23 January 2008

pies: post-mortem

Well, now I know what a tough crust tastes like. They were kind of salty, too. Disappointing.

The buttermilk sweet potato pie didn’t taste like a buttermilk pie or a sweet potato pie, but rather a strange, insipid combination of both. Not pleasant to my tastebuds. Then I talked with our friend Betty who hosted the dinner party, and she said she loved it! And the saffron color that I thought was so beautiful she thought was a little offputting. She said she’d gladly eat the filling out of a little custard cup with some sour cream, pecans, and brown sugar on top. Hmmm.

The sorghum pecan pie? Well, underneath the gorgeous dark-brown top was a sad mud puddle of very strong-flavored filling. Ever try to cut a wedge of mud puddle and plate it up? It’s difficult. B did not chop the pecans, as the directions specified, and the sorghum we used on closer inspection turned out to be sorghum-flavored syrup (i.e., corn syrup with sorghum mixed into it), so these two variables might have had something to do with the pie not setting up, but I don’t know. And that doesn’t explain the pie’s very strong—almost unpleasant—taste.

On the basis of these two recipes, then, I’m not certain I’d trust the Lee Bros. on a dish that required a more significant outlay of time and expense (e.g., a main dish). They’re wonderful writers, though.

And, of course, we violated yet again (we’ve done this before) the most important rule of entertaining: Never serve something to guests that you’re making for the very first time. Even if it’s just a variation on a recipe you’ve made many times in the past.

I do want to work on my pie-crust-making skills, though. Can’t blame the Lee Bros. for those tough crusts.

2 comments:

  1. And, of course, we violated yet again (we’ve done this before) the most important rule of entertaining: Never serve something to guests that you’re making for the very first time.

    I dare say, truer words have never been spoken. Many years ago I had a friend over for an informal meal and I thought I'd cook chili (I was in Alaska, after all). Having looked through a whole cookbook devoted to chili recipes, I chose one that had a "hint" of chocolate, just like the Mexicans put in mole.

    I have never tasted anything quite as gross. And of course, I had no backup plan so I sent the guest away hungry. This is what life's lessons are all about.

    I will admit: I've found that if you go to epicurious.com, and a recipe has 4 forks with over 90% of the people willing to make it again - then you stand a good chance of getting away with serving something you've never tried before!

    This is a sad day for pies everywhere.

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  2. One of my good friends once served pasta with apples and cheddar, maybe not a terrible idea, but not a very successful one either, as the cheese glommed onto the apple chunks, separate from the pasta. Hmmm. I still ate it happily!

    And I've made chili with some bitter chocolate grated into it, and it was good, but I imagine it might be possible to overdo it, eh?

    I love mole, by the way.

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