I had this moment today where I broke down some of the reasons for my loving to not just eat but to make food as well. Chris and I are having dinner with some new friends tonight, they asked if we wanted to make homemade pasta so clearly we are going to be good friends in the near future because we have found kindred food spirits. I was doubly excited because having dinner with people gives me an excuse to bake. When Chris set off to be all theological in the library this morning, I slipped in to my apron and started feeling that familiar giddiness that arrives on cue when I begin a pie project.
As I was pulling out all of my supplies I had this realization - part of the reason I love to bake is because I am obsessed with gadgets. If you ever think, hmm what should I get Bethany to surprise her because she is a cool person? I'll tell you now. Go to Crate and Barrel or a similarly heavenly place, go to the gadgets you think no one would ever use and buy some of those. I'd probably pass out.
So allow me to expose you to some sweet stuff. Starting with the creation of the world's best pie crust.
1- Crank sifter. Just as a personal policy, I'm radically opposed to the sifters you have to squeeze. Hand cramp is written all over those beasts. I had to order this guy online because I could not for the life of me find a crank sifter. The silliest thing of all is that a couple of weeks ago Chris found one at the grocery store down the street from us, no joke this is literally after a solid year of looking at every specialty cooking store I know. Punk sifter. But I love this little guy.
2- Best baking mat in the world. No offense Momma, but the one I grew up with was as stiff as a laminated world map in your 3rd grade classroom. It was awkward to store and warped beyond belief. This beauty rolls up and tucks away like a good mat should.
3- Pastry blender. Now this is a little confusing because I don't necessarily have a strong attachment to the utensil itself, however, I looooove this step in making crust. Honestly. I blend more than I need to and I have this strange sense of sadness when I know it is way beyond an appropriate time for me to still be mushing that crisco. I'm exposing you to my weird.
4- World's most adorable measuring spoons. Is it practical to use ceramic? No. Is it so cute? Yes. (Another weird note. I love making this pie in particular because it requires corn starch, currently in the spoon. I spend a solid minute playing with the corn starch every time. Before you judge me go rub some corn starch in your fingers. Weirdest texture ever, I like to try and make it squeak.)
5- Capresso kettle. There's just not much to say, it's the best kettle there is. Heats water crazy fast and it's more awesome than heating my water up in a dumb microwave.
6- So this isn't about the tool again, it's about the process. There is something so strangely satisfying to me about beating egg whites until they become something totally other than what they began as. Therefore, making meringue is one of my favorite things ever.
7- Zester/it's not really officially a zester we also use if for cheese :) Bottom line, if you don't have one, get one.
8- Cutco Spatula. This thing is ridiculous. I'm not kidding we use it for an unimaginable amount of things. In this case I used it to transfer the meringue on to the pie and make the perfect little peaks that you will see with the finished product. One side is serrated, so if I wanted to go ahead and cut that pie with this same utensil, I absolutely could. It's awesome.
9- Pie Cutter/server. This and the adorable pan are credited to my sister loving me with gifts. The red one comes out and helps the big one. So when other people have to use fingers or a fork, I skip that tragedy and use my super cool pie utensil.
10- If I had premeditated this blog I would have used my Crate and Barrel Parker bowls for these pictures because they also make baking and cooking one of the happiest times of my life. That is also a must have on my list of necessary kitchen tools if you want to be adorable ;)
If you want the actual recipe for the pie and don't give a hoot about my creepy obsession with kitchen tools, that's cool I can e-mail it to you. For those of you who think like me, well I have many more where that came from. Perhaps in my 3 per year blog quota you will meet more of my kitchen friends.