Sunday, September 28, 2008

Consider the oyster, if you please

Let us all thank MFK Fisher for asking so politely that her readers "consider" the oyster. This slim (only 96 pages!) yet potent book, like its protagonist, is a must read merely for the pleasure of learning the evolution of your oyster before down the hatch it goes. Often considered a summer read, I challenge you to read it this fall cozied up in your house while it's chilly outside (if you're from Texas like I am, you may have to wait until at least December to experience this scene).

Fisher opens with a brief, witty history of the short life of an oyster (titled Love and Death Among the Mollusks) followed by numerous eloquent descriptions of oyster recipes. Raw, stewed, served with crusty brown bread, used in creamy soups, Fisher describes different uses for oysters from San Francisco to Boston. Never having eaten oysters, I closed the book halfway out the door on my way to the nearest oyster bar. Fisher describes in such lemony detail a meal of raw oysters and white wine that you are almost sure to have a Goliath-sized craving by the time you have finished reading.

We should all indulge the author and contribute to the well-being of the oyster community. She asked so nicely, after all.

An excerpt from Consider the Oyster:

"An oyster leads a dreadful but exciting life.

Indeed, his chance to live at all is slim, and if he should survive the arrows of his own outrageous fortune and in the two weeks of his carefree youth find a clean smooth place to fix on, the years afterwards are full of stress, passion and danger."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

“Waitin’ on Toyota to Finish Changin’ My Oil” pie

You might be wondering why my poll this month is about pie. I recently watched the movie Waitress with Keri Russell and got a real hankering for pie. (I know this movie is at least two years old but it just now made it to the top of my Netflix queue.)

Russell’s character works at Joe’s Pie Diner (owned by Andy Griffith playing Joe) and invents wonderful pie creations with fantastically descriptive names like “Bad Baby” pie or “Earl Murders Me Because I'm Having An Affair Pie” pie. The flick is well done and easy on the eyes if you like small-town stories with a little bit o’ drama and a happy ending. It’ll also make you crave pie.

I don’t want to just eat pie, I want to bake pie. I learned a lot about making homemade pies from my grandmother who makes me a lemon meringue pie every time I come to visit. She used to live in Pearland with a Meyer Lemon tree in the backyard. That’s a rare treat. Meyer lemons are sweeter than your average lemon and have a smooth skin.

The first pie I ever baked all on my own was a mincemeat pie. (Traditionally made with a mixture of chopped dried fruit, distilled spirits, spices, and sometimes beef or venison) Not everyone’s favorite pie, mind you, but when you are competing for the “Daughter-in-law” of the year award you bake what’s ordered. The crust was beautiful; made from scratch with a hand-sculpted, scalloped edge. I’ll be honest with you, the filling was from a jar (gasp!) but for a first-timer it turned out pretty and only one person was going to eat it anyway. I will hereby name this pie “Daughter-in-Law of the Year Trophy Winning” pie.

My next pie endeavor was a no-bake key lime pie but that’s kind of cheating. It tasted great but really only involved heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and frozen lime concentrate. I did expertly craft the crust by smashing a plastic bag full of graham crackers to smithereens. Let’s name this pie “I Got Lots of Help from the Grocery Store” pie.

My next pie creation will be the winner of my pie poll. (Wouldn’t it be more appropriate if it was a pie chart? haha) I vow to make every bit of it from scratch and even wear an apron if I have to. I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out. I’m famous for trippin’ the smoke alarm when I’m in the kitchen (once when I was making mashed potatoes, of all things) so it could go either way…

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy Friday

This just made me smile! "I stand for goodness! and frozen vegetables!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Back to Earth

So yes, it's been almost a year since my last blog post. I have no excuse for this. Clearly I hopped on the blog bandwagon too soon and my interest petered out after two measly little posts.

Having reread my original posts, I feel they are still applicable even though the read-by date has long past. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them.

I thank you, dear reader, for taking the time to read my thoughts today. I promise to include more soon. There are lots of future blog posts swirling in my head right this minute (favorite things, cool fashion finds, recipes for traditional Welsh soups, book reviews, green living advice, and so much more). But alas, it's off to a Grey's Anatomy premiere party for me.

Later gator!


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