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Gobble Gobble goo and Gobble Gobble giggle

As I sit here and type this Gary and Ellie are watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ronald McDonald just floated by and Gary made sure to introduce him to Ellie as “Dirty Ron”, Gary’s favorite reference to McDonalds. Yesterday Ellen watched patiently as I baked some pies. I guess I’m not that skilled at multitasking because it was a trick to watch over the babe and get the pies done, by the end of the day I was a bit frazzled. Picture the classic women in the kitchen with flour everywhere her hair a mess and the baby crying. We persevered and the pies are turning out well so far. I have to bake them today so they are fresh for the taking. I went with the traditional flavors Pumpkin and Apple. I like to put a little twist on the pumpkin pie and make it with a gingersnap crust. I also like to use fresh ginger in the filling. I must admit I borrowed the gingersnap crust recipe from Letty, Debbie, and Steve at the Deer Valley Bakery. I do love to bake, and I spent three years in the bakery at Deer Valley. I don’t know maybe Steve can correct me, but I was feeling pretty confident in my baking skills by the end of my three year term. Yesterday humbled me a bit, though. I just can’t pull it off as well in my home as I did in the awesome professional DV Bakery. I think it’s a psychological thing and I am my worst critic. I did do some things right, stuff my brain absorbed at work and stuff I like to do at home, I’ll share them with you…

  • Mise en place It’s French meaning “everything in its place”. This is key for pulling off any project. It’s all about prep in the bakery we would gather the ingredients we needed and prep things first like zest lemons, peel apples, cut butter, and so on. I also learned to mix all the dry ingredients together first.
  • “Clean as you go is the sign of a pro” Letty always used this catch phrase and it’s true. Nobody likes to work with a messy baker. At home I try to always have the sink ready to wash so I can clean off my utensils and use them again instead of pulling out another bowl and another spoon and having a huge pile of dishes to deal with at the end of the day. Take a break and clean between each phase of the recipe make the dough then clean, make the filling then clean, put them together then clean. You can never clean too much. Oh how I long for a dish washer. Actually, it’s a little therapeutic to slow down and wash the dishes in the sink.
  • I like to add a bit of whole wheat flour where I can. For instance the crust for the apple pie uses 2 1/2 cups of flour so I use 2 cups white and 1/2 cup of whole wheat. I think this adds some nutrition to the pie. Be careful when altering recipes though too much whole wheat flour can make the dough tough. I also like to use flax seed when appropriate that stuff has good omegas, and we can all use some omega in our diet.
  • Go to the source. Use a real pumpkin, fresh ginger, fresh fruits etc. This sounds like more work but it doesn’t always have to be if you Mise en place and plan ahead. I roasted a pie pumpkin on Tuesday peeled it that night and whalla I have fresh pumpkin instead of pumpkin from the can.
  • Finally, don’t forget to eat lunch. I made the mistake of working right through lunch yesterday hence the frazzle. It pays to sit down and make a well rounded lunch instead of snacking on the sugary treats you’re making. That way you keep your wits about you and you wont be spent by the end of the baking glory.

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Gobble Gobble goo and Gobble Gobble giggle

As I sit here and type this Gary and Ellie are watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade....
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