Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Easy as π!

I don't bake.  (And I'm a nerd, so if you don't get the math reference, sorry. LOL)

I can bake, but I almost always burn things or screw them up because I can't stand measuring things.  I'm of the mind that I should be able to throw a bunch of things in a pot/bowl/pan/pot and it will either work out great or not.

Today, however, I decided to throw caution to the wind and bake something I've never made before.  After a quick trip to the grocery store and three packages of strawberries later (What?!  They were on sale!  Yes, I know that the Hubby and I will never eat that many strawberries before they go bad, but seriously!  YUM!)

Anyway, I decided to make strawberry pie.  The ones my mum has always made involve that gelatin stuff that you have to refrigerate - tastes fake and is way too sweet.  I figure baking a strawberry pie should be no different from any other type of pie, hypothetically anyway.  So I jumped in with both feet like I do with everything else, and went for it.  I didn't use a recipe - those are for suckers!!  I threw a bunch of stuff into a pie crust and hoped for the best!

The result?  DELICIOUS warm strawberry pie served with French vanilla ice cream.  Best Tuesday night desert ever and a taste of summer sun!  Hope you enjoy!

Baked Strawberry Pie

Two packages of strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced into bite size pieces
Two frozen pie crusts (ie: tenderflake) thawed (or use your own dough, Ms. Fancy-Pants!)
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch

Place sliced up berries in a bowl.  Add sugar and let stand for 20 minutes.  In a separate bowl, toss in the cornstarch.  Drain the strawberries letting the juice drip onto the cornstarch.  Whisk the sugary juice and cornstarch until lumps disappear.  

Using a fork, poke holes in one of the pie crusts and fill with the berries.  It should be heaping.  Use your hands to pack gently.  Pour the juice & cornstarch mixture over the berries until you can just see it around the edges.  You will not need it all - don't discard extra!  Save it!  

Flip the other thawed pie crust on a floured counter or parchment paper.  Use your hands to flatten into a circle.  Using a knife, cut the pie crust into strips of whatever width you want.  Use this to make a basket weave on the top of the pie.  

Using the left over juice/cornstarch mixture, brush over the top of the basket weave and sprinkle with a palm full of sugar.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until top is browned, berries are soft and the juice looks to be more "jelly" like.  

Serve WARM with French vanilla ice cream!  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I Want my Mummy.

I think the sound of a phone ringing late at night or first thing in the morning is the most terrifying sound ever.

And that's how I woke up yesterday.

My grandparents number showed up on the call display, and as they were still in Florida, I figured it was my sister calling to tell me that they had a leak at their house when she was checking on it.

I was wrong.

It was my grandma.  She was calling to let me know that they were home.  A month and a bit early.  Just because.  She didn't want me or my sister to worry when we drove by and saw their car in the driveway.  She told us they were very tired and not up for visitors that day, but that we could come by another time.

My grandma didn't sound like my grandma.  The minute I heard her voice, I knew something was wrong.  This was confirmed when  I called my sister who said grandma sounded weird on the phone to her too - if you know my sister, you know that it must be obvious if she picked up on it (I love her, but she's not the first to pick up on emotional cues...)

Under normal circumstances, I likely would have been told by my mum that they were home.  However, under normal circumstances, my mum would not be on holidays in Rotan for the next 9 days.  So, what does any level headed, almost 29 year old woman do in light of a potential familial disaster?

Burst into tears and tell my husband that I want my mummy.  That's what.

Mature?  Not so much.  But you have to understand, when it comes to my grandparents, the thought of  ANYTHING being wrong makes me beyond upset.  I'm even teary right now as I'm writing this.  I kept thinking, Why now?!  I'm not equipped to deal with whatever the world has to throw at me!  I can't handle illness or death or whatever else may be the reason that they are home early...This is MUM stuff!  I need my mum!!

And then another thought hit me...this is what it will be like when she's gone forever- no one to turn to when I need help or advice, . Morbid thought?  Absolutely, but she's not going to live forever.

It was at this point I completely lost my shit, burst into tears again and decided that whoever decided to put us on this earth only to screw around with us this way was cruel.

And then I heard my mothers voice in the back of my head saying, pull yourself together, your acting like a baby.

So I stopped and tried to calm down and in a very uncharacteristically systematic way, I decided to do everything I thought my absent mother would do in this situation.

Stay calm.
Be present.
Do everything in my power to help in any way I can.

That's really all I can do.

Until today, I had never really thought about what it would be like to lose my parents or my grandparents, for that matter.  They've always been there - but mortality is something we all have to deal with.  What is it that they say - the only things in life that are sure are debt and death?    I guess the true test of your upbringing is when those who raised you are no longer there to offer guidance - and though at this point I am still fortunate enough to have 90% of my family still alive and accounted for, the thought of being set adrift in the sea of life without a map or a compass is, perhaps, the most frightening thought I've ever had.  I'm terrified.

I just hope that when the day comes that my mum is no longer with us, I still hear her voice in my head guiding me along the way.

As for my grandparents, I do not feel comfortable sharing the reasons for their early exodus from Florida.  Needless to say, I am so glad they are home and safe and if you happen to keep them in your thoughts and prayers, I would be ever grateful.

I'm a little beside myself at the moment, and I feel oddly better having written this down.

Thank you for reading it. xo