Summer vacation brings on the list-making for me. It is 8 weeks of time with my kids, time in my kitchen and in my garden, on the road traveling to visit family, and day trips to here, there and everywhere. Not to mention home improvement projects; some of which are as simple as cleaning off my bureau, because let's face it, that would improve my bedroom immensely!
It really turns out to be too much to try and fill into an 8 week period of time. I mean, there are always variables that are most certain to emerge; throwing off the beautiful list. But, I will say, I have learned to be flexible. It's like Jack Sparrow said in reference to the pirate's code, "it's more like guidelines, anyway".
So, let's consider this cookbook I picked up at the newly opened, An Unlikely Story; a bookstore in Plainville, MA, owned and operated by Jeff Kinney, author of the hugely popular "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series. The important part about the above picture is the phrase, "mastering the art of pie in 67 recipes". This book, is full of anecdotes involving pie, baking pie and eating pie at great pie establishments. The author, Teeny, has worked with many pie-makers and draws her inspiration for her recipes from many places.
And, as I have mentioned, this summer is all about the list. Mastering the art of pie is on said list. Or at the very least, finding a few tried and true recipes is, depending on where the variables take us, good enough for me.
With that said, let's back up a day or two to the start of of vacation. I don't have to be any particular place in the morning. I can throw caution to the wind and mess up my kitchen, only to spend the rest of the night cleaning it up. I can pull out the rolling pin and flour and parchment paper to make a pie crust that in my 39 years, beats all crusts...and if you know me...I eat pie crust with reverence. My mother's pie crust was hands-down, the one to beat. And, no other pie crust ever really could hold a spot near her recipe, until now.
With strawberries and rhubarb from a local farmer's market, I went on to make the filling for this Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Pie. Of course I made some modifications. I always do. I wrote down my changes in the margins of the page, though. Making this pie again, will be a must. Next time, though, the crust may just find its way into the oven without a filling...it's that good.
In any case, it makes me happy to create something edible that others will enjoy. And, it brings me great satisfaction to work through recipes I haven't tried before.
Even better than that, perhaps, is the feeling of striking something from my list.