Tag Archives: strawberries

Somebody Say Strawberry?


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My completed strawberry pie.

This old croaker of a former mechanic thought he could cook… again.

Will I ever learn?  Would someone padlock the kitchen please?

Actually, I had a request… for a homemade strawberry pie.

Daryl Strawberry first came to mind.

Duh.  I must have been on drugs, too.  What did I get myself into?  What was I thinking?  A strawberry pie?

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The key ingredients including the freaking huge strawberries.

So I found a recipe in Cook’s Illustrated once again.  It looked easy enough.

And there weren’t too many ingredients: sugar, cornstarch, pectin, fresh lemon juice and salt…… and strawberries.

Lots of strawberries.

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Well, Cook’s Illustrated failed me this time.

They didn’t write down what SIZE of strawberries to get – just a weight.

Blasphemy.

I thought strawberries were all about the same size.  You know.  Size doesn’t matter.

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Well, the FRESH strawberries I ended up buying were too big.  Freaking too HUGE.

Geez.

And there were LOTS of them.  And they needed to be hulled.  Heck, I knew I would eventually slice my fingers trying to hull them all with a knife so I cheated.  Mechanics love tools, right?  I bought this fancy-schmancy huller for seven bucks.

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For size comparison purposes, I took a picture of the gizmo alongside one of the freaking huge strawberries I bought. It is all Cook’s Illustrated’s fault indeed for not explaining what size strawberries to get.
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This is what it looks life after you press that green button on this fancy-schmancy gizmo made by Chef’N Corporation. You push it into the strawberry, let go of the button and twist. It worked great! But I learned it is better if you remove the sepals first (I found out that’s what the little green leaves on the top of the strawberry are called.).

What a deal.  Hulling was now a piece of cake!  (Shhh…  Quiet.  My little Cake Boss may hear.)

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The recipe called for whole strawberries.  But because the strawberries I bought were so freaking huge, they looked like bowling balls in the pie crust.  While I didn’t know if it was taboo or not but I decided to cut the strawberries in half.  I was worried that all that juice would leak out and make the crust feel like you were biting into a sponge.

(I cheated again and got pre-made crusts; it really shrunk big time after baking as you can see in the picture.  I will endeavor to make the crust from scratch next time.  Oops.  Someone stop me from trying that, please.)

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Well, aside from the glaze not becoming transparent enough and the incredible shrinking crust, the pie turned out tasting great.

I will write a scathing letter of complaint to Cook’s Illustrated.  They did not consider that old berry-brained former mechanics like me would actually try to follow their recipes.

I will also write a letter to President Obama and have him execute another Executive Order to change the law – that Cook’s Illustrated must write their recipes so that old former mechanics will understand.

But why complain.

I will just go to Marie Callendar’s next time and buy a strawberry pie for $8.99.

A Former Mechanic’s Almond Frangipane Tart


Well, this former mechanic got his greasy hands back into the kitchen.  No explosion, either.

Strawberry and Almond Frangipane Tart

Another Cathy Thomas Cooks recipe, it was relatively straight forward.  Didn’t need a wrench.  Please click on the link for the recipe (since people seem to be asking).

Small kitchen appliances are rather skimpy in my kitchen so I had to improvise – my coffee grinder in place of a food processor.

Didn’t have a food processor so I improvised… A guy’s perogative.

I did find the pie weights to be a great tool.  Lucky I had some in my toolbox…not.  Went out and bought a bag.  You know – a guy thing.  A tool for every job.

A close up… Sorry about the tin foil but I only had one plate.

One of my best pals passed away so I made his widow a tart for Mother’s Day.

For the single guys out there…  The gals at the office love it.

(Cathy Thomas has some neat recipes on her website, too!)