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eG Foodblog: Marlene Maple Leaves, Bacon & Pecans - A Canadian go


Marlene
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Yes, that means TWO pie crusts, but practice does make perfect!  Oh, and I think I'd do two batches of dough rather than trying to double up...  Also, I have to admit that I grate my frozen butter into the flour.  I've always done that and it seems that I work the dough less this way.  Can hardly wait to see the results!

By the way, you downloaded the pictures yourself?  Way to go! I have yet to master that!

Oh Lord, two pie crusts. I hope I can make this damn pie ahead of time. If I want to serve it on Sat, I guess I could make it on Friday.

I did download the pictures myself! All these new things I'm learning this week. :biggrin:

BTW, I forgot to mention that our house is up for sale. It's been very quiet, and I figured we wouldn't have any showings till after Christmas as we haven't had any for two weeks. So naturally, the morning my kitchen is a complete disaster from pancake making et al, doesn't the real estate agent call to say there'll be a showing in half an hour.

I'm now catching my breath after 25 minutes of frantic cleaning.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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It doesn't hurt to have a little bit of kitchen mess, you want people to see it in action, so they can picture themselves in the kitchen. If your dishwasher is of the quiet variety, have it running, so they can hear it for themselves (point it out to the realtor, and let her point it out to the customers). If it isn't quiet, for heaven's sakes, make sure it is OFF.

If you've already sterilized the kitchen, make a pot of fragrant herbal tea, coffee, or have some apple pie spices bubbling on the stove.

Oh, and if you're home during the showings, stay out of the way. Let the realtor lead the tour, you hide. You want people to imagine themselves in the house, not that they are visiting someone else's home.

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What's the menu for the rest of the week? Gumbo is a traditional Christmas Eve dinner in Louisiana and a lot of people make tamales as well. I can't answer what you're thinking on that one.

On the pie issue. I use lard. it just does better. cold. Dark Karo syrup and whatever recipe you use, add an egg. makes it less dense, which I think is what bothers some people about pecan pie. (there was a thread on this recently) Bourbon is a must, if you really want over the top use Southern comfort.....

Don't forget to try some dirty rice, or oyster pie, or cornbread dressing. good luck!

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Oh, Marlene, I know from your participation you'll just make a hand at Northern/Southern Gal-Dom! Just remember, when you get 'flustered', wing it! That's how chicken-fried steaks came into being. Looking forward to many enlightening cookin sessions! :smile:

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Not everything I do this week will be Southern, but there'll be enough of it to warms Brooks' heart.

In no particular order, things I plan include homemade pizza,experiment), tonkatsu and fried rice (I'm not married to this one, so I'm open to suggestions)

There will be gumbo, but not on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve is for mulled wine and nibbles.

Christmas Day dinner will be Turkey a la Brooks method with Squash Casserole, cornbread stuffing and apparently Pecan pie. :blink: (nore experimenting)

Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) is our big family Christmas. Prime Rib, (yes, Dave's molten mashed potatoes, honey glazed carrots, chocolate turtle cheesecake and assorted appetizers will be the order of the day

Monday is gumbo day. yet another experiment.

And of course french toast, croissants and other assorted breakfast items. And what would a Canadian blog be without doing up some Peameal bacon?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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[so naturally, the morning my kitchen is a complete disaster from pancake making et al, doesn't the real estate agent call to say there'll be a showing in half an hour.

I'm now catching my breath after 25 minutes of frantic cleaning.

You worry too much...those pancakes would have sold the house!

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[so naturally, the morning my kitchen is a complete disaster from pancake making et al, doesn't the real estate agent call to say there'll be a showing in half an hour.

I'm now catching my breath after 25 minutes of frantic cleaning.

You worry too much...those pancakes would have sold the house!

Sure, if I could just have had them sitting out decoratively on a platter! I did make a fresh pot of coffee. Nothing like the smell of freshly ground brewing java.

But you have to understand, I'm the world's messiest cook. So a little clutter maybe, but the kitchen kinda looked like a tornado had passed through.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Good morning Marlene,

Hey something we do with our fryer when cooking southern is to make deep fried pickles!! Yum! You use the long pickle slices, have you tried these? They are very tasty!! My godson who is 14 helped us make some this summer and loved doing it and eating them!

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Good morning Marlene,

Hey something we do with our fryer when cooking southern is to make deep fried pickles!! Yum! You use the long pickle slices, have you tried these? They are very tasty!! My godson who is 14 helped us make some this summer and loved doing it and eating them!

Oooh. This sounds good. I mean, if I have the deep fryer out and all anyway. . . . another experiment. Details please.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Good morning Marlene,

Hey something we do with our fryer when cooking southern is to make deep fried pickles!! Yum! You use the long pickle slices, have you tried these? They are very tasty!! My godson who is 14 helped us make some this summer and loved doing it and eating them!

Oooh. This sounds good. I mean, if I have the deep fryer out and all anyway. . . . another experiment. Details please.

Well after having them in Memphis this spring we tried a lot of different recipes but finally decided that this one is the best:

Fried Dill Pickles

1 Egg -- beaten

3 1/2 cups flour plus 1 tbsp, divided

1 cup milk

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

6 drops Hot sauce

1 teaspoon Salt

3/4 teaspoon Pepper

1 quart Sliced dill pickles

Salt

Pepper

Vegetable oil

Combine egg, 1 tbsp flour, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce; stir well and set aside. Combine 3.1/2 cups flour, salt, and pepper; mix well. Dip drained pickles into milk mixture and dredge in flour mixture. Deep fry at 350° until pickles float to the surface. Remove to paper towels or brown paper bags to drain.

I then take some ranch dressing and spice it up a bit with different things in the spice cupboard for dipping. yum!!!

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This is going to be great, Marlene! Really looking forward to your blog. :biggrin:

You're going to love the turkey! Thanks to Brooks I did our Thanksgiving turkey that way and it was one of the best ever. :rolleyes: It's staying on my fav list for sure.

Advice on your cornbread dressing if you've never made this before . . . Make your cornbread a couple days ahead, let cool and roughly break it up in the pan, cover with loose paper towels to dry out some. Also gets that little task out of the way, which is a good thing. :wink:

And you are putting OKRA in your gumbo, yes? :raz :biggrin:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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That good advice on the cornbread, thanks! The stuffing will be pan made, not inside the turkey as well.

No, I have no intention of making okra, nor will there be grits. :raz: There are limits to my willingness to try new things.

Now, where is Brooks' thread on how he made that Turkey?

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Ryan just wandered into the kitchen to find yet another snack. I think this one might be considered lunch. I'm letting him have more free range of the fridge these days, although I do periodically check to ensure he isn't eating all junk food.

Next up, the cursed gingerbread house.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Marlene, those maple-leaf-shaped pancakes are so cute and so Canadian. :biggrin:

Nothing is better on a frosty morning than some hearty pancakes with Grade B maple syrup (I forgot the Canadian grading system for maple syrup).

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Wow those maple leaf pancakes looked absolutely wonderful. :smile:

Deep fryer, deep fryer... Oh there are so many things you can do with them. I wish I had one. Simple frites (french fries) would be nice to try. Fish! Fish and chips! You could do different vegetable chips. What's the best oil to use in the deep fryer and can you use it more than once? I always wondered about that.

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Wow those maple leaf pancakes looked absolutely wonderful.  :smile:

Deep fryer, deep fryer...  Oh there are so many things you can do with them.  I wish I had one.  Simple frites (french fries) would be nice to try.  Fish!  Fish and chips!  You could do different vegetable chips.  What's the best oil to use in the deep fryer and can you use it more than once?  I always wondered about that.

I'm told that soya oil is great for deep frying and that is what I used to make my b blooming onion in my very first deep fried experiment last week. Depending on what you're frying the oil can be used several times. Certainly proteins such as meats will break the oil down faster, but for vegetables etc, you should be able to get many uses from the same oil if it is strained etc. At least that's what I read. :biggrin:

My Canadian sister:  Just remember that Pecan Pie, however delicious, is just a misbegotten Butter Tart! No worries.

Lol. When you think of it that way Ms M. you're absolutely right.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Progress report on the church. The pieces are all iced with Royal Icing and are now drying. I already had to "glue" one piece back together again.

Next will come the assembly part which is where we usually fall apart. I'll take pictures along the way, and I'll even take one of the picture on the box, so you can see what it's really supposed to look like. I have no doubt that ours will not look anything like the picture on the box.

Why do I let Ryan talk me into this every year? :blink:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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My Canadian sister:  Just remember that Pecan Pie, however delicious, is just a misbegotten Butter Tart! No worries.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

I made butter tarts yesterday for the Spawn to take to her dojo's Christmas party. Apparently, they were a huge hit.

Marlene, as for pie crust, get thee to your local grocery store and buy a box of good old Canadian Tenderflake lard. For a single crust pie:

1/3 cup lard

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

3-5 T. cold water

Mix the flour and salt together and then cut in the lard. Use a pastry cutter to mix the lard in well. (The usual comparisons to meal apply here.)

Then add the water, one tablespoon at a time and mixing with a fork after each addition. Once most of the "meal" starts to follow the fork around the bowl (this is not to say that you have a dough or a batter or anything, it will follow for a few centimeters and then stop), you've added enough water. Then get in there with your hands and work it a bit until it holds together as a cohesive ball.

You can then wrap it in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge. That will make it a little easier to roll out.

Also, a word on grits..."be not afraid to invite grits into your kitchen, for some thereby have entertained Cream of Wheat unawares".

Grits taste pretty much the same as Cream of Wheat. At risk of having my passport revoked, I will tell you that I prefer grits with a little butter and S&P over Cream of Wheat with anything added to it.

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Also, a word on grits..."be not afraid to invite grits into your kitchen, for some thereby have entertained Cream of Wheat unawares".

Grits taste pretty much the same as Cream of Wheat. At risk of having my passport revoked, I will tell you that I prefer grits with a little butter and S&P over Cream of Wheat with anything added to it.

That's what I'm afraid of. Not that I've ever seen grits up here. So I should be safe. :biggrin:

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Erm. These places carry the Bob's Red Mill line, which includes very decent stone-ground yellow grits (made in Oregon, but an excellent product, nonetheless):

Alternatives Market

Barn Market

Dominion

Food Basics

IGA

Loblaw's Market

Sobey's Market

South Oakville Market

I knew Canada was civilized enough to have grits.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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The pie crust recipe I use calls for a tbsp of sugar; I think this helps with the browning. I also add an egg yolk, and save the egg white to brush on the crust to make it shinier.

Looking forward to this blog. I love pecan pie and I'm making pecan pie bars this week too! (I like the thicker shortbread crust.)

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Marlene,

I'm an ex-pat southerner (and still "cook southern" quite often -- it's my comfort food), and I've also always enjoyed your posts, so I'm very much looking forward to following this blog! Thanks for doing it.

As for the pecan pie, one way of cutting the extreme sweetness of the filling is to make a vinegar pie crust, by simply substituting a tablespoon of cider vinegar in for part of the water. As mentioned above, freezing cold ingredients and minimal processing are key.

Thanks again for blogging!

Cheers,

Squeat

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