"Everyone has his little quirks, my friend," Meadows said as he lifted his sandwich. "Some people chase other people's wives. Some lose themselves in whiskey. I find my solace in nature's own nourishment...Food may well kill me, but it's also what has made life such a pleasure." - JAWS by Peter Benchley
It's summer all right. I had the strange and sudden urge to read JAWS for the first time--maybe because it's set at the beach, and we're headed there with the in-laws next week. The book has stood up well over the years (especially the shark bits), but the newspaperman's quote above stuck in my head particularly. Probably because I'm all about the solace and pleasure of food and really think other people's wives and whiskey can't begin to compare.
Seriously. Can your neighbor's wife do this?
Those babies, actually found at our Market last Thursday by personal friends, way outdid the contortionists grown by my neighbor, which I've featured here before:
|Pretty tame, by comparison|
And could whiskey ever roll around on your tongue and palate like the hummuses (hummi?) of Market newcomer Uncle Eyal's?
By now you've figured out that hummus and its cousins are the perfect partners to chips, pitas, and vegetables, and Uncle Eyal's livens things up with their different flavors and shades:
|Not sherbet, but a sure bet|
Take the beet hummus on the left--yum! Your only problem will be keeping your kids from digging into it because they think it's raspberry sorbet.
But really, nothing says pure sensual pleasure like a blueberry pie. Mr. Meadows from JAWS would have given up a front-page scoop for the blueberry pies we eat in our house. Even better, I decided to retire from pie-making a few years ago ("Easy as pie," my eye!), and, rather than giving up homemade pie, my husband decided to learn to make them. His pies are f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s! He makes them four at a time, and we freeze them to bring out during the months when summer is a fading memory.
If you've suffered through a storebought pie, you know they have two main problems: (1) the crust is kinda blah, and (2) there isn't enough filling!!!
My first bit of advice is to make your own crust. Pillsbury won't help your cause. Our family sticks with "Joyce's No-Fail Pie Crust" recipe, featured in the BELLEVUE FARMERS MARKET COOKBOOK alongside the peach pie recipe we use.
Add to your homemade crust:
|= 12 cups of blueberries = 2.4 pies' worth|
Blueberry pie is absolutely the easiest fruit pie you will ever make (unlike peach or apple), but a good one requires 5 cups of blueberries per pie. This flat above will net you two+ pies, or just two pies, plus blueberries to eat out of hand. Use your favorite filling recipe. They're all basically some fruit, some flour, some sugar, and some lemon rind.
If you're going to freeze your pie, don't bother slashing the top crust. Just wrap it securely with plastic wrap and then foil, mark it, and pop it in the freezer for that special occasion. The cookbooks will tell you to eat within six months, but we've gone up to eleven with no problems whatsoever. When it's time to bake, we unwrap, thaw on the counter, and then bake like a fresh pie, with maybe ten extra minutes added to the time.
So up the sensual pleasure in your life and hit the Market this Thursday or Saturday. As Meadows says in JAWS, as he stuffs his face, "I'd rather go my way than end up in the belly of a shark." Amen.