Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Above and Beyond

I'm not much of a pie maker. Oh, I like pie. My mother-in-law makes the absolute best pie. Herein lies the problem. Her pie is amazing and she can whip up a couple (or twelve) in no time and not even look at a recipe book. Ever. Her pie is flaky, sweet, often features fruits from her garden or the specialty produce store, and disappears fast. She's famous for her pie.

Last week we did a fair bit of entertaining and I wanted to make some pleasing desserts. I had some fresh peaches in the refrigerator and decided I wanted peach pie. I didn't really want to make it myself but no one else around here really stepped up to the plate. I have a well-equipped kitchen and a good collection of cookbooks. Betty Crocker is my go-to for basics like pastry and I thought I'd give it a shot. I snapped some pics to demonstrate my kitchen prowess.

It starts with the pastry, the rolling made easier with some of my nifty gadgets, especially that silicone mat:

The next step was blanching and peeling the peaches:

Mixing the filling:

At this point I'm getting a bit drooly, can't wait for that first piece:

I impress me:

The end result:

It was scrumptious. Really. I was quite surprised with myself and gained a lot confidence with the experience. Two days later we had more guests for coffee and dessert. I made a chocolate-laced pecan pie. Gary doesn't know who this woman is baking pies in his kitchen. He said to me, "This goes above and beyond. Really." With feedback like that, I'm thinking there will be more pie making in this kitchen in the not-so-distant future.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Strange situation

Okay now, before you start telling me all the steps I should take, rest assured that we are in process with our phone company to put an end to all this. Now I'll fill you in on what can only qualify as bizarre. My attempts at humor are a bit tongue-in-cheek as this whole deal has me a combination of frightened and spittin' angry.

It started some time ago but I'll be going back in time to tell this one correctly. Monday night: while we enjoyed supper with Gary's brother's family our phone rang. Olivia checked the call display, it was a long distance number, so I told her to leave it ring and I would check the messages. Phone rings again almost immediately, I answer. This woman asks me why my number keeps showing up on her husband's phone bill and that I'd better tell her what's going on. I have spoken to her before, tell her I don't know her husband, she should take it up with him or her phone company, ask her not to call again, hang up. Phone rings again and my husband answers. Tells her that she's been asked not to call here and repeats what I said about neither of us knowing her husband, etc. I had a similar call right before we left on vacation and perhaps two other calls in the last few months of the same nature. Prior to that I've had calls asking why my number showed up on the caller's call display and indicated that it must be some mistake as I don't know anyone at that number or in the town the caller claims to be calling from. It's a cell phone. Called the phone company on Tuesday morning to find out what the procedure should be from this point. Last night, 10:15, phone rings again. I'm sure it's my mother-in-law as she likes to phone either before 8 AM or after 10 PM. Don't know why, she just does. I usually guess it's her and I'm usually correct. Last night, however, it was our mysterious caller. This time she calls my husband by his name. He gets off the phone after a similar exchange except this time he warns her that, if she keeps calling, he'll have to involve the police. Assures her that I am most definitely not involved with her husband.

Which brings me to think that I must be something pretty special. Apparently she has records going back five years. Whaaaaaat??

Last night, as my beloved drifted into a less-than-elegant state of rest (poor man has a horrendous sore throat), I start to realize that this might have some connection to the dozens of hang-up calls we've had over the last several years. Is this guy the culprit? My voice ranges from sultry to shrill, I'm thinking in the past few years it's been more on the shrill side as I've tried to keep up with my four little going concerns. What's the deal? I know that a lot of hang-ups are just telemarketers with automatic dialing. Am I leaping here?

Rest assured, I don't feel that this is, at this point, any real threat. If you're so inclined, would you pray for this woman? She sounds intoxicated when she phones. It saddens me, quite frankly, that there would be this much distrust in a relationship that she does not feel the liberty to approach her husband regarding this. Seriously, ask the guy why my number shows up on his phone. I have a hard time not laughing at the idea of something illicit going on. Come on, I barely have time to mop the floor around here...

I'm off to check out a woodpecker in the tree out front. So thankful for moments of tranquility.