Making Thanksgiving easy

Thanksgiving with my family is usually pretty easy. Nobody wants to be the one in charge of the whole meal, we don’t have a strong attachment to specific recipes, so there’s no great outcry if the sweet potatoes are roasted with rosemary instead of mashed with bourbon and butter.

Not negotiable, though? Pie. Only in the last couple years have I come to appreciate the classic pumpkin pie. For years and years I would try to make something more interesting, only to be shot down by my mom, and her fierce attachment to the classic. I have had free reign to make all the other pies as schmancy as I want, though, and I have. And will continue to do so! I’m still deciding what we’ll have this year – how about you?

A definite yes: Shaker Lemon. Obviously.

You should have one too – think of how impressed your guests will be! Or maybe comfort food is more your style – why not get a classic apple to finish off your meal? Or Fennel-Roasted Pear? Just surprising enough to wake you up after dinner.

Don’t forget, even if you’re traveling, you can take your Grumpy Pie with you. Meet your loved ones at the airport with pie and get your holiday off to the right start!

Making Bread with Wendy

Hello! Want a quick peek at a one-on-one bread lesson? Of course you do!

The beginning:

You have to get your hands in it!

Kneading is the best part:

It starts out small,

and gets bigger.

And then it becomes bread!

I love a happy student! I was a little jealous that the bread all left with her, though.

As much as I love delivering pie by Vesapa (it’s awesome!), this is really the best part of my job. Thanks, Wendy!

Thanksgiving Planning

Halloween is almost here, which means the best holiday is just around the corner. Pies-giving! I’m afraid I might be planning to go a little overboard with the pies this year. It’s totally reasonable to have an all-pie Thanksgiving dinner, right?

Obviously I’m going to be making at least one Shaker Lemon, which will be my breakfast for the entire holiday weekend. But there are too many other choices!

I know pumpkin pie is traditional, but it’s not my favorite. I love custard eight ways to Sunday, but making custard pies is not a thing I love. I do love the pumpkin part of it, though, so I’m thinking that I’ll make this French Pumpkin Pie from Saveur. Or a variation on it, anyway. I’m thinking it might be perfect for Pumpkin pie cookies???

Also intriguing, in a ‘weird old-fashioned pie is awesome’ way, Raisin Pie. I’m pretty sure this is still something people eat on the East Coast, right? It’s one of those pies that people order on TV shows, but I’ve never seen in person.

Of course, while I’m subjecting my loved ones to a trip down Unusual Pie Lane, I’m here to help you treat yours to something more familiar and wonderful (or maybe unfamiliar and wonderful). Classic Apple for your traditionalist dinner? Caramel Pear for something new? Shaker Lemon so everyone remembers why you’re the favorite kid? I’ve got you covered.

And don’t forget, you CAN take pies as carry-on luggage! Just imagine how jealous you’ll make everyone on the plane!

McDisasterous and Turducken of Pie

Last year due to a slow work schedule and being next to a KFC I challenged myself to eat what I called the Quadstrocity. The Quadstrocity was two KFC Double Downs smooshed together. It took me 17 minutes and I was unable to excrete properly for 2-days.

This has lead to two new semi-obsessions:

  1. Inventing the Turducken of Pie
  2. Eating a McDisasterous
Rose has yet to make the turducken of pie for me, but I’m sure if you make lots of comments she will be forced to make me one. And then I will eat it on camera. The McDisasterous, in my mind, is two McRibs¬†and a Medium Fries all smooshed together. My goal is to consume the entire McDisaterous in < 5 minutes. I will do it and recorded it if even one person asks for it in the comments.
Sincerely,
Mr. Pie

Say Hi to Pie Cookies

OMG, you guys. Pie cookies.

You saw them last week, when I was teasing Jessica for being evil by introducing me to pie cookies.

The thing is, though, she’s kind of the best. Pie cookies are the best, and it probably would’ve been ages until I decided to make them on my own.

And then this happened:

omg. swoon.

Luckily for you, I’m not going to hold your pie cookies hostage. They’re here! They’re so freaking cute! They’re $3 each, and the best little treat your afternoon has ever imagined.

On Wednesday I’m taking them on the road, to one office in Pioneer Square, and then another. If you want me to stop in at yours, too, I totally will. Email rose at grumpypie.com or call 206.457.6716 and the pies will come to you.

omg, UCU!

The other evening, as I was toodling around the kitchen, putting together my favorite pie for Pie Life, I discovered that I had hidden away a lollipop from This Charming Candy (which is pretty charming, I have to say), and it reminded me! That Urban Craft Uprising is coming!

Over the summer, I bought a purple and orange Crystalyn Kae purse that continues to tickle me, a slightly-disappointing bacon caramel, and handmade vegan coconut lemongrass lotion. I didn’t even come close to scratching the surface of really cool stuff that was available, and the summer show is the smaller one.

Urban Craft Uprising Winter 2011 is December 3 & 4, at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. Go early, go caffeinated, go prepared to have your mind blown with cuteness.

DSCN0034
Yeah, there’s yarn… so much yarn.

What happened at Pie Life

1: There were a lot of pies! Actually, there were twelve pies, which seems to be a standard number. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say there were a lot of really awesome looking pies.
All these pies were awesome

2: One of the pies had a bacon lattice. I think nothing more needs to be said on that subject.
bacon lattice!

3: We heard a story about a not-very-smart waitress trying to bootstrap herself from celebrity-booty call to celebrity-girlfriend of the week through the power of pie. It was a pretty entertaining story. Part of me wanted to feel a little sorry for her, but I don’t love the celebrity in question, or the person she was trying to win him back from, so whatever.

4: Shauna James Ahern complimented my pie crust! She didn’t eat it, of course, but she said it looked wonderfully flaky.
You can tell it's good just by looking at it.

5: The Shaker Lemon Pie I brought was named Best Tasting! There were lots of categories, and the winners were all quite deserving (I may have gone back for seconds of the Over-All Awesomeness winner’s Salted Caramel Apple). I am pleased as punch, because I went home with the prize I wanted most, lard (and Kate’s book! and Edible Seattle!)
This pie was popular

Playing around in the kitchen

Hey-o, Friday afternoon! Where did you come from? Yikes!

It’s busy-busy-busy over here in pie-land. Spent the last two afternoons out delivering pies, which is pretty much the best. (Especially the part where my path crossed that of a pre-school class in the depths of Pike Place Market. Pretty sure that thinking pre-schoolers are cute means something is wrong with me.)

Any-hoo. Making pie! As I mentioned yesterday, Pie Life is tomorrow! I have lemons happily macerating away in their sugar bath, and Classic Apple Grumpy Little Pies getting ready to head out to happy hour, and pie cookies in the oven.

That’s right. Pie Cookies.

They are entirely inspired by these, which my slightly evil and wonderful favorite geeky metalsmith brought to my attention. She kills me. Let’s let it suffice that pie cookies = awesome. I’m… unable to articulate their awesomeness any more clearly than that, just now. Expect them to be available to order next week. Expect yourself to be stunned by their cuteness.

Pie Life at City Arts

What are you doing Saturday afternoon? Do you enjoy pie, story telling, and old-timey country music?

This weekend is City Arts Fest here in Seattle. Over the course of three days there will be somewhere in the vicinity of 175 performers taking over the city. Many of them are big, national names (Ryan Adams! Crystal Castles! Built to Spill! Ozomatli!) but lots of them are local (Crystal Castles! The Tallboys! Dance Belt!!!). Most of the shows are 21+, but there’s at least one that’s all ages. And full of pie!

The super lovely Kate Lebo is hosting Culture Club: Pie Life, an afternoon of pie-related storytelling, a little pie competition, and country music courtesy of The Tallboys. Tickets are $5. There will be a “pie banquet.” Oooh! Also, there will be a “pop-up art market!” Yay!

Of course, I am bringing a pie for the competition. It’s going to be Shaker Lemon! I may even dance. We’ll see. Please come out!

Culture Club: Pie Life
FRED Wildlife Refuge
1:00 pm Saturday, $5

Thanksgiving’s Coming!

You guys, it’s almost the best holiday of the year! OK, there are plenty of good holidays, and maybe the one that I think is best is not your favorite, but hear me out:

I love food!

I love my family, both the family that I was born to and the family that my life has built.

Yeah, all that travel is a pain, and for a lot of people it’s a time of high anxiety. I hear that. Still, a holiday all about being thankful for the good things in our life, around a table full of friends and food? That’s my kind of holiday. And while I will often say (and mean it!) that pie is my favorite part of the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s actually just a small slice of what makes it great. I am particularly fond of a big forkful of dark turkey meat with a blob of buttery mashed potatoes, dripping with gravy and just a smear of cranberry sauce. (Someone in my life says having both cranberry sauce and gravy is redundant. I do not understand how that could be possible.)