn’t get around to thinking about it until the morning of the party. I browsed through some of my recipe collections and decided to make one from my Mary Engelbreit Sweet Treats cookbook that I’ve had for many years. Many years, but I’ve never made the Chess Pie. (or, maybe it’s a Lemon Chess Pie.) A rather simple and plain looking pie with an intriguing self forming crunchy golden crust on top. After having made the pie I can tell you that the crust magically forms out of the loads of sugar in the pie. It was a usual pie crust and then a sweet filling of basically eggs, sugar, bit of flour, pinch of salt, lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. As it bakes this golden thin crunch crust appears on top of the filling. Despite all the sugar this was not overly sweet. The lemon just enough to keep it from being so and it tasted very fresh and sweet. Definitely a pie I’ll make again. (and it was completely and quickly eaten up so I know others liked it too.)
Paul’s pie this year was also a raging success. He had been feeling very inspired by the Great British Bake Off and ended up making a Steak n’ Ale Pie, using the hot water crust technique we saw on the show. Basically it was a rich thick beef stew put into a top and bottom golden crust. The scent of this was amazing and would be the most welcoming smell to ever walk in the house to. It tasted delicious as well and since I only got a couple bites for myself I’ve demanded he make this for dinner for us soon. This did not fit in a usual pie dish, but a larger casserole style dish.
There were loads of other tasty pies, especially all the pizza variations. I especially liked one with bacon on it and the chicken parm pie which had plenty of parmesan and romano cheese in both the crust and the breading for the chicken on the inside.
So, I know I said I wouldn’t post much anymore, but there was no way I could pass up getting in my Pie Day post. And here’s a quick check-in from me: I have finished my first week of work and it’s going really well. I’ve had many moments of feeling very happy and glad to be back doing something I love and remembering how good it made me feel. And the students mostly seem really happy to meet me.
I’ve also had many moments of thinking “good grief I’ll never remember everyone’s names and what on earth is the procedure here?” But overall, the job is good and we’re all adjusting. And hey, I even got paid already so that’s even better. Also, no one starved or went naked this first week, so that’s good. Though Willow is insane when I get home and also I fall asleep as soon as I lie down at night and then wake up too early. I’m definitely feeling really overwhelmed and anxious, but that’s mostly related to the online graduate course I’m taking. Which is, frankly, a ton of work. I’m going to say more work than if the class was in person. I also realize how great it was to have done graduate school before when I was young and lived on my own and could spend hours at the coffee shop with my friends working on assignments, or while away a Saturday finishing up a paper early because I had nothing else going on. I am finding it hard to fit it into my life now, though I know millions of people do. So, we’ll have a Valentine’s Day breakfast and card exchange and then I’m going to try to buckle down and work on my research paper due in one week. I haven’t written a research paper in 20 years and have it pretty built up in my head as a task that will get the better of me, so let’s all hope that’s not the case.
Oh, and life does go on in the midst of all this new job stuff–Tabby and I went with our Brownie troop to a really cool pottery class, so that was fun to do together. And Paul and I went to…a concert on a work night. Richard Thompson, whom we’ve seen a few times before, at the McCarter Theater. He is such a talented musician and it was wonderful. Solo, acoustic, so I was afraid I’d fall asleep and I did have to close my eyes a few times, but that was ok. We had awesome seats-absolute center in front of RT and 7th row.
In news around the yard, our elderly rooster, President, has finally died. He had a fantastic life, really. What other rooster gets to live until 6 enjoying walking around with his ladies and being fed treats? And despite the BITTER cold the coop behavior tells me spring is on the way. Gordon has been enjoying renewing his acquaintance with tree bird and his ball. And the young chicken who has turned out to be a rooster is enjoying crowing and trying to mate (fairly unsuccessfully so far) with all the young hens. We’re also getting more eggs now. Nature says spring is coming and it can’t be stopped!