Tag Archives: Cook

An Apolitical Post About Pie

Pie

Lately I’ve been active in national politics, attending rallies, volunteering at caucuses, even taking more drastic, desperate measures like voting. But I’ve tried to keep those politics away from this blog, especially because the Presidential campaign has been so ugly. As it gets uglier, I find it more and more difficult to write apolitical posts, so to celebrate Pi Day, I made a blackberry pie, and I promise I will do my absolute best to make this a strictly apolitical post.

Here’s a fun fact: the Latin word for pie, and baked goods generally, is crustum. Obviously, pie sounds a lot less disgusting, though crustum is not as disgusting as the Presidential debates have been. There are plenty of reasons to make and eat pie; today is Pi Day, for instance. Alternatively, pie is a symbol of peace, because if you throw pie at people instead of punching them like a total moron, that’s basically offering them free pie, because we need peace offerings and not unrequested face-punchings.

I went with blackberries for my pie, but you can use any berries, as well as a variety of fruits, Autumnal squashes, nuts, or the U.S. Constitution, because nobody else is using it these days. For the crust, you’ll need the following:

IMG_2343½ Cup Butter
3 Tablespoons Margarine
½ Teaspoon Salt
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
5 Tablespoons Water

Mix the flour and salt. Cut the butter and margarine into the flour mixture until fine and crumbly like a group of protesters under police brutality. Mix in the water, roll out on a floured surface, and beat the dough to a flat level playing field, unlike the current economic system.

To make the filling, you’ll need the following:

3-4 Cups Blackberries
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Water
1/4 Cup Flour

IMG_2346.JPG

Pour the water into a saucepan on the stove on medium heat; add the sugar, then the berries, then the flour to thicken it up. You can add corn starch if you really, really want to, even though there are much more sustainable thickening methods if we’d just bother to limit our dependence on foreign crude corn, but I’m sure Big Corn is paying off all the pie contest judges anyway.

After the berries have been cooked into a mushy pulp like women’s rights under you-know-who’s hypothetical Presidency, pour the mixture into the pie shell. Cover it with the remaining  dough in any fashion you choose (a plain circle, crisscrossing strips of dough, the symbol for Pi, a plea for divine intervention, etc.). Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for fifteen to twenty minutes, which should be the amount of time it takes for us to realize how brainless these candidates are, but no, Marsha just eats up the idiocy like the delicious pie you’ll have in fifteen to twenty minutes or until golden brown.

Once your pie is done baking, I hope you’ll reflect, as I did, on how difficult it is not to think about politics. Some people can do it, and I admire them for it, but I am not one of those people. I don’t know how to be apolitical, and I apologize to my loyal readers who just wanted a simple pie recipe. Please make pie for your friends and enemies, though. Make peace offerings with pie, because all I can conclude from the news I neurotically (perhaps unhealthily) watch is that we need a good, heaping, dripping, hot dose of compassion and kindness right now. Share pie. Don’t punch people in the face.

Carpe Crustum, folks.

-jk

P.S. This particularly cool performance of “Celebrate” by Dark Dark Dark is good music to bake, consume, and digest pie to. It’s also a good example of people working together not punching each other in the face, but I digress.

Coffee: A Steamy Love Affair

Coffee Poet.jpg

Those who know me know that I love coffee. Those who don’t know me can easily guess, thus far, that I have a moderate fondness for coffee. To be clear, I’m not picky; I like tea, cocoa, water, smoothies, milkshakes, juice. But coffee has a special place in my life.

I had my first cup in my high school cooking class. During one of the baking sessions, our teacher turned on the coffee pot near my station while our muffins were still in the oven. That’s when I had my first cup of caffeinated hot brown acidic water, filled with cream and sugar like most first-timers. After a while, I started drinking coffee whenever I cooked, then every morning, then every morning and afternoon, then several times a day. For a while, I got headaches when I didn’t consume any caffeine by 10:00 AM.

I’ve since become less addicted. I once considered giving it up for Lent but decided that not even Jesus would have gone that far. Nevertheless, I have cut back, and not just because I’ll probably have an ulcer by the age of twenty-six if I don’t.

There are coffee addicts and there are coffee lovers, and I want to be the latter. The difference between a violinist and someone with a violin is making every note a masterpiece. The difference between a chef and somebody who cooks every meal is mastering the kitchen’s tools and ingredients, and cooking with gusto rather than mere hunger. Anything can be an art, and the only way to become an artist is to inhabit a practice so fully that we infuse ourselves with it.

Everything about coffee is perfect to me, and if not I try to make it perfect. Espresso, lattes, dark roasts, light roasts, the smell of the beans, the feel of them in my fingers, the careful measurement of fresh grounds into the coffee pot, pouring the first cup, breathing in the scented steam before the first sip, and feeling it run down my throat hot and fresh, until it bounces around my stomach looking for a place to sit. I write with it; I read with it; I get to know people with it. It’s not for everyone, but it’s certainly for me, which is likely why I haven’t slept since 2015.

What practice or hobby or food do you love? Let me know in the comments!

-jk

P.S. If you thought the title was cheap, consider all the other possibilities I had to work with. Drip coffee was only a starting place.