I’ve been baking a lot lately. Cooking, more than anything else, always seems to make a place feel like home. (Though, I have to admit, I anticipated a lot more “baking weather” from Chicago — it’s been beautiful out!) And, fortunately for me, I have coworkers who are more than willing to eat whatever sinful experiment comes out of my kitchen.
It started out with Mom’s pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (yum). Since then, my apricot kolache and Mom’s gingerbread have gotten rave reviews.
And then there was the apple pie. It LOOKED beautiful. I lovingly arranged the apples in the traditional spiral. The filling was even tasty. But the crust… well, I should have known something was off when a recipe that was supposed to make a top and bottom crust only made a bottom crust. The crust could have rivaled a proud Chicago deep-dish pizza. This is what happens when you improvise rolling pins. It was a very sad day for pies.
I have since acquired a proper rolling pin (silicone-covered, which helps prevent sticking) and developed a new, better technique. I’ve got a craving for blueberry pie, but several of my foodier friends tell me that I need to wait for “blueberry season.” I’m rather embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know there was such a thing as blueberry season! ‘Twas a bit of a blow to my earthgrown pride, which can talk at length about how farmers save their oranges when the temperature is below freezing or what the best variety of strawberry is.
“Michigan blueberries,” my boss told me, “will change your perspective on blueberries.”
My rolling pin and I await with great excitement. Until then, maybe I’ll make some oatmeal rum-raising cookies, or perhaps some chocolate cocoanut cake…