Pie Crust Protector vs. Pie Shields


Christmas dinner was fantastic. Mom’s “new” technique of cooking the turkey outside of the oven in a giant slow cooker creates the most moist and amazingly good meat ever. We do put it into the oven as soon as the thingy pops out telling us it’s ready inside.
While its skin is browning we pop in some dinner rolls and really work the heck out of that conventional oven.
This holiday season, between Thanksgiving and Christmas pie baking I helped mom to try and keep those crusts from burning. As you probably know just like we do, you’re supposed to cover them with foil.
Well, if you’ve attempted this feat of magic, you know how tough it can be. I thought I’d be slick this year and break tooth picks in half and joust the overlapping pieces of foil into the edge of the crust.
And to be fair, that actually worked rather well. Except for one thing. I discovered, via some online research that I wasn’t supposed to press the foil down on the crusts. Well, it does make a difference.
So, I thought I’d invent the Pie Crust Protector. Of course, as great as this idea is, someone’s already done it. Pie Shields they’re known as. Oh well.
But as you can see by the embedded Amazon link above, they are readily available and rather inexpensive. I’m ordering 2 of them as soon as I’m done with this post. Having them might just make me want to delve deeper into baking homemade pies.
Which reminds me, I need to start posting up about my bread machine adventures. Let me tell you a little sneak peak: I am a damned good (bread machine) baker! More on that soon!

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Where Were You During My Ratatouille and Sirloin Experience?

Top Sirloin and Ratatouille
I decided I needed to use the makings I had bought for ratatouille, else risk losing perfectly good vegetables to the compost heap. Are you like me that way? Just despise allowing your laziness to cost you? Money. Time? Effectiveness? Yeah, I dislike it as well.
So, I made sure I had the time (i.e., all my tasks were done and submitted properly) and simply spent the afternoon in the kitchen. I’ve been making ratatouille for about 6 months now. Guessing at least a dozen times. Really!
Why so much, you ask? Mainly because I like experimenting with recipes I enjoy. Tweaking ingredients, methods, flavor profiles. Starting with the same recipe that Julia Child used on her television show, my first attempt was hatched. I enjoyed it well enough to make it again (from the same recipe) and liked it again, even more.
Then I went online searching for other recipes, finding about a gazillion, of course! There’s really a lot of different philosophies when it comes to making this pleasant peasant dish. I even found and tried a couple of times the biyaldi recipe that was the basis of the dish in the movie “[asin=B000VBJEEG]Ratatouille[/asin]”. I especially liked the addition of yellow squash in that one.
Anyway, the meal was a great thick cut Top Sirloin broiled to a juicy rare (but fully safe!) and the ratatouille served over fluffy white rice. I must admit that Mom and I were very pleased! You would have been too. Where were you? Next time! 😉

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