100 Days of Pie

Yesterday, March 14th, was pi day.  A palindromic pi day, in fact.  So to celebrate and provide myself with a mental challenge I propose 100 Days of Pie.  The idea is to conceptualize and write a brief “menu” style description of a new pie every single day for 100 days.  I plan to avoid overly simple and common pies on their own, but instead to add to them.  Now I am not, for what are hopefully obvious reasons, going to bake a pie each day, though I do plan to make some of them and occasionally provide my readership with a recipe.  Not all of these idea will be good ones, some may turn out to be quite awful in execution.  That’s not the point, though.  No, the point is to train my brain to think better about flavours and combinations.  Besides, I trust my palate enough to say that pretty much all of them will work for the better.  For this there will be an extra post each Wednesday detailing the previous week of pie.  Because today is the first day of this venture, I will of course make a pie for you and get things kicked off properly.  First though a little terminology in crust (the most important part of the pie). Continue reading

Let’s Make it (My Way): Locals Restaurant

Locals Restaurant in Courtnay is one of the best places I have dined.  Even on my last visit, when I went in with a highly critical eye, the whole experience was damn near flawless.  So let me get this out of the way right now.  The title of this piece refers to my plan to recreate one of the desserts from Locals with a mind towards my style and preferences.  However, and I can’t stress this enough, Locals does everything well, in fact I will do a quick review of the whole place first so as to make it clear that my intentions are to neither bash their desserts nor claim that I could do better than their own patisserie. Rather I wish to put my own spin on a dessert that I truly enjoyed.  Think of it as a loving homage. Continue reading

Piefecta

I like pie.  Who doesn’t, really?  Although I have briefly talked about it before, I think it’s time for a more in depth look at my favourite pastry creation.  There is of course the traditional 3-2-1 pie dough, but we’re going to make it just a little better.  Rather than the odd 66% butter we’ll increase it to 70%.  Water we’ll do at 30% and salt, as always, 2%.  Let’s go with the following measurements for our Pie Dough. Continue reading

Five Dollar Meals I: Indroduction Pie

A few years ago I was contracted for an unusual teaching job.  There was this twelve year old who was interested in swordplay and his mother also wanted me to teach him to cook, so I was hired for both.  I’m not going to comment much on the exact situation, as I doubt I could do it diplomatically.  I will say, however, that I wish the mother had pushed her son a little harder to keep at it.  He enjoyed it once we got going but convincing this kid that cooking was worth his time was an exercise in patience and stoicism.  The funny thing is I recognize the exact personality trait that would have had to be overcome.  I have taught kids in the past who lacked motivation to take initiative for themselves but once pushed they almost universally enjoy themselves.  Some kids at that age need to be pushed and most parents seem to realize this.

Anyway, time to get to the point.  Cooking is something that I consider to be an essential life skill.  I knew the basics of cooking before I left the nest and always did at least a little when first living on my own.  Due to lack of knowledge and a limited budget  I too often fell back on cheap packaged meals.  When you start buying the cheaper knock-off version of Kraft Dinner, it’s time to admit you have a problem. Continue reading