Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cooling recipes that will make you sweat

I love walking, and I usually do a lot of it in the summer. People in my neighborhood know me from my enormous sun hat. In the past few days, they have seen a lot less of me marching past, trying to remember not to sing along with "Flagpole Sitta," "House of 1000 Corpses," or "Amish Paradise" blasting through my earbuds because I don't want to look any crazier than I already do. Once the temperature is in the upper 80s/ lower 90s, I stay home and sing along in the privacy of my own room. I'm sure the neighborhood is relieved.

Being trapped in the house because of the heat made me think Cooling Dishes for Hot Weather (Melanie de Proft, 1956) would be an appropriate book for the week.

I think my favorite thing about the cover photo is the knowledge that the big platter taking up the entire bottom half of the page does not even represent a recipe in the booklet. It's simply described as "smoked salmon slices with slices of cucumber and tomato." The cover (emptily) promises that summer is a lazy time!

The parfaits initially seem easy too. They are just vanilla and strawberry ice cream layered with mint syrup and whipped cream, but the book does expect readers to make their own ice cream, whipped cream, and syrup, and those facts are more in line with a lot of the recipes within.

At least making ice cream is relatively cool work, which is not the case for all the recipes:

Yes, Chilled Lima Bean Soup is served chilled and all, but it comes with a BIG but. Cooks are supposed to make the lima beans from scratch. That means a minimum of an hour of cooking the beans in a hot and muggy kitchen, and that's not even counting the hour of the hot pre-soaking or the additional time cooking aromatics, simmering the softened beans in consomme after the initial cooking, or trying to force the whole hot mess through a food mill.

All that-- heating up the kitchen and the cook, making the whole place extra muggy-- for bowls full of cold lima baby-food does not deserve the label of a tantalizing cooling dish.

To be fair, some chilled soup recipes are a lot less complicated:
Chilled Water Cress Soup takes only a few minutes of cooking before a nice long chill. Of course, since it's mostly pureed water cress, parsley, and celery leaves in a bouillon base, it's probably going to look like lawn clipping soup. Yippee. I can only hope the sour cream and radishes will help distract from that sad reality...

If you need a sandwich to go with your cold soup, you could always make a target sandwich:

Okay, they only sort of look like targets. Triple-Ring Sandwiches provide more good examples of the "unnecessarily complicated" recipe variety.

Yeah, you could make a cottage-cheese-and-pickle filling, an egg salad filling, and a ground-ham-and-cheese-with-tomato-soup filling, cut a round loaf of pumpernickel bread crosswise, then cover it with concentric rings of the (revolting) fillings you just spent an hour making.

Or you could just throw some cold cuts and sliced bread on the table and yell, "Dig in!"

And now, because nothing cools you down like a picture of a couple in old-timey swimsuits coming out of a beach changing room that is apparently built right in the ocean:

Have a happy Wednesday and stay cool!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Let's be passively-aggressive with peas!

I'm obsessed with fresh sugar snap peas right now. I wish I could tell you some outlandish way I like to eat them so you could secretly make fun of me. (Did you hear that she covers her bellybutton in grape jelly and her nipples in sour cream and rolls snap peas up her body before she eats them?) The truth is that I just eat them the way they are-- plain, raw, and unadorned.

The cooks for today's recipes do not have similarly simple tastes. (They don't call for grape jelly, though, so that's a plus.)

When I saw Souffle Salad with Herbed Green Peas in The Midwestern Junior League Cookbook (ed. Ann Seranne, 1978), I thought it might be pretty good. I expected a lofty cheese, egg, herb, and pea dish, maybe served with a bit of lettuce since it's supposed to be salad.

I clearly did not understand what the concept of "souffle salad" was supposed to suggest. It is not a souffle in the traditional sense, but lemon gelatin mixed with mayo, then whipped into an airy souffle-ish texture and mixed with onion, cucumber, celery, and cheddar cheese. (At least I was right about the cheese!)

And the herbed green peas are not peas tenderly mixed with fresh mint, parsley, and/or savory. They're frozen green peas mixed with French dressing, pickled onions, and dried dill before being dumped on the lemon-veggie-cheddar mold.

This is one of the biggest-ever gaps between what I imagine and what the recipe actually makes.

The concoction in The American Woman Cook Book (ed. Ruth Berolzheimer, 1942) is much more straightforward:

This "attractive new vegetable platter of cauliflower with cream sauce, surrounded by peas in potato cups and carrot strips" is one of those old recipes that looks like it's a lot of work for no apparent reason. You could just serve each veggie from its own separate bowl and save yourself a lot of time, but why do that when you can spend time molding mashed potatoes in teacups, then unmolding them to fill with peas, then arranging them like they are worshiping a creamy cauliflower god with the lazy carrot lackeys? (And wouldn't everyone rather have their mashed potatoes lukewarm, smushed around like Play-Doh, and growing steadily soggier with pea juice?)

There's not really even a recipe for this veggie scene. The closest the book gets is telling how to mold mashed potatoes in teacups, but the writers trust readers to figure out the rest. Putting peas on top of potatoes and cream sauce on top of cauliflower ain't rocket science.

I'm going to finish off with a nice shortcake for "dessert":

Aww! They look like little cream-filled donuts with berries and pecans on top!

Well, that's part right. There are, in fact, pecans. Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers: Vegetables Including Fruits (1966) brings us this passive-aggressive little number (and a little story to illustrate it):

"What's for dinner tonight?" a man asks as he puts down his briefcase and accepts a scotch on the rocks from his wife.

"We're having shortcakes!" she chirps as she heads back into the orange kitchen with aqua accents.

The man smiles, turns on the TV, sits down.

An hour later, at the dining room table: "What exactly is this?"

"I already told you. We're having curried pecan and green pea shortcakes!" 

"You just said shortcakes! I think you left out a few important details when you told me about dinner."

"Yeah? Well, I'm pretty sure you've left out a few important details about all the nights you've had to work late."

And then the only sound is of forks dutifully clinking against plates.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Days of wine and Sucaryl

Ready for some light, summery desserts? I mean really light desserts. I mean light as in, "Yep, these are going to be diet desserts."

The cover of "Low-Calorie Cooking with Sucaryl Sweeteners" (undated, but looks as if it's probably from the late '60s or early '70s) seems to promise that if you make desserts with Sucaryl, you will want to put them in fancy dishes and then abandon them in the forest for the squirrels, chipmunks, and possums to enjoy. You, apparently, will not want to touch that shit no matter how pretty it looks.

As I started to leaf through, a second trend (beyond pretty, low-cal sweets to foist onto raccoons) seemed to emerge.

Dieters could enjoy browned bananas in a sauce of thickened, artificially sweetened wine...

...or grapes in artificially sweetened and gelatinized wine...

...or wine lemonade. This is clearly the cookbook for anyone who has ever wanted to stretch wine with water and some good old sodium cyclamate. Maybe it tasted better if you're a little bit sloshed.

And just in case you're wondering, even the Claret Lemonade is apparently supposed to be sacrificed to the forest gods.

This is all getting me sidetracked wondering how drunk squirrels would act. Would they still be able to find their nuts? (Sorry, couldn't resist a Letterman-style nut joke.)

(Another aside: The only insight I have on this topic of drunk forest creatures is that the father of one of my college roommates made homemade wine as a hobby. One day he strained the skins out of the wine he was making and threw them in the yard. When my roommate got home, her pet ducks were lying in the yard waving their feet in the air. Thus, we learned the answer to the all-important question of what ducks do when they get drunk.) (And don't worry. The ducks did recover!)

Sadly, the recipes are not all alcoholic. When I saw this salad, I thought it might be a wine and vegetable salad:

Alas, it is much more boring:

Gardener's Jellied Salad is just veggies in an ersatz lemon Jell-O. The yellow food coloring must be what makes it look wine-ish. The pepper and tomato next to the mold hint that it is filled with more interesting veggies than cucumbers and radishes, but they're for decorative purposes only. Judging from the picture, this depressing little affair is the one concoction that's appropriate to serve to people on a picnic table in the backyard. I wouldn't have guessed that. There's not even any alcohol to help it go down. Why let the bunnies have all the fun?

Happy Wednesday! I'm off to harass a squirrel for his nuts.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Just the tips

Since my failed lemon meringue pie fiasco, I figured this blog is the first place you look for cooking tips since I clearly have all the answers.

Okay, that's sarcasm, but I wanted some kind of pretext for showing you the adorable page of cooking tips from Coastal Carolina Cooking (Women's Auxiliary to the Ocean View Memorial Hospital, 4th printing, 1963).


These are the happiest foods ever! The dairy products are smiling their creamy faces off while standing hand-in-hand with canned goods. (I was frankly more than a little shocked the various food types seem to be okay with the integration, but then I realized that the cans could hold evaporated or sweetened condensed milk. These South Carolina foodstuffs may not be as open-minded as they initially seem....)

In any case, what kinds of cooking tips can we expect from such happy little foods?

We should "Get acquainted with dried beans + peas." Apparently getting acquainted with them involves having them swim out of a pot of water and crowd into a bean bag. I'm not sure where the beans climbing the ladder are going to go, as the bag looks like it's full already. While the ones on top look pretty happy, check out the little guy on the bottom left. He looks pretty pissed off about being squashed, and all the other beans underneath are certainly getting smooshed. The can of peas saluting and holding a flag on shore has the right idea staying out of that mess. He's not really even all that patriotic. He just knows it's a good cover to stay out of the fray.

Other tips are also surprisingly militaristic:

"Inspect your vegetables!" I mean it! Make them line up at attention. If they have blemishes, decay, or soft spots, make them do push-ups until their arms give out, then make them scrub the fridge with a toothbrush.

Some tips are more ambiguous.

Why is the milk singing? And what does it mean by "If you don't drink it, eat it!"?

My first thought is to let it get so sour that it curdles-- but why would you want to eat it then?

(Okay, I know it's just telling us to use milk in casseroles and desserts if we won't drink a glass of the stuff, but my mind immediately went to curdling....)

I was also not sure what these veggies were up to:

The veggie in the pan (looks like a pickle to me, but it's probably supposed to be a potato?) is screaming because he does not want all his vitamins boiled out, but what is the other one up to? Did she escape from the pan (and if so, what's stopping the other one)? Is she an innocent bystander caught up in the drama of watching the other veggie's vitamins be destroyed? And if so, is she getting help? Running away to avoid the same fate? Running off to beat up the hapless cook and avenge her friend's senseless de-vitamining? This inquiring mind wants to know.

If you really want to make your veggies feel special, the book has advice too:

Glamorize your vegetables! Every carrot and radish wants to feel sexy in a gauzy tutu. (And tutus make good eating. Food and floss in the same dish!)

If these tips aren't enough, I leave you with a drink recipe for a balmy weekend on the eve of summer proper:

The mint, lemon, and ginger mix sounds suitably refreshing. I just picked the recipe because I like the picture of the woman being propelled backward through the air by opening a bottle of ginger ale that is clearly meant to be champagne.... Maybe my last tip of the day is if you're going to go to that much trouble, you might as well get real champagne!

Have a great weekend. I'm off to make some of my carrots do push-ups and dress the rest of them in tutus.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Everything's coming up Eckrich

I'll say so right up front: I'm cheating a little today. "Now You're Cookin'... with Eckrich" is undated, but it sure looks like it's from the '80s and I usually post about things from the '70s or earlier.

I got this baby in a grab bag along with "The He-Man's Cookbook," so I had to check it out, even if I wasn't sure I would use it here. As I paged through, the cat on my lap (black, with 13 toes on his front feet--a pet to match my personality) got increasingly annoyed by my laughter and kept slapping his tail against my stomach, so I knew I had to feature this one after all.  

The premise of this booklet is that readers should work Eckrich cured meats into every meal of the day. For breakfast, maybe start your day with this:

Bologna Quiche Lorraine: because there is no better way to start your day than by pissing all over French cuisine. Of course sliced and diced bologna is a perfectly acceptable substitute for lardons or bacon, and evaporated milk is close enough to nice, silky cream. (At least this still calls for Swiss cheese. I half-expected it to call for American!)

Want a quick lunch? Tacos might fit the bill:

Old Fashion Tacos, that is! What makes them "Old Fashion"? Well, the filling is made from sliced Old Fashion Loaf, mixed with green chilies, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. Part of me wonders if the veggies and dairy (not even any spices!) will be enough to cover up the taste of the loaf. Then I remember how I used to feel half-nauseated just by the smell of that stuff when I worked in a deli and think probably not.

Eckrich is really dedicated to fitting their products into Mexican-style menus. For dinner, they suggest this:

When I read "Sausage Enchiladas," I thought it sounded a little odd, but I could see it with some smoked sausage maybe. Smoke makes just about any savory dish better, so smoky enchiladas might be pretty good.... Then I saw that the sausage in question was Polska Kielbasa! Polish-style enchiladas just don't seem right to me. 

If Eckrich for everyday breakfast, lunch, and dinner isn't enough, the pamphlet also suggests Eckrich should star on the holiday table too:

Festive Ham starts out sounding promising: just good old ham 'n' [cream] cheese. Things get weird when we move on to the holiday theme: top with cubes of red and green gelatin! Dumping a pile of ham and cheese topped with Jell-O cubes on the table should be a good strategy to get people to stop arguing over politics (and instigate whispered conversations about whether it's finally time to put mom in a home). 

Since cured meats are suspected carcinogens anyway, maybe the best way to see this book is not as a self-serving attempt to get people to put Eckrich in everything, but as a sneakily noble attempt to get people to give up on eating this stuff entirely. This booklet is a hero! (Okay, maybe not...)

Happy Cookbook Wednesday! As always, thanks to Louise from Months of Edible Celebrations for hosting.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Some very Weight Watcher-y "desserts"

Wednesday was the great annual Pieathalon, and I was not the only one whose pie did not work out. At all.

The failure that intrigued me the most (besides my own, of course!) was a Weight Watchers recipe. If you haven't read it yet, go ahead and check out the link to the Chocolate "Pie" in the preceding sentence.

That purplish goo full of toast and artificial sweetener made me decide to dedicate this post to a few other Weight Watchers desserts, so here from Weight Watchers International Cookbook (Weight Watchers International, 1977) are a few non-pie desserts. (Or should I say "desserts" with scare quotes?)

Odd flavored gelatin was a Weight Watchers staple, as you might have guessed from the "pie." Similar in spirit is this recipe in the chapter on China:

I love the way the note at the beginning acknowledges this recipe is only "in the Chinese mood, if not in the absolute tradition." You mean Chinese people don't usually end a meal with gelatin mixed with nonfat dry milk, artificial sweetener, and a full tablespoon of almond extract? (Besides being just plain weird, this has to be unpleasantly almondy! I adore almond extract, but a few drops in my morning oatmeal is plenty to flavor a whole bowl. A tablespoon diluted by essentially two cups of skim milk would be overpowering.) The one advantage this has over the pie recipe is that it doesn't have bits of dry bread crumbs floating around in it.

If your dessert simply must have dry bread crumbs in it, there are plenty of options, though. Here's one to represent Mexico (or at least it's "in the Mexican mood"?):

Mexican Carrot Cake delivers carrots, as promised: four full cups, finely grated.In fact, it consists almost entirely of carrots bound with eggs. There's a bit of lemon and vanilla for flavor, margarine so it at least feels kinda decadent, the ubiquitous artificial sweetener, and two slices' worth of bread crumbs so the dieter can try to imagine the scrambled-egg-and-carrot mess has some passing resemblance to a real cake.

The saddest dessert on this roster just might be the one meant to represent the good old U.S.A.:

Banana Nut Brownies clearly came from the same minds that brought us Almond Jelly and Mexican Carrot Cake: eggs, nonfat dry milk, excessive amounts of almond extract, artificial sweetener, and more bread crumbs. I will give the brownies credit for having real banana, but the only nut is the almond extract. Worst of all, the brownie part doesn't get its flavor from chocolate or at least real cocoa powder. Nope. The chocolate comes from chocolate extract! In other words, I can't imagine these brownies tasted like chocolate at all-- just banana scrambled eggs with toast and way too much artificial flavoring....

Happy Saturday! I'm going to celebrate by eating a dessert with actual chocolate (and no toast!) in it, and I suggest you do the same.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Masters of the pre-rehearsed barbecue

Do you like He-Man? No, I don't mean the most powerful man in the universe. It's just a bait-and-switch question so I can introduce the cookbook of the day:

"The He-Man's Cookbook" (Good Reading Rack Service, 1956) was serious about getting real he-men to cook. You can tell the guy on the cover is one such specimen by his wisps of chest hair and tentatively outlined heart-with-an-arrow tattoo.

The introduction on the inside cover is a gem too good to pass up, so here it is in its entirety:

This enlightened cookbook was written for men because "let's face it . . . only a man can be a Chef."

In case you're not clear on the significance of this declaration, it is spelled out: "Cook only on special occasions and only prepare special dishes." The man is not supposed to be the regular cook, just the "chef" who gets to bask in the glory of special occasion cooking.

At least the book recognizes that cooking is a good deal of work. If a man wants his cooking performance to seem effortless, he needs to "do a bit of rehearsing," "run through [the recipe] for the family" beforehand, and lay out the "props" before his performance for guests.

Recipes are also supposed to be "glamorized" with fancy names. For example, potentially dull fried fish should become Rainbows in Bacon:

The dish is so exciting that even the fish on the side of the page appears to be stoked about its new bacon wrap.

Some recipes are more complicated than "Wrap fish in bacon, grill, and serve with lemon juice, oil, and herb sauce." Burgundy Meat Balls require a little too much work to make before an admiring audience, so they were to be made the day ahead and simply reheated at the table for the guests:

There's nothing particularly exciting about these meatballs, composed mostly of meat, crumbs, egg, onion, and cream, and served in a wine sauce. I picked this one because the crumbs can be either the regular bread variety or "finely crushed corn chips." I'm more amused than I can even explain to see a recipe calling for corn chip crumbs and Burgundy wine.

I was surprised by how many recipes meant for manly men were variations of recipes that often popped up in ladies' luncheons. While women might get together to nibble on Monte Cristo sandwiches, men could replace the ham and cheese with hot dog and mustard wrapped in egg-soaked bread for this treat:

Midnight Dogs should even be served "with mugs of milk or cocoa and fresh juicy apples." Those lines could just as easily come from a ladies' luncheon menu.

My favorite may just be the "manly" variation of the legendary sandwich loaf.

You can tell that Sam's Old Devil Samich is for men from a variety of clues:
  1. It's got "Old Devil" right in the name! A lady wouldn't say that.
  2. It's got hamburger in a layer, rather than foofy fillings like crushed pineapple, cottage cheese, and/or tiny canned shrimp.
  3. It's not "iced" with thinned-down cream cheese.
  4. It's a samich, and everybody knows ladies can only eat sandwiches.
Now that you know what it was like to cook in the '50s as a man, usually also for other men, go out and write another recipe that combines corn chips and wine! Or at least have a good samich. Happy Cookbook Wednesday, and as always, thank you to Louise from Months of Edible Celebrations for hosting!

P.S.- Today is also, coincidentally, the day of my post for the annual Pieathalon. If you want to find out more about my cooking skills (or lack thereof), check it out.

In which your humble writer learns that meringue is not the problem

It's time for the third annual Pieathalon! (See my first entry here and my second one here.) I sent Yinzerella of the awesome Dinner is Served blog my recipe and waited anxiously to see what I'd get.

On the big day, I checked my email to find a copy of lemon meringue pie. Susie of Bittersweet Susie emailed to apologize that the recipe she sent was so boring, but I wrote back, "Don't worry! I'm excited to get something that sounds as if it should be edible. I was afraid I'd get something like curried hot dog and fruit cocktail pot pie with whipped cottage cheese topping." Now I'm desperately hoping nobody finds a recipe to meet that description for next year's swap because I don't want to end up having to make it!

The scan of the booklet is beautiful. Here is the cover of the 1923(!) Calumet baking powder pamphlet from which the recipe was taken:

And I assume this is the back cover:

In case you were wondering what baking powder had to do with lemon meringue, it's in the crust:

And here is the recipe for the filling:

Have you ever been super-worried about doing something, and then later realized you were right to be worried but wrong about which elements should cause the worry? Well... that was my experience with this pie.

First, I was concerned about the crust. I have never been great with shaping pie crust. (Plus, this is only a one-crust pie, so I had to halve the crust recipe and guesstimate how much baking powder equals a sixth of a teaspoon!)

Still, I managed to turn this crazy-sad mess of pie dough (that looks as if it may have been designed by Slartibartfast's understudy, for those of you who like geeky references)...

...into a passable crust with a LOT of cut-and-paste work.

Note that I didn't claim it was anything more than passable!

One hurdle down, I got really nervous about making the meringue. The recipe calls for no stabilizer, and it says the sugar has to be folded into the already-whipped egg whites, which are then cooked on top of the already-cooled lemon pudding. I haven't made lemon meringue in years, but none of that sounded right to me. I looked up meringue pies online. Everything I saw said to add some cream of tartar to the egg whites at the beginning and to whip the sugar in a little at a time so it will dissolve into the whites. They also said meringue should be made first rather than last so it can go atop the HOT filling as quickly as possible so the bottom of the meringue will cook.

Thinking I was terribly clever, I assembled my ingredients and got started.

I separated the eggs, then zested and juiced a lemon. (I only had to use one to get the full amount of juice! 1920s lemons must have been smaller.)

I whipped the egg whites, but not as directed, adding a little cream of tartar at the beginning and gradually whipping in the sugar and salt nearer the end. The part I was worried about seemed to go pretty well.

Relieved, I started what I had assumed would be the easy part-- the lemon pudding. Then I realized I was supposed to use a double boiler, but I don't have a double boiler. I rigged one up by putting a small ramekin in the bottom of a large pan, filling the bottom with water, and then resting a smaller pan on top of the ramekin. Here's my jury-rigged double boiler:

I added the sugar, flour, boiling water, and milk. Then I cooked it... and cooked it... and cooked it... The recipe said it was supposed to get thick. The water in the bottom was boiling like crazy. I kept stirring and thinking, "Does it seem like it's finally getting slightly thicker?" Then I'd have to truthfully answer that no, any "thickening" seemed more like wishful thinking. Finally, I looked at the clock and said, "If I'm still standing here stirring this in five minutes, I am going to assume this is as thick as it gets, and I'm going to add the eggs. They're sure to help!"

Five minutes and no appreciable difference later, I tempered the eggs with a bit of the hot mixture and stirred them in. Despite my best efforts, I saw bits of scrambled eggs in the filling, so I knew it must have been good and hot. Then I stirred, and stirred, and stirred... and waited, and waited, and waited. Still-- no appreciable difference other than bits of scrambled eggs floating around in the mixture. I finally gave myself five more minutes... which went by the same way my earlier five had. I wasn't sure how much longer the whipped egg whites would wait in my hot and humid kitchen, and the lemon zest was starting to turn grayish as it waited on the counter.

"Well," I said, with uncharacteristic optimism, "maybe this will get thicker in the oven!" Then I strained out the egg bits, added the butter, lemon juice, and zest, and poured it into the waiting crust. Maybe if I were brighter, I would have tried microwaving the lemon mixture or cooking it directly on the burner, but in the heat(!) of the moment, I was not that thoughtful.

I couldn't really spread the egg whites on top any more than I could have spread them on a cup of water. The meringue was really just floating islands:

I threw the whole mess into the waiting oven and baked it for five minutes longer than the recommendation, hoping that would somehow help.

Then I called in my special guest to help me with the big reveal:

"Wow," said Tina. "This is... uh... really friendly meringue. I like how it all drifted toward me."

"It's not really supposed to drift at all," I said. "And I'm sorry you have to do your guest spot on top of my stove. I just wasn't sure I could take this to a better table for pictures without spilling it."

"I thought maybe it seemed a little jigglier than pies usually are."

"Yeah. That means I really can't even cut you a slice. Do you still want to taste the lemon soup underneath?"

I handed her a little spoonful, and she tasted it and smiled. "This does taste really good. Very zesty and bright."

Afraid she might be a bit too diplomatic, I took a sip of pie and realized she was right.

"Thanks for helping me out, Tina. I'm sorry I screwed up the day you were my special guest."

"Well, there is a way you could make it up to me."

"Really? I feel bad about this. What do you want?"

"You usually have a horror icon help you out with the pie. I'm pretty sure you have somebody on your horror shelf I'd like to meet."

"You're right! I know just what you want."

"Hi there, handsome."

As Tina and her new zombie friend wandered off toward the spice rack, I only regretted that her arms were too short to reach his butt.

If you want to try this pie, it seems as if it should taste great if you're smarter than I am and can find a way to make the lemon pudding thicken up! I'm going to blame this failure on my half-assed double boiler.

Here's a big thank you to Yinzerella of Dinner is Served for putting together our third Pieathalon. Visit all the other Pieathletes: