Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The secret to a perfect pie

There are times when I am completely blown away by a product. And unexpectedly, to boot.

Yes, it is June but I am hard at work on Christmas Dinner for our dear readers at Canadian Family Magazine (yes, we do work 6 months in advance). In an attempt to keep recipes simple for during that busy time of year, I decided to pick up the Pillsbury rolled pie crusts that caught my eye as I was scooting by the refrigerator section of the grocery store. They were for a recipe that was already getting unwieldy, so I thought this would be perfect. But I had pretty low expectations.

I must explain. I come from a long line of pie bakers. Buying a pre-made crust is just not in my genetic make-up. My mom’s pie is simply revered. Whenever she is asked over to anyone’s for dinner, they sneak in a request for a pie. She blushes, usually obliges and everyone raves.

But I believe the filling is the key to my mom’s premier pies. She spends most of the summer picking berries and stuffing her freezing with them for the sole purpose of pies. But my mom is busy with friends and her 15 grandchildren, so sometimes the crust doesn’t get the attention it desires. Maybe too much water or stretching it too thin to make two pies where one would have been perfect.

Which leads me to why I am so excited about how wonderful these pie crusts are.

They are dead simple to use, even for someone who has never made a pie. It is like some pastry god has already perfectly rolled the crust up onto your rolling pin and you simply unroll it into the pie plate and press gently in, fill and then top with the second pie crust. The pie I made is savoury so it is brushed with egg wash.

The pie looked promising out of the oven and as I cut into it, I honestly couldn’t believe the amazing shatter factor. You know that ultimate flake that comes from a well made crust when shatters on contact? This crust has it in spades. So although I would like to keep this little secret to myself, I just couldn’t. It is too good not to spread the word.

Maybe a call to mom is in order. It's not like she's going to read this: although she is a good pie maker, this new fangled Internet thing is something she finds too much work to figure out. She would rather make pie.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Light my fire

Okay, now that I have you over here let me start by saying that there will be no salacious details shared with regards to DMD's martial relations and any attempts to increase the quality or quantity thereof...

So, now that that is out of the way...remember that little trip to Las Vegas that Rob and I took over the Easter weekend?

Well, the thing is, we needed that trip.

It wasn't perfect timing, falling as it did, just four weeks after the death of his mom and smack dab in the middle of trying to sell our house.

But after the difficulties of the last year or two, we needed an opportunity to reconnect and try and restart some of the passion and excitement that marked our earlier years together. Because while passion and excitement obviously waxes and wanes over the years, I think it's also what gets you through the rough spots.

So, when Eden Fantasys offered me an opportunity to test drive one of its adults-only Romantic Gift Sets I jumped at the chance to take one along to Vegas in hopes that it would be a fun way to re-light our...ahem...spark.

And it was.

But not so much because of the actual contents of the kit. Most of what it contained isn't exactly stuff I would want to spend money on: the candles were meh, the rose petals were hokey, the champagne glasses (one had broken in transit) were plastic and cheap and the massage oil was, well, typical massage oil - kinda fun but also kinda smelly and really messy.

But using the kit was fun because it made us laugh a little and it made us make an effort and really - no matter what kind of sundry devices and toys you manage to whip out - most of the time a few laughs and a bit of effort are all an otherwise loving couple really needs to reconnect.

Though a hot heart doesn't hurt!

What's a hot heart, you ask?

This, my friends, is a hot heart.

While I know that picture doesn't exactly inspire lustful thoughts, the hot heart was included in our package and it was really cool and I actually, kinda, sorta, fell a little bit in love with it!

It is a soft, plastic heart-shaped massager filled with gooey stuff that heats up in a most delightful fashion when you rub it on the body.

The hot heart, my friends, is hawt.

And also apparently reusable. Although we have yet to break it out again since our return from Vegas, just the prospect of one day getting another massage from the hawt, hot heart has a tendency to make this diva feel a whole lot more loving in general.

And that's all I'm gonna say about that.