Pie Guy

Re: Pie Guy

There it is—my 15 minutes of fame. Some people fight fires and save lives, and some of us bake pies. Who gets their picture in the paper? Must’ve been a slow news day. 🙂

Thanks Sean. Watch your back. ;o)

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Re: Pie Guy

Will, I’m a pie crust man, soon to be a crusty old man. My wife is in charge of the filling. And of course, my favorite pie is apple, although pecan runs a close second - I take over the filling on that one.

I also learned the art of pie-making with my Mother. We had an apple tree in the back yard and made plenty of apple sauce and one year some apple butter!!

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Re: Pie Guy

Yep, our backyard apple tree was (unfortunately) a red delicious. Not great for pies, but good enough for apple sauce and apple butter. I also worked at a friend’s apple orchard that was in the neighborhood.

We planted a Goodland tree in our yard here in Helena, about 10 years ago, so by early October I’m usually up to my armpits in apples. And we get locally grown MacIntosh. But my favorite are Black Twig apples—I’ve found them only in New England. My brother sends a box out in years when he can get them at the markets in New York City.

Nothing better than playing tunes in your kitchen with an apple pie in the oven and the kids cranking the ice cream maker out on the front porch…..

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Re: Pie Guy

Okay, my mouth’s watering. Jeremy, can you set up an extra button to order Harmon Pies (TM)?

As soon as possible, please.

Thanks.

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Re: Pie Guy

"Some people fight fires and save lives…"

And what do you suppose people who feed people do? There’s all sorts of ways to be life supportive, like, maybe, making sure there’s some nice pie at the firestation before they go out on call. Then you get to save the life of the fireman and the person the fireman saves.

I live in the heart of NYS apple country, have a couple of trees in the yard (and a good bunch of highbush blueberries as well. Flood got the strawberries last year and I’m going to have to start those over) and at my last house had pears and peaches as well. Good eatin’, good cookin’.

Keep it up. People need to eat, and there’s no particular reason why they shouldn’t enjoy it while they’re at it.

KFG

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Re: Pie Guy

Actually, I was just taking a poke at Sean. He’s a firefighter for my hometown fire department. And a uilleann piper. I suppose one makes up for the other. 🙂

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Re: Pie Guy

Only a pie a week, Will? With teenagers in the house?????? I can get one to last 24 hours IF my daughter’s boyfriend doesn’t show up. 😉

I don’t know , Kevin, apples are good, but rhubarb…sigh…food of the gods…

Re: Pie Guy

Heh, Michele, I was keeping the truth close to my vest. Didn’t want it to get around town that we sometimes go through 3-4 pies a week.

Ooops…did I say that out loud?

But you’re right—with two teenage boys, a large deepdish apple pie is gone in our household before it even starts to cool off.

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Re: Pie Guy

Rhubarb.

The story is told of the psychiatrist who lived next door to the mental institution, and kept a nice garden. One day he was spreading some manure, and the smell got the attention of one of the inmates who called out through the fence:

"whatchya doing with that pile of sh*t?"

"I’m putting it on my rhubarb," says the psychiatrist.


"You should come live in here," said the patient, "we get custard on ours!"

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Re: Pie Guy

"Actually, I was just taking a poke at Sean. He’s a firefighter for my hometown fire department."

Well, then bake him a pie, man! 🙂

"I don’t know , Kevin, apples are good, but rhubarb…"

Oooooooooh, I got a pretty healthy rhubarb patch as well, although I take mine without either custard or sh*t. I’m just funny that way I guess.

KFG

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Re: Pie Guy

Yeah. Bake me a pie, man! I could go with either apple or rhubarb. Or better yet, why not both?

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My goodness, Will, you look NOTHING like I thought you would. I pictured you all grey and beardy, sitting in a loincloth on a mountaintop. I’m shaken. You look so… normal.

Re: Pie Guy

(except for the "man baking a pie" bit.)

Re: Pie Guy

Um, Kerri, sounds like you have me confused with a certain flute and concertina guru west of here. (Then again, I *am* all grey and beardy. I put jeans on over my loincloth just for the article.)

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Re: Pie Guy

What, a man baking a pie isn’t normal? My husband’s granddad, who was a firefighter (there’s that connection again, LOL!) made the best pie in town. He’d learned at his grandmother’s side, as a little boy. He taught me his secrets, but since my diagnosis I’ve lost the art because I can’t breathe flour particles without getting sick.
(And there is no such thing as a good wheat-free, spelt-free pie crust. At least that I’ve found.) :-p

You go, Will!

Re: Pie Guy

Nope, you’re right there, fiddlemouse, there isn’t. I’ll send you my recipe for ground almond cake, though - it’s great stuff.

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Re: Pie Guy

"What, a man baking a pie isn’t normal?"

No, it isn’t, now, if you’ll excuse me, I have my knitting to return to.

"Will, you look NOTHING like I thought you would."

He doesn’t look anything like the mental image I had built up either, but that’s ok, I didn’t expect him to. No, what’s really weird is that he looks like he should be my brother, or first cousin, or some other close relative. In fact he looks more like me than my actual brother does.

KFG

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Re: Pie Guy

"And there is no such thing as a good wheat-free, spelt-free pie crust. At least that I’ve found."

Oh, and I haven’t found one either. Some things just require gluten, so I don’t bake pies. Blueberry corn muffins, on the other hand…

KFG

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Re: Pie Guy

I think we’re going to have to do some recipe swaps! Jeremy didn’t add a recipe section during the recent overhaul, did he? 🙂

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Re: Pie Guy

… that was a facetious question, by the way, not a pointed observation…

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Re: Pie Guy

"Some things just require gluten, so I don;t bake pies."

I’m not sure if it’s gluten so much as the fact that other flours don’t absorb the fat properly. Greasy crumbs I can live without.

Try crisps, if you can tolerate rolled oats. (I’ve seen all the arguments back and forth about whether oats are safe or not, and I know several celiacs on each side of that fence. YMMV.)

You can also make a killer blueberry buckle with gluten-free flours. My husband’s favorite blend for those is garbanzo-bean flour (gram to you on the east side of the pond) and millet flour with just a touch of amaranth flour. He makes it a bit on the wet side since millet and amaranth soak up so much liquid. To swoon for…

Nell, thanks, I’d love the cake recipe! We can do some swapping offlist so we don’t drive everyone else nuts.

BTW, nice to see there are multiple others who like their apples something *other* than sweet and sweet and sweet. I especially like the Westfield Seek-no-further myself, but now live 800 miles away from my supply instead of 200. *sigh*

Re: Pie Guy

But they didn’t mention the molasses chewies! What’s up with that?!

Re: Pie Guy

Lol, Zina, that would’ve come off as serious arse kissing if I’d told the reporter about molasses chewies. The woman whose recipe that is is the person who asked me to bake a pie for the fundraiser! Small town.

I should also mention that five of us will be playing the tunes as background music before the auction. This is our favority annual gig—the museum acoustics are dead perfect, they pay us, *and* we get free drinks and hors d’ourves. Plus we infect all the artistic types and wealthy patrons of town with a fondness for Irish trad….

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Re: Pie Guy

Yeah, well, you never backed ME a pie. I shall expect one forthwith. Or I shall do some major pouting. Be warned.

*smirk*

Btw

Strawberry rhubarb is my favorite spring pie. hint. hint.

Re: Pie Guy

Hey Will, have you ever tried putting chocolate chips in your pies? It’s really yummy that way!

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Re: Pie Guy

Zina, I made a pie for Paddy’s Angels! Okay, so I’ll make another one for the Cody rendezvous….

Andee—yes to chocolate chips, and also cinnamon chips, pecans, walnuts, and cranberries. Not all at once, of course, but as a single extra ingredient in an apple pie now and then. Sometimes with cheese on top.

But I still like simple the best—just a great, straightforward apple pie.

I’ll have to keep an eye on our neighbor’s rhubarb patch. Strawb-rhu is one of my favorites too.

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Re: Pie Guy

As I recall, I didn’t get to eat any of the pie you made. It was gone by the time I got there! But it sure looked real purty.

Re: Pie Guy

mmm… mutton curry pie, here I come.

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Re: Pie Guy

As one of our band usually comes straight from work, I take a pie to every gig - usually Beef and rosemary or Lamb, mint and rosemary.
We’re at a 3 day festival at Easter - better start baking now!!

Re: Pie Guy

Sweet apples in a pie? That’s disgusting!

I almost always use Bramleys for apple pie. A proper man’s apple.

and Q, next time you’re in Macclesfield, come to our house and I’ll make a curry pie like I used to in the old days when I worked up the mountains in the great outdoors for a living.

mmmmm indeed.

Re: Pie Guy

Count on it, Showaddy!

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Re: Pie Guy

Lamb, mint, and rosemary! Ooo, yummy.

Re: Pie Guy

Maybe we need an apple pie baking website? I baked bread, rolls, granola, etc… during my youth. My friends were quick to call me a "Master Baker." 😛

Re: Pie Guy

I’m having a session/party at my place this weekend; anyone have any good suggestions for party food? I’m thinking Mexican, but realistically anything guaranteed to create a mess and ruin the sound of expensive instruments will do.

Re: Pie Guy

PS Will how long does it take to make that scrumptious sounding apple cake?

Re: Pie Guy

Really hot mexican with a liberal supply of booze. Think of hot sauce drool dripping out of flutes and whistles. Bagpipes might result in projectile hot sauce drool. Then you can try a food fight. Don’t forget a very hot Mexican Pizza with red peppers. Stringy, cheesey goo would help the cause. 😛

Re: Pie Guy

Have this mental picture of Salma Hayek with Tequila Shooters on a belt. That’s the Hot Mexican with a liberal supply of booze taken care of.

I’m looking forward to it now! Thanks Ceol C

:¬)

Re: Pie Guy

We’re doing a Pre=St. Patrick’s Day party/session this weekend too. Renting a hugie barbie and roasting up about 20 beer-butt chickens (where you plug each chicken with a can of beer—marinades them from the inside out). I’ll supply pies, of course.

Conán, you mean the Orangeburg Cake mentioned in the article? It’s actually a sort of spice cake with orange zest and cream cheese frosting. To die for. It’s made from scratch, so it’s a little more involved than opening a box mix, but not too time or culinary intensive. I’ll send you the recipe if I can find it.

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Party foods

Start with chips and salsa (can you get decent chips and salsa over there?), then move on to nachos (which you can microwave, although it doesn’t get that nice toasty crust that way, but no one ever seems to care). Guacamole also seems to go over well.

For parties, I almost always have a pot of some kind of soup or stew on, with cups and spoons for people to have it in, and a plate of warm tortillas. For a while it was almost always a collards and lamb stew, and then more of my friends started doing the vegetarian thing, so now it’s usually a vegetarian chili along with maybe a pork green or white chili. You can leave the whole thing on simmer (the green chili usually is in one of those electric slow cookers on the kitchen counter, the veg chili on the stove) for the whole party, though I generally check it every now and again to make sure I’m not baking a quarter inch of chili solidy into the pot.

I will also put out corn chips with the chilis depending on the crowd.

I almost always also have the grocery deli slice me up quite a bit of cheese, maybe a half pound of each kind, which I then further slice into fingers to make it go further. I don’t know why, but almost everyone seems to love cheese of all sorts at parties. Set hard cheeses out with crackers (get extra boxes, so you are sure you won’t run out of them). Brie is also a huge favorite at parties.

Fresh veggies also go over well — at least the celery is always gone, as are the grape tomatoes. Broccoli and cauliflower not quite so popular. I generally set them out with a ranch dressing, or sometimes blue cheese.

Sweet things are no longer as popular as they used to be on the party front. I suppose everyone is watching their weight. Olives always seem to go quickly, though, as do chocolates.

I try not to have too many things that require plates to eat.

We’ll have to have a party if you ever get to Denver, Conan. 🙂

Re: Pie Guy

Yea! Party! Everyone: Zina’s house Friday after work. BYOB.

😉

Re: Pie Guy

Heh. Warn me if you’re actually coming out so I can set up a party, anyone coming through Denver. We party at the drop of a hat around here.

Re: Pie Guy

Has anyone invented dishwasher safe instruments yet? If you were a musician party animal, it might be a wise investment and alternative to stains, cheese goo, and salsa tasting fipples (almost sounds like a cure for breast feeding). 😉

Re: Pie Guy

Lard crusts! Yummy, if disgusting to think about, but better than all that trans fat.

Re: Pie Guy

My ex-mother in law made the best lard crusts ever, no-one’s crusts I’ve ever had since have ever topped them. Unfortunately, she died long before she could ever teach me her recipe, which she knew in her fingers.

P.s.

Howdy there, Alcock, how’s yourself?

Re: Pie Guy

Gosh, Zina, I’m still at the "baguette and brie" stage of party-hosting. I can’t imagine being capable of anything so elaborate as chili.

Re: Pie Guy

Cheers Zina and Pieman for the culinary advice! My house will be Paper Platesville this time tomorrow.

C

Re: Pie Guy

Best Baguette Tip: get the bakery to thinly slice it for you before you leave the bakery. It’s free of charge and saves you the swearing at the bread later.

Best Chili Tip: If you like to make it from scratch, save yourself some time and use canned chili beans that are already seasoned with a basic chili sauce. Once you’ve fried up an onion and browned any meat you want in it, tossed some cumeric and chili spices of your own in, people will be lining up for the recipe. If you don’t have time to make it from scratch, get out the can opener. It’s hard to wreck chili, you see. Stokes has the best green chili with pork. I add white beans to it for white chili. Someone always asks for that recipe too. I always hold up a can opener.

David: am in the throes of much upheaval around here. Dad had another heart attack yesterday, complete with blue fingertips, and has been re-admitted to the hospital. They are telling us we need to brace ourselves because there’s an outside possibility there might be lung cancer involved, now — I’m waiting to hear from my sisters how the tests went yesterday, and planning what to do with our St. Pat’s gigs in case I have to fly out to California earlier than expected…

P.s.

Re: canned chili — most grocery stores these days carry industrial sized tinned chili. Buy one of those, doctor it up, and you’ve enough to feed 15 hungry people.

Re: Pie Guy

Just to bring this story to a close….

The "Men Who Bake" deal went for $750 USD at tonight’s auction. The money supports the arts in my home town.

But the sweetest part is that the grocery store I mentioned in my interview—bragging up their apple fritters—sent me a thank you card yesterday, with a coupon for "free apple fritters for life." Since the article came out, they’ve been overrun with customers at the bakery counter. I enjoyed my first free apple fritter this morning. 🙂

So when an 800-pound fiddler sits down at your next session, you’ll know who it is….

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