I've been away in body, mind and spirit. My dad's memorial was a few weeks ago and although it went beautifully, I got hit with a wall of grief, which then lead to a lowered immunity which lead to a wall of flu! This is my first day feeling back to my normal self! Woohooo!
Death sucks. I didn't deal with this whole few weeks lazily. Thank god I had friends reminding me to just BE, to just be sad, to be mad, to be SICK even... because my tendency is to not let myself be sad or sick. Whenever I let myself be fully sad and stopped resisting, there would always be a sense of relief.
How many times have we heard the phrase "what you resist persists?" or "let go, let God..." but man oh man practicing those is harder than it looks....four sweet words in both cases that are so hard for me to fully imbibe. But, I swear I clung to them like vines in the jungle as I swung through the forests of grief and flu.
When I was yielding to the grief, I actually found comfort in pie. We were talking at the memorial about my dad's famous mincemeat pie, made with reindeer sausage among other things, and therefore inedible to his vegetarian daughter. It reminded me of the rhubarb pies he and I would make and could share.... I love pie. Nothing like pie to comfort a soul.
With no energy to bake (and I looooove to bake pies!) I was visiting the fresh baked and frozen sections of Trader Joe's. One delightful find is the blueberry tart in the frozen section. I, of course, dolloped it with the Vanilla Mango Soy Ice Cream because I was afraid it would be too sweet and need a tart edge, but it was delightfully NOT overly sweet, and surprisingly delicious.
It really takes so little to bake a delicious summer pie from scratch. I insist on making my own pie crusts, but the frozen crusts at TJ's really are quite good. Just go over to the fresh berry section (you can do it with frozen too, just make sure you let them drain in a collander as they thaw) and get a couple packages of blueberries, a couple blackberries, a rasberry, and a lemon. Rinse the berries, grate up about 1/2 lemon zest, squeeze juice of lemon, toss with a couple tablespoons of sugar and a couple tablespoons of flour. If you have some fresh nutmeg, grate in a little of that too. Throw it all in the bottom shell. Dot with some butter.
Then take the top crust and cut into 1/2 inch strips and create a lattice on top. (Tip -- start in the middle of the pie with the diameter and weave from there.) Crimp the edges and make it puuuurdy! Be sure to place the pie on a cookie sheet because these pies can bubble up and over....yummmmmm!
Bake at 425 degrees for about 50 minutes on the lower rack. Wait for it to BUBBLE in the center of the pie.
Pie oh pie, my oh my comfort food.