I’ve spent the last couple of weeks whinging about my lack of vacation, paid or otherwise. I was obsessed about getting a few days off to lounge about the house and garden and recharge my batteries. But since I don’t get time off, I was all indignant and huffy – the epitome of Grouchy McGrouchy-Pants.
Fast-forward to this morning, when I realized I was completely caught up at work. Completely. Nothing to do at all besides look busy while I played Candy Crush in a minimized window every time the boss ducked out of the room (this isn’t really what I do at work, bosses. I’m kidding, yep…totally kidding). So I explain my situation to my boss, who tells me to go home and have a good weekend.
Me? Go home?
Hooray! Sound the trumpets! Alert the media! Oh, dear – what will I do with all my time? WHAT? I must do ALL THE THINGS.
So I went to Safeway and did some grocery shopping, exploded the hell outta some Candy Crush games (lost them all BTW), went to Starbucks for a frosty beverage, then came home and started making sangria (which I’ve been craving, for some odd reason). *ahem* Looking at the list of things, it seems a lot less impressive than it was in my head. Just saying. OH BUT WAIT – I FORGOT! I made a huckleberry pie!
Darling husband had spatula’ed the youngest sprog out of the house yesterday, to venture up the slopes of Mt. Hood and pick the elusive wild huckleberry. They brought home a couple of quarts, enough for one pie and a supply for huckleberry pancakes for the next year. Here they are, with one raspberry for good luck:
Next step, crie-pust, or pie-crust. I make mine using the old Joy of Cooking recipe, and I use all butter. Half chilled, and half room temp. I have no idea if it’s better than any other crie-pust, but it’s mine.
One of the challenging things about huckleberries is that you have no idea about sweetness. They can be dark and sweet, or dark and sour. You’re kinda spitballing with the amount of sugar you use. I just dumped in sugar and sprinkled in a little flour to thicken, then dotted with butter before the top crust. Why? I dunno. It’s what you do. (Actually, I believe the butter and the flour act as a roux and thicken the berries. )
All ready for baking. Okay, almost ready for baking. It needs a few vent holes cut in the top crust so I don’t have a berry-splosion in my oven. Which would be so messy and horrid I would have to replace my oven. No cleaning product in the world will remove burned-on sticky berries from metal. How do I know? Oh, I KNOW.
There we are. All done. It might be a little sour, but we’ll eat it, dammit. (I dunno – the pressure of making a good pie with huckleberries is really stressful. They’re hard to pick and have about a week-long season, so if you muck it up… well, let’s just say ‘yikes’. Maybe ‘double-yikes’. Huckleberry pies are either sublime or tolerable, and I don’t want this one to be the latter. But we’ll get what we get, and hopefully it’ll be at least palatable. Did you know this is the longest aside ever in a blog? I’m expecting a badge from Guinness to certify it soon. Yep. Any day now.)
My afternoon off turned out well, and I still have three whole days to do other things. Tomorrow? Going to see ‘The World’s End’ with my darling.
What’s up for you? Leave me a comment and I’ll reward one of you with a PRIZE! (It might rhyme with Schmarbucks Schmug. Maybe.)
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