Video – How to roll pie dough without a rolling pin

Archived: May, 2010

A few clarifications:

  1. If you have a wine bottle you can just ignore the video and use that. It works great.
  2. Make sure to look at my video for the Apple Dumplings if you haven’t already. This recipe works wonderfully for them.
  3. I’m sorry I look like a not-as-sexy cracked out Marla Singer in this video. I decided to record it totally on the fly, which is obvious by my lack of clothing, make-up and shaky camera man.
  4. I know pie dough can be really scary and intimidating. I’m gonna do a video on it soon, but I wanted to include the recipe I used in this video. It’s super easy, promise.
  5. Thanks for watching, The Hedonist Cook loves you. Muah!

Pie Crust Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (It helps if you chill the butter again after you cut it, because it warms up as you cut it.)
  • 6 tablespoons (about) ice water (Stick the water in the freezer while you prep everything else. It gives it time to get really cold.)

Directions

Food Processor method:

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter; pulse until coarse meal forms. Gradually blend in enough ice water to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form dough into 2 balls; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; chill 2 hours or overnight.

By Hand Method:

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Add butter; cut in with fork or pastry cutter until coarse meal forms. Gradually blend in enough ice water to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form dough into 2 balls; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; chill 2 hours or overnight. (I threw mine in the freezer for 15 minutes and it worked fine.)

“I heard she’s only a cook…”

Archived: May, 2010

This weekend I heard a comment that someone had made about me. It went, “I heard she’s only a cook. When I’m thirty I’m going to have a really successful job.” My first thought was “Oh the blissful ignorance of youth.” Actually, that’s total bullshit. The first thing I thought was an incredibly mean (but funny) prediction for their future that sounded very similar to the Against Me! song, Thrash Unreal. ”  But anyway, that’s not the point. The point is it got me thinking about my job. Which made me think about my day yesterday.

Last night I decided to make apple dumplings for Thomas, and a friend of his showed up with a girl I don’t really know. As soon as she walked in the kitchen she said, “Oh God, this smells like my Great Aunt’s kitchen. I love it!” It started a conversation where she told me about learning to cook from her Aunt and some of her favorite recipes. I learned more about this girl in the 15 minutes I puttered around the kitchen that I would have over a whole night at the bar.

Then, I got to hear how my friends Great Grandma would always make apple pie on special holidays. You could see by the smile on his face that he was enjoying that memory. It was the most personal comment I’ve heard him make about himself to date. It wasn’t much, but it was cool to see.

Finally it was time to eat, and it was damn good. The four of us sat outside on the porch, with the twinkly lights and the sound of crickets in the warm evening air. (I know it sounds really dorky, but the South in the spring really is like a movie.)

I didn’t change any lives last night, I’m aware of that. But because of the skills I’ve learned from my job as a cook, I was able to make food for people and get to know them a little better. Cook for someone and you do more than feed them. It’s a way to show a person you value them. That they’re worth taking time out of your day to prepare something for. And you open up the conversation for people to talk about food and the role it has played in their life.  An excuse to talk about a memory that would otherwise seem strange to bring up in casual conversation.

Being a cook is hard work, and you’re not exactly raking in the Benjamins. You sweat, get callouses, cut yourself, constantly burn yourself, get dirty and work your ass off. You can forget going to any party, concert or event that is happening on a Friday or Saturday night. I can only imagine how it looks to someone from the outside. I can see that to most people a job selling insurance or working in a cubicle sounds like a much better way to pay rent.

What an outsider doesn’t understand is the passion that goes into cooking. The creativity, fun, challenge and straight up joy you get when you prepare something kick ass for people. (And I’m not even mentioning the fun you have with the guys  you’re working the line with.) On top of that, you get to take those skills home and share them with your family and friends.

Each day I go to work I do something I love, I learn something new and I feel more confident and competent at my trade. Every day I get to be creative,  spontaneous and work with amazing people that improve the quality of my life.

I’m not sure what other people’s definition of success is, but as far as I’m concerned I feel pretty damn successful….

Why do onions make you cry?!

Archived: May, 2010 | Related topics: , ,

If you’re a smarty pants and want more info, check out this site.

And, for all you onion enthusiasts out there, don’t forget to visit the National Onion Association website. (I know, I was really excited they have a website dedicated to onions. Amazing!)