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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pastry = Life

So I decided to embark on a new endeavor in the world of cooking. A place I had yet to go: pastry. It's amazing how something so very basic (it has very few ingredients), can be so very difficult. I've been trying for days now to make a homemade chicken pot pie, but for one reason or another, it got postponed. I found an easy recipe off of the recipe website I frequent, made sure I had all the ingredients, pre-cooked the chicken etc. This afternoon I followed the directions on the Crisco package to make the dough and things went well. Threw the dough (still in the bowl, but divided in two) into the fridge, and went off to see my doctor (I'll tell you about that later).

I got home, floured the counter and began to roll out the dough. I noticed that it was rather sticky and this didn't seem right to me, so I sprinkled some flour on it and kneaded it in quickly. Since it is pastry and not bread dough, I sort of remembered something about not handling it too much, so I tried to be quick. I rolled it out and went to go lay it over my casserole dish (I don't own a pie plate at this time), and discovered that not only was it not big enough, but that it was starting to fall apart.

Huh. Damn.

I put it back on the counter, ball it up, and quickly reflour my rolling pin and try again. Try it again and it's still doing wired things. Okay, maybe third time's a charm? Go through it again...Bingo! This time it worked. It layed out nicely and i press it against the sides trying to get all the air that somehow accumulated underneath (what the hell?). Okay, done.

I throw it into the oven and wait about fifteen minutes. I pull it out and ... wtf...

The crust has ballooned at the bottom and it seems to have slid half way into the dish. (Sigh) I try to press it back into place and it sort of stays. I throw it into the oven for another five minutes so it is a little less soggy.

I add the filling (which looks a big bowl of gloop with chicken and veggies- the gloop would be the condensed soup) and toss the upper crust on top of the gloop, cut some slits into the top so air can get through and throw it back into the oven...

It seems to me that there should be some metaphor about life and pastry, so while my combobled chicken pot pie cooks, I'm going to think on that a little and I'll get back to you; along with the results of this very interesting cooking experiment...

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