I am a woman obsessed. About two weeks ago we started to spot strawberries making their first appearance at the farmer’s market. But the price was outrageous! Last weekend I bought some more rhubarb, but wasn’t able to make time for the pie. This past Saturday I saw that the strawberries were out in full force and the price had dropped a bit. We picked up two cartons and I stashed them, still in their plastic bag, in the fridge.
Today I finally sat down and made the dough. I learned my lesson (at least partially) from the time and weighed the flour this time. The difference was immediate. I only pulsed for 15 seconds, saw the “cottage cheese” dough stage, and when I finally poured the vodka/water mixture in – there was no pooling of liquid on the bottom of the bowl and the dough wasn’t slick. Instead it was a bit sticky. I’m not sure what sort of rubber spatulas other people use to fold the liquid in, but after a few turns I gave up and did it with my hands. The only issue with the dough was that we still don’t have any saran wrap so I was peeling wax paper off the dough at the end. I might have to put saran wrap on the wedding registry at this point. Or maybe Amazon will let me sign up for automatic refills?
I’m finding that the process of making the pie is really enjoyable. There is something about tasks that are very clear with a beginning and an end that I cannot get enough of. A few years ago I had a great opportunity to work for a horseback riding trainer (dressage) and was able to accompany her down to West Palm Beach for the winter. Aside from the amazing experience, one of the things that really stuck with me is the meditative quality to running a barn. When I say running, of course, I mean that I was just managing the daily activities (cleaning the stalls, washing buckets, sweeping, etc) in addition to my grooming duties. The sweeping was one of the most satisfying parts of the day. To start at one end of the barn and make it to the end – and then to see the clean aisle – provided time to think and restore myself mentally before the next activity. Even our client that was with us sometimes grabbed a rake and raked the grooming and entrance area (it was a sand area), claiming that she liked the “meditation garden” aspect of it. I have a feeling that the meditative quality of the pie will make this a summer of pies. A very delicious summer.