Sunday, November 20, 2011

Pie Night 2011!

I haven't been blogging much in the last week, and there are a few reasons for that.  We'll get to those in this post.  It doesn't mean I'm not thankful or haven't been thinking about posting...I've just been doing other things... making pie!!!!  Pie Night 2011 was Wednesday evening!  We had 19 pies to share with family and friends.  I have pictures of all but 3 of them, so I'll mention those 3 first.

One of those was a Grasshopper pie for our friend, Chris, who contributed some brews for the evening's choice of beverages.  One was a Key Lime pie that we made for Baby Amelia.  And one of those was a Mississippi Mud Ice Cream Pie with a layer of vanilla ice cream, fudge vodka sauce, pecans and coffee ice cream - all for our friend, Rhea.  This pic includes a pic of the bottle holding the fudge vodka sauce, but that's not really much to go on.  I still have some of this sauce left that can be poured over ice cream with no pie, but I'm waiting for a special occasion to indulge.  Cause this stuff is good...
This pic also shows the Pecan pie that we made for our friend, Christie, and the Pumpkin pie for my daughter, B - who didn't eat of it, because she's waiting for Thanksgiving, so it was ok for us to "break" the pie by garnishing it with whipped cream.  I love that girl!

Ok, so that accounts for 5 pies, 14 more to go.  Let's get after it! 

The next 3 pies were presented elevated on the table.  See on Monday last week I had to replace my water heater, and 3 people were very helpful in making that replacement happen.  So it can be said that if it was not for these 3 people, Pie Night 2011 might not have been.  May I request a moment of silence in honor of these 3 please?  Thank you.

Our highest honor goes to our friend, Brendan, who was the water heater installer extraordinaire!  Here is a pic of his French Silk Pie.  And yes, I did cut off a portion of the pie, but there's a better pic of it below.  I need a new blog photographer, but more on that a little lower...And then we have my son-in-law, K's Oreo pie to the right.  K was the water heater installation Project Manager/Contractor. 

And our 3rd pie in this set was for my friend, G, who helped in many little ways to make the water heater install last Monday work.  You'll be hearing more about G in the future.  Let's just say that Pioneer Woman has her Marlboro Man....Jus' Deb has her G...who has also agreed to take on the role of official blog photo man going forward, but we didn't come to that agreement before Pie Night, so these pics are still of the JD quality.  Beyond all of that, G nominated himself as chief Pie Night bottle washer PLUS key lime squeezer, so it can definitely be said that without G's efforts, Pie Night 2011 may have been only a dream. 

His pie?  Oh, you want to know about his pie?  He "shared" his pie with Alton Brown - the Coconut Cream with Macadamia Nut Crust.  While he "shared" his pie honor with Alton, he didn't so much share his pie with my work associates the next day...he was quite cute when he asked if he could keep his pie and not send it to my office, so how could I say no?
We have a few more cream pies.  Let's do those next.  Here is the peanut butter pie that I really hoped was creamier than last year for N.  (Not sure whether we succeeded in that or not...)  And a Pistachio pie for lil' baby Kiana.  You can also see a small bit of the Banana Cream that we made in honor of Ashley who is expecting her own little one.  We have decided that we ALWAYS need at least one child under the age of about 3 or 4 at every Pie Night.  It's a must.  This year we had 2 and 1/2...
Ok, so that accounts for 10 of the 19 pies.  9 more to go....let's move to 2 of our fruit pies.  We had a Pi Apple Pie for P...and a Strawberry Rhubarb for Jennifer.  The Strawberry Rhubarb was my first attempt at such a pie, and it wasn't too bad, if I may say so myself. 
Then we had a Blackberry for Scott, a Baked Strawberry for A, an Apple Butterscotch for Molly, and a Peach for me.  For the blackberry, baked strawberry and strawberry rhubarb, I precooked some of the berries in wine until a syrup formed, which I think worked very well for all 3. That takes us to 17.... 2 more to go.  My daughter, S, asked for Lemon Meringue, and my son, S, asked for a Mexican Chocolate pie.  This one I will make again.  I did not get enough of this one.  It's a dark chocolate with hints of cinnamon and even cayenne pepper.  Don't freak out till you've tried it.  It tastes like chocolate, but at the very end, you feel this wonderful slight heat at the back of your throat.  Cool, huh?

And that about sums up Pie Night 2011.  If I don't talk about the Hula Hoop challenges going on in the front bedroom.  Or the baby whisperers on hand.  Or the pitcher of milk requested by a couple of special young men, because apparently you can't have pie without milk.  I will keep this in mind for future Pie Nights...

I'll close with a couple of things I'm thankful for.  People who know how to make water heater installations happen on very short notice and for as few dollars as possible.  I am very thankful for them.  I'm thankful for family and friends who say "Happy Pie Night!"  I'm thankful for the original Pie Night family that we can imitate.  And I'm thankful for the chance to make 19 pies and love on people with baking.  Fun!  Fun!

Happy Thanksgiving all, but I plan to post more between now and then, so I'll probably say that again this week...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Friends...and more friends

Today I am particularly thankful for friends. 

Friends who send sympathy cards.  We lost my brother to cancer a week ago.  I haven't really told a lot of people, but those who have heard have given cards to let me know they cared.  Thoughtfulness is humbling.

Friends who are happy for me when good things are happening in my life, even if those good things seem to be happening very fast.

Friends who help when you need to buy a new water heater, but you don't have the first clue where to begin.  So they meet you at Home Depot and ask lots of good questions to find the right one and the parts to go with it.  See, I could build a water heater out of cake, but I am no good at real ones.

Friends who know other friends.  Like B.  He came over and installed the water heater.  And even got shocked in the process, because of some "helpful" engineering that my dad attached to the old water heater some 20+ years ago.  Long story....he was trying to be efficient...his heart was in the right place even if his results were's leave it at not so helpful.  But B made all of that helpful go away...which is actually really and truly helpful.

Yep, today I am thankful for friends.  Very thankful.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


...when I'm sick.  I'm thankful for soup when I'm sick.  Especially when it's homemade, and I didn't have to make it. 

Ask me why I'm thankful for this today.  Cause I'm sick today...and I started feeling feverish last night.  And I was planning to make the soup, but a very good friend made the soup for me instead while I got to sleep - well really while I got to take Tylenol, and get under 13 layers of cover to try and get warm. 

I think I could get used to having a good friend take care of me when I'm sick.  I could be wrong, but I think I could get used to this.  And to homemade soup.  That's all for now.  Love, JD

Monday, November 7, 2011

Jammies and Drugs

Yep, that's right, folks.  Tonight I am thankful for jammies and drugs.  Jammies cause they are just plain comfy.  I can put them on at the end of the day, and suddenly the day goes away.  I can breathe.  I can relax.  I can chill.  I suddenly feel all warm inside.  If you add in comfy, fluffy socks plus a chilly fall night, all is right with the world again.  You can virtually hear the world give a collective sigh...

And drugs - not the illegal, cartel-shooting, canine-sniffing type, but drugs like Tylenol and Ibuprofen when you have one of those all-day headaches that just won't go away, and you can't stop long enough to put on one of those fancy, schmancy eye masks to make it all dark inside your little world and go to sleep, but you just have to keep going cause you have to keep going, so you take 2 or 3 Tylenol, and it keeps you going - those kind of drugs.  I'm thankful for them.

And jammies.  And clean hotel rooms with soft beds and night time outside so I can actually make it all dark inside my little world and hopefully wake up tomorrow without the headache and sore muscle stuff.

Yep, I'm thankful for jammies and drugs.  Good night, all!  I'll do my best to be thankful for things far less selfish tomorrow....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Simple Things

It's been almost 2 weeks since my last post.  A lot has been happening in those two weeks - the Cards won the World Series, I went to a wedding with friends, we hosted a birthday party, and I've been out of town since last Thursday for a project at work that "went live" this weekend.  All good things.  All good.

But it's now November, which is the month of giving thanks.  So I want to try and do that.  I'm already 6 days late on getting started, but I'll just have to make up with quality instead of quantity.  At least I hope so.

The first thing I want to say that I'm thankful for is simple things.  The everyday things that we often take for granted, but that can make our day when they happen. 

Like a phone call from my daughter just now. 

Or a little while to finally catch up with a good friend. 

Like shopping with a friend - and keep in mind that I am NOT a shopper - but I've had two very good shopping experiences over the last two weekends that have been very pleasant and that I think have been pleasant for the ones I was with, too. 

Or like laughter - especially if that laughter is received as a gift when someone is going through a tough time.

Or like traveling with work associates who are also friends.  It makes the time away from home easier.

Simple things.  Like these two cakes.  One was a lemon cake for a friend at work who simply likes my lemon cakes, so I like to make her lemon cakes.  I didn't spend a ton of time on the cake; I'm pretty sure I was watching Game 6 of the World Series that night, too, which was quite the exciting game, so you know I didn't spend oodles and oodles of time on the cake...hence, a simple thing cake...but it made my friend smile - and I got a hug out of it.  Not too bad all the way around...
And this one was for a family birthday - spice cake with a rum soaking syrup, caramel sauce and cream cheese buttercream.  Again a simple cake that didn't take a great deal of time but brings lots of smiles.

Simple things.  I'm thankful for the simple things. 

I'll have to think about the next thing I'm thankful for and try to post every day this month...hmmm...