I've made some discoveries recently.
First of all -- I am not as good at pies as Man of La Muncha is. And the photos of the pies aren't as good as his either. Damn that Man of La Muncha for raising the bar on pies.
Fine, he had one that looked like Mr. Yuck one time, but that's kind of cool. I made a chicken pot pie with a butter crust, and it was ugly as sin. However, it tasted really good. I used eggs, chicken and milk from the Food You Can Trust farm, and veggies from the farmer's market. The crust almost made me cry: first because it was so frustrating to make, and second because it was so darn yummy.
Okay fine, I did cry when I was making it. It kept falling apart and I know I spent too much time touching it, which according to everyone on the 'net is a bad bad thing. Maybe the saltiness of my tears kept the crust from being compromised.
One of the inconveniences of being Ethicurean is that you constantly have to substitute ingredients. For instance, cream of mushroom soup. In the past I would have happily slopped the cylindrical, gelatinous substance into the mix, but E. Ho and I went through our cupboard and actually read the ingredients and were horrified. I substituted chicken broth and milk. And all those handy frozen veggies? I used fresh broccoli, carrots, green beans and zucchini.
This week, I made a quiche. My first one. I used a pie crust recipe my friend Tonya gave me from Betty Crocker. It uses oil, which I know is kind of gross, but I didn't feel like going anywhere. That crust pissed me off too. I ended up kind of mashing it in there, trying to smoosh the parts that were falling apart. I used a recipe for Goat Cheese and Tomato Quiche, which was appropriated from the Joy of Cooking, which I found on recipelink. I used goat cheese from West Wind Dairy in Sequin, which sells at the downtown Austin Farmer's Market. I used some tomatoes which I'd halved and frozen, from Boggy Creek Farm. Fresh basil and parsley from Morning Glory Farms in Dripping Springs.
E. Ho said he would eat the entire thing whether or not it was good. Because we were super starving. Another potential inconvenience in Ethicurean eating is the planning part. You've gotta plan your meals, or else you'll go eat something crappy. Normally we're pretty good about that over here at the House of Ho, but occasionally neither of us feels like cooking and we sit around trying to figure out what to eat. It's a game of chicken, culinary style. Whoever is the most desperate for food will either rise and investigate the fridge and freezer, or else suggest going out to eat.
Well, E. Ho won this round, and so around 8pm (two hours after our normal dining time) we sat down to try the quiche. A tiny bit mushy in the middle (undercooked, I'm guessing), but really tasty! We had it the next morning and it was even better.
Another discovery I made recently was the sliced cooked ham at Peach Creek Farms. E. Ho and I have been struggling with the sandwich meat problem for a long time. Sandwich meat tends to be factory-farmed, filled with nitrates and all kinds of yucky additives. Unfortunately, it is also extremely convenient eating. So I asked the kind folks at Peach Creek farm if they had anything I could put on a sandwich. Rose told me to get the sliced ham. "It's like Christmas dinner," she said. And it is! It is so yummy. We bought five pounds and froze it. Lunchmeat problem solved. Throw in some raw milk cheddar from Full Quiver farms, and you've got yourself a perfect sandwich.
I also got my hands on some persimmons from the Sunset Valley Farmer's Market, which, by the way, was recently voted one of top ten farmer's markets in the country by the Audobon Society. The vendor told me that I had to wait until it looked like it was about to rot before I ate it. "When you see the first fruit fly checking it out, or when your husband tells you to throw it out, that's when you gotta stick a spoon in it and eat it right up." He said it tastes like custard. I can't wait, I'm so darned excited. E. Ho keeps policing them. "I think they're mushy enough," I said.
"No, they're not ready. Leave them alone!"
Maybe I'll play a game of culinary chicken and tell him he has to either cook or give me a persimmon. Or maybe I'll just be nice and wait for a fruit fly.