11/28/17

Vegan pie guide


I went a little overboard and made five pies for Thanksgiving. Here are the recipes I used, and how we liked them. I know I will be glad next year that I wrote this down!


Oil pastry. This is my go to pie crust, and I used it for the pupmkin, pecan, and apple pies. I figured out a few years ago that rolling it out between parchment paper sheets makes the difference between a fun experience and tearing your hair out. Use the parchment. Buy some if you don't already have it. It will change your life.


Key lime. I made this recipe in a storebought graham cracker crust and I skipped the meringue. This was our only flop. The filling was delectable, but it was runny even after setting for over 24 hours. Next year I'm going to make this again, but I'll add 1/4 cup cornstarch instead of 2 tablespoons.


Chocolate. This was a great base recipe. I used another storebought graham cracker crust, and I skipped the spices since I just wanted a plain pie, not a Mexican one. Very good and very rich!


Pumpkin. I've made this recipe twice now and love it! My only note is to make sure it is completely chilled before serving: it just tastes better cold. Make it the day before so it has a chance to cool.


Pecan. I wasn't sure how vegan pecan pie was going to taste, but I liked it! It has a wonderful flavor, and I'm glad I tried it. What a great recipe!


Apple. Betty Crocker never lets you down. This recipe worked out beautifully, even though I forgot to dot the apples with butter before sealing them into the top crust (what's the point of that anyway? does it really make a difference?). My pie was piled high with apples, so it had a tall dome, but the apples shrank in cooking so there was a big space in the crust. It was still great for our purposes, and I'd still make this recipe again in a heartbeat because I'm too lazy to precook the filling, which as far as I know is the best way to avoid the gap.


11/27/17

Kitchen (but not cooking) fun


Wednesday I baked five pies; Thursday I made an entire Thanksgiving dinner. Friday we went out for lunch and ate leftovers the rest of the day, but I just couldn't keep out of the kitchen. In the evening, I whipped up some body wash, body scrub, and lotion from Little House Living.

And then, because the kids begged me, I made lip balm. Homemade is so much better; it seems that most of what you buy at the store makes your lips worse, not better. Red Chief requested peppermint and Tiger Lily wanted lavender, so I split the recipe into halves and made it in teacups, which were just the right size. Just a few tablespoons of lip balm filled up 19 containers!

11/24/17

Thanksgiving

We had a beautiful Thanksgiving. It was just us, and I somehow managed to get dinner ready by 12:30, so that was nice. Not too much waiting.


A few years ago I asked the kids what they wanted for Thanksgiving, and their only request was a cornucopia, so we got one and have had it out every year since. This year, Pip was pretty sure he could play the cornucopia like a horn.


Red Chief spent a lot of time on the counter babysitting the turkey breast in the crockpot. He also made us the drinks and set up the cornucopia.


Tiger Lily was my right-hand helper.


I had fun teaching her to shape rolls: knots, braids, regular round, and Parker House. It brought back memories of helping my mom shape the rolls on holidays.


Later everyone played Mario, or as Pip calls it, "Marr-o." And in the evening, the missionaries in our area stopped by and we had leftovers and lots of pie.

11/21/17

Stuff on my mind lately

  • Teaching Pip to be quieter
  • Teaching Tiger Lily that one shouldn't need to be constantly entertained
  • Getting some probiotics into Red Chief as he finishes a round of antibiotics for a sinus infection
  • Thanksgiving planning and shopping and cooking
  • Planning the Christmas Eve church meeting—it's going to be almost all music, and I'm in charge of music at church right now
  • Contemplating some Christmas sewing for immediate family members
  • Wondering how to get the ugly yellow hard water marks off the bathroom sink (everything I've tried has failed)
  • Working (and succeeding!) at keeping up with the basics every day in the kitchen and living room, and wondering what to add to that next
  • Realizing that Pip is three now and not a baby anymore, and that I can probably start some simple learning activities with him


11/20/17

Thanksgiving lists


Yesterday, on a whim, we all (except Pip) made lists of the things we'd like to do during Thanksgiving break. They included such items as

  • Realax (sic)
  • Make lots of pie
  • Stay in bed every morning until 8:20 and then shout "HA!"
  • Figure out gifts for family members
  • File all recipes
  • Finish collaring pages! (sic again)
  • Clean room
  • Put up the Christmas tree