Well, hello! I missed you.
But not enough to write, you say. Thanks for working those abandonment issues, PQ!
Mmm, yes, well, be that as it may, PQ is back and just in time for Thanksgiving, pie time! As usual, we are offering a free fear-of-pie-ing class. Have the PQ in your kitchen, get covered in flour, and be freed from your dependence on those horrible frozen crusts forever! Flour, salt, a little sugar, butter and/or lard: voila, pie crust!
In fact, I'm getting going early with the pie-making this year, thanks to the benefit for Julie Kahn's Florida documentary Swamp Cabbage on Sunday. Turnovers for 150? Sure! It would only be more difficult if I had to take all of them up to Marin on the bus. But amazingly, PQ has a car now--her first ever! It's been a friend these past couple of months, toting crates of apples and boxes of pears home from hither and yon. The theme of the benefit dinner is wild & foraged, and really I should have been picking blackberries and scavenging for local apples and figs all these past months. But time got away from me, or something, and all of sudden, I was madly searching around for turnover timber that I could get for free or cheap. What's in the kitchen now:
-25 lbs of apples and a huge, beautiful Musquee de Provence squash, gotten in trade from Julia at Mariquita, for working at her bi-weekly Mystery Box pickup outside Piccino on Thursday. I ferried flats of strawberries and big plastic bags of veggies into Smartcars and Priuses for a few hours, and came home with a sense of duty done.
-Another milkcrate of knobby little apples, picked with Lauren of Produce to the People. Through Neighborhood Fruit, Lauren heard of a guy out in the avenues who had extra apples up high on his backyard tree. Being a fellow Bernalite, she picked me up in her truck and we nipped over there, ladder and pickers in hand. The guy was rather bemused to have two flannel-wearing cheerful ladies in his backyard, taking turns getting the fruit off his tree. Weirdest part: after telling us about a recent surgery he had to remove some moles from his torso, he insisted on whipping up his shirt to show us the rows of metal staples in his back and chest. He then followed us down the street and gave us both his card.
-40 lbs of beat-up kitchen pears from Frog Hollow, which I had to pay for, albeit much less than their usual $4/lb.
Wish I could have scored some quinces and huckleberries, but these will work...so now onto the pastry making! Am thinking of trying the quick-puff recipe in my Williams-Sonoma baking book, which is essentially just regular pie crust that's rolled and folded, rolled and folded three times to increase the flakiness and butter-layering. Report to follow!