Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Conquering the pastry demon

All my life I have been unable to make pastry. I have ridiculously warm hands so it only takes a minute amount of handling before the dough becomes tough. I also tend to put too little water in as I'm sure it will get sticky so it doesn't roll well. For some reason (completely unknown to me) I see making a good savory pie as the pinnacle of the housewife’s art. Now I am by no means a housewife. However in our steps towards a simpler, more sustainable, less impacting life, myself and Spadger seem to have fallen into quite traditional roles of me in the house and him outside.
Out of the 2 of us he is by far the better savory cook and I am the mistress of puddings. However I am learning more dishes and have finally been able to throw the recipe book away (figuratively at least) and experiment. I’d still rather follow a recipe the first few times but I am getting better at adapting them. So to be able to make pie and quiche and other pastry delights is a big deal to me.
Last night I decided to have another go at quiche. At the same time I was trying to bake bread, prepare to take a friends rabbit back to her, planning soup and cake and sauce AND wishing to get on with a quilt I am making. Trying to think about that many things at once would be hard enough at any time but doing so whilst tackling the pastry demon was probably my first mistake. Needless to say the pastry didn’t work.
I followed the recipe to the letter and it still didn’t work. Cue much frustration, a bit of shouting and me being millimeters away from never attempting to make pastry again. Darling Spadger got me in the car to take the rabbit back, put up with the pet lip and frown , told me everything would be ok (even when I realized in my panic I’d not put the oil in the bread) and said he could wait for his tea as long as it took to get it right (pretty much). So we got home, I put on my apron and I started again. I threw a bit more water in the dough and rolled it straight from mixing rather than letting it stand. 40 minutes later we sat down to a beautiful leek, tomato and bacon quiche.
Pastry demon – 1 / Me - 1 Not a bad result.

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