Of all the talents I have, making pie crust is not one of them. Recently, I posted about my friend Lori who loves to bake and we've been talking about getting together for quite some time now for some lessons, but of course with our busy lives that just didn't happen. During one of our chats in the lunch room Richard happened upon our conversation and commented what a great idea it would be to get together and do that. And then it still didn't happen.
Sadly for us, Richard made the decision to leave our company and Lori decided what better way to say a proper goodbye, but to have a "Pie Off", so she invited myself and Richard over for dinner and a pie. Her building the dinner and us, of course, building the pies. I wished I had remembered to take my camera to get lots of pictures, but luckily Richard had his cell phone which at least captured the finished product.
One of the reasons that Lori and I get along so well is because she is as
anal organized as I am. Upon arrival, she had the entire meal ready to go in the oven while we began the pie lessons. And of course everything was in place, ready for production and lined up on the counters all ready to go. After tying our apron strings, but before cutting in the lard, we popped open a bottle of wine. Lori assured me that was a necessary step in the procedure and I obliged by believing her.
By the time we were both finished with the lesson, we had enough dough to make 12 pies or about 10 dozen tart shells. So we each made a pie that we were going to have with dinner and the rest of the dough we formed into the pie or tart shells to be put in the freezer. Richard was in charge of the lemon meringue and I was in charge of the strawberry rhubarb. Once we had the pies in the oven, we used up the rest of the dough to make the tarts and Lori pulls out this tart press contraption the likes of which I had never seen. She's had it for about 22 years -- and now that I've used it, I can understand why she'd never want to go back to rolling and cutting tart forms again. All we did was place the tart tin in the hole, pop in a ball of dough, cover it with a piece of saran and press. Voila! A perfectly formed tart shell.
Before dinner and during the lessons, we were treated to her 'special' appetizers. And by special I mean some of her famous baking that I blogged about just before Christmas. Delicious as always Lori! She then served a delicious dinner, complete with salad, garlic bread, lasagna and of course...more wine! Then it was time for the dessert to come out of the oven.
Now the really funny part about my pie is how it really turned out in the end because as usual... I couldn't just put on the top shell, I had to fancy it up a bit. So I grabbed Lori's cookie cutters and began cutting out eyes to make a face. And as I was about to put it in the oven Lori said, "Wait, we have to put a slit in it for the steam to escape". ooops. so I grabbed a knife and put the slits at the top of the mouth to create a friendly smile. But when we pulled the pie out of the oven and saw that it overflowed just a little, it gave us a hint of just how delicious this pie was going to be. It couldn't help but lick it's own lips!! Tracey...does this count as one of your 'Face the Days' ??
We all had such a blast, and we are kinda kicking ourselves for not doing this long before. Lesson Learned!
Richard and I had become such great friends and got to know each other so well that I became known as his 'work wife'. Because I always send his real wife the updates to the blog, I know he'll be reading this.... so... Richard - thanks again for being such a great friend. When I went to purchase a card for Richard I decided I was not going to buy him a goodbye card because it wasn't really goodbye. We promised to stay in touch, so I bought him a thank you card instead and I filled it with a list of many thank you's for all the things he has done with and for me over the past 3 years.
It was hard for me to say good bye to Richard and the best way I could describe how I felt is in the picture below.
My friend Lisa at work also knew that today was going to be hard for me to see Richard leave so when she checked in on me I replied back in my email... "this is how I feel" - and I attached the picture of Dorothy saying goodbye to Scarecrow.
Her reply, "Are you saying Richard doesn't have any brains?"
You know you have great friends when they know when to check up on you and when they know to make you laugh. Thanks Lori for the pie lessons (and the flowers last week). Thanks Lisa for checking in on me (and going bowling last night with Richard, Matt and I and laughing with me when fall on my a$$. That's right people, I fell flat on my a$$ in front of 3 teenage boys).
And Richard, I can't thank you enough for your friendship and the many many many times you made me laugh so hard I was glad I wore my depends that day.