Friday, November 28, 2008

Cold Leftovers

Thankgiving is over. Good. Next year will be better, and will be here before we know it. I enjoyed waking up this morning in a relatively clean house, without having to clean up the wake of destruction that usually envelops my house on Thanksgiving. Instead, I got to make coffee in a clean kitchen, and enjoy my day doing nothing in particular. 

Turkey pile

I ended up not making the radish dish, due to time, but I will and you'll here about it. It's really simple, I've made it before, but it is so damn good. That's because anything cooked in duck fat is good. I did make an apple pie, poached some pears, and made bacon toffee. The end result was interesting.

My contribution

The pears came out fine. I used some leftover syrup I had from the last batch of poached pears I made for a brunch last week. Even the kids liked them. One kid, Caleb, the child of my co-worker Miranda, touched one, but didn't eat it, prompting a, "Don't touch it if aren't going to eat it," speech from some adult. Grubby kid hands all up on the food...

My bacon toffee is still in its beta testing stages. I couldn't find my thermometer, so this left me guessing when to pull it from the heat. This means I need to go buy a) a candy thermometer, b) a regular thermometer. Due to this lack of precision, the candy didn't get hard like a Skor bar, instead it was more like a soft toffee. The flavor was there, and bacon is just fucking good, so I see where it's going, but it wasn't right. Next time. This will be something that I keep up my sleeve for a long time. I mean, it's bacon toffee?! I envision a summer day with some vanilla ice cream mixed with broken pieces of bacon toffee, or a nice salad with bacon toffee in lieu of bacon... Yum.


My pie... Oh, my pie. It was so beautiful, it was a shame that it was eaten before it fully cooled. You can chose which lesson should be learned here:
a) don't stay up so late drinking, that way you can wake up before noon to make pie for evening meal.
b) make pie/crust day before
c) hold out longer than two hours before caving for hungry partygoers
d) don't worry about, have another drink
Regardless of lessons, it was a good pie, it just never set up all the way. It was still pretty warm when I finally cut into it. The crust, which is from a recipe that I have been working with for several years, turned out the way I wanted for the first time in a while. Sometimes it gets too warm too fast, which makes it so hard to work with. This year, I employed a more regulatory system to control the temperature of the dough. It made a few trip back in the fridge as other things were worked on. I used honey crisp apples, which are a nice blend of sweet and tart, and keep their shape as they cook. It was moderately disappointing to watch it ooze when I removed the first slice...


Pretty pie

The success with the crust makes me want to make another pie soon. I like making pies. It's the only baking I ever do, so it's nice to feel good about doing it. Baking is scary to me for some reason. I guess that comes down to practice and familiarity. I don't eat many sweets anymore, so that means I rarely make them, which is no excuse not to gain practice making them for others. Most people like baked goods. I know when I have high quality baked goods versus just so-so baked goods, but overall I'm indifferent. Except for pie. I like pie. Pie can also be savory, and that gives it extra bonus points. Its all about that pastry. Thats the hard part, especially in Austin, Texas. When it's eighty degrees on Thanksgiving, one must be careful when handling their pastry. Until next time. 


jen mcclure said...

Your Thanksgiving looked awesome...mine totally sucked (the food that is)...I had the tofurkey roast which was dry and tasted of vitamins, the mashed potatoes sucked and the stuffing was sad, but the cassarole I made up was a hit, it had potatoes, swiss chard sauteed in garlic, with bread crumbs and smoked gruyere...I think you would have been impressed..the smoked cheese and the chard make a good combo...kinda like your bacon and toffee!

TexasDeb said...

I just unloaded and then reloaded the dishwasher with the last of the dishes from the feast. Only three people and yet we created a LOT of dirty dishes.

I know what you mean about waking up to a clean kitchen. Theoretically, anyway. Enjoy your weekend!

aa said...

I'm not sure if I found this through you, but you've probably seen it regardless, since candied bacon is all the rage lately. Now bacon toffee - that's innovation. I made membrillo cheesecake for turkey day - also a recipe in progress, but pretty delectable.

PassivePastry said...

i read about chocolate dipped bacon on another blog... yer stuff looks like a winner.

i have three burns on my arm right now to show that baking + drinking is a bad idea.

what type of camera do you use? (i'm conducting research- gotsa get one soon, hopefully)

Laurie said...

I have some killa savory pie recipes. I'll pass 'em along. I have a tomato pie recipe that will make you question the merits of lasagna. That one isn't vegan by any stretch, though I'm sure I'll figure out a way to successfully ruin it with some sort of chick pea concoction...

Flapjacks said...

in my world, the kitchen is never *fully* cleaned, there's always something lurking about that could be scrubbed or washed. clean is a relative term for me.

you just don't see enough quince these days! that sounds good though, membrillo cheesecake. i do know that the mexican equivalent of membrillo, is the guava paste. that is always in supply at fiesta.

i use a canon powershot elph 750 that i found on the street earlier this year. it is a great camera, but a tripod would make it all the better.

yum. savory pies. i am going to be making some soon, that will also not be vegan, but they'll be pies.

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