A few things…
1. I’m doing a giveaway today. Leave a comment at the end of this post* and the winner will be picked randomly and notified on 4/28/14 by email. This is the first giveaway that I have ever done. I had no idea how much would be involved with it on my end that required many hours of work:
- reading the book
- testing recipes
- taking pictures
- writing the blog post
- doing the giveaway
- sending the winner the book
…so I’ll think twice before agreeing to do one again. But, it’s all about learning yes?
3. Apparently I caught a humdinger of a cold after Pie À La Road which has laid me just about flat this week. All I have done since Monday is to drink chicken broth heavily laced with cloves of garlic, watch old movies with Gretapie snuggling up next to me on the couch, and sleep. Although I still have laryngitis, this morning I feel like I am finally re-entering the world.
4. Two of my fingers were in the wrong place on Sunday night when the hatchback on the Pie-mobile was closed Sunday night. It was a big owie moment. The good news is that nothing is broken, and after 4 stitches, I should be good as new in a few more days! I’ll take the cold and stitches as a message to rest.
A Giveaway Today …
Now, on to the Giveaway portion of today’s post!
I was asked by Workman Publishing if I would do a giveaway on my blog for Teeny Lamothe’s book “Teeny’s Tour of Pie: A Cookbook“. My commitment would be to try two of Teeny’s recipes made with some ingredients that a grocery chain called Food Lion supplied, and do the giveaway. For that I would receive two free copies of the book, one to keep and one to give away.
Since it was just a day or so after we returned from Pie À La Road, Robin was still with me, and in preparation for a potluck dinner with friends, we tried four recipes from Teeny’s book…
- Whole Wheat Crust
- Buttery All-Purpose Crust
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- Bluebarb Pie
…and one creation of my own, Cranberry-Bluberry with my recipe as a control pie.
Both of Teeny’s crust recipes call for 1/4 cup of vodka in addition to ice water. One cup of all purpose flour replaces an equal amount of whole wheat in Teeny’s Whole Wheat Crust. I used the store brand flour that Food Lion sent—white, bleached, all purpose—and went to my local natural foods store to buy the whole wheat flour that was called for. I opted for the organic but this is not specified in the recipe.
When I was in the middle of getting the ingredients all set out, I looked at the Key Ingredients section and found the Favored Flours section. No where did it say which brand of whole wheat or white Teeny preferred. I found that AFTER I made the pies, on the previous page in a side bar called Whole Wheat Flour Made Easy. As for white, I don’t see that she has a preference.
Robin and I made both doughs and while they were resting, went on to making the fillings. As it’s not high summer fruit season yet, I used my own frozen fruits, rhubarb from my garden, Shusksan strawberries (my favorites!) and blueberries from the U-Pick blueberry farm I used to live and work on in the mid 90’s with Duncan. Sweeteners and seasoning are basic which will allow the flavor of the fruit to shine through if it is grown and picked at it’s peak. The thickeners in the recipes are 6 tablespoons of cornstarch for the bluebarb filling, and 1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca finely ground up in a coffee grinder for the strawberry-rhubarb.
Teeny’s doughs are very elastic and rolling very easy. We constructed the pies and baked them off. When they came out of the oven we both noted that Teeny’s crusts had quite a bit of shrinkage. We let all three pies cool and then headed out to the potluck.
There are always oohs and ahhs when pies are brought out of baskets and placed on the potluck dessert table. There was no exception on Sunday. I brought three pie servers with me and friends started serving themselves up pieces right away. I moved away from the table and to another area so as to not influence the results too much.
At the end of the evening, I gathered the pie dishes and brought them in. The results were in what was left.
- About 2/3’s of Teeny’s Bluebarb was left.
- About 1/2 of Teeny’s Strawberry Rhubarb remained.
- All of my Cranberry-Bluberry was gone.
- The plates had lots of Teeny’s crusts left.
Many of the folks at the potluck have had my home-baked pies for years and I value their feedback as pie-tasters. Comments were that Teeny’s crusts were very salty when eaten alone—Teeny calls for 2 teaspoons of salt in her doughs and I use 1/2 teaspoon—and that eaten alone, her fillings were too sweet, but when crust and filling were eaten together, the saltiness of the dough wasn’t quite so noticeable. Folks seemed to prefer Teeny’s Whole Wheat Crust more than her Buttery All-Purpose Crust.
In conclusion, Teeny’s book has a sweet premise—travel the country for a year and learn from pie makers how to make pie. In the process, make many new friends and have a great time. At the end, write a cookbook and share the journey. Sounds like a lot of fun to me!
If you would like to receive the giveaway copy of Teeny’s book, please leave a comment at the end of this post, and one winner will be chosen randomly. I’ll contact the winner by email for address to send Teeny’s book. US addresses only.*