Me-oh-my, I love pie

I needed to make a dessert for church this evening, and I didn’t want to go back out to the grocery store. So the hunt was on for a recipe that I had all of the ingredients to make. I found a coconut pie recipe on the back of a bag of Baker’s coconut and thought I had all of the necessaries. “Thought” being the operative word there. I didn’t actually have any “all-purpose baking mix,” and I only had three eggs. I know I have a recipe somewhere for a do-it-yourself Bisquik, but I also had a box of Krusteaz buttermilk pancake mix sitting on the shelf.
This is one of the easiest pies I’ve ever made (it’s made in a blender. a blender!), and it was gone by the end of the evening. Three cheers for three-egg pancake pie!

Amazing Coconut Pie
2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose baking mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups Baker’s Angel Flake coconut

Place milk, sugar, baking mix, eggs, butter and vanilla in blender container; cover. Blend on low speed 3 minutes. Pour into greased 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with coconut.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center of pie is set and top is golden brown. Serve warm or cool on a wire rack. Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

Dinner & a movie

We had B and Rachel over for dinner last night and watched “Serenity” and had dinner.

The movie was good. The dialogue seemed a little forced in places, but overall it was an enjoyable movie. We might have to borrow B and Rachel’s “Firefly” DVDs sometime.

And again with the Cook’s Illustrated recipes …

The meatloaf itself was great, but glaze with the recipe wasn’t so hot. The cider vinegar didn’t blend at all. I’m wondering if maybe our vinegar had gone bad. Does vinegar go bad? I thought that was the nature of the stuff. Anyway, I’ll be using my own mix next time.

The magazine suggested crafting a special baking dish as follows:

Fold heavy-duty aluminum foil to form a 10 by 6-inch rectangle. Center the foil on a metal cooling rack and place the rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Poke holes in the foil with a skewer (about half an inch apart). Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Meat Loaf
3 ounces Monterey Jack cheese , grated on small holes of box grater (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion , chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1 medium rib celery , chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (powdered)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2/3 cup crushed saltine crackers
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground beef chuck

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread cheese on plate and place in freezer until ready to use.

Heat butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until foaming; add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Reduce heat to low and add tomato juice. Cook, stirring to scrape up browned bits from pan, until thickened, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to small bowl and set aside to cool.

Whisk broth and eggs in large bowl until combined. Sprinkle gelatin over liquid and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, mustard, saltines, parsley, salt, pepper, and onion mixture. Crumble frozen cheese into coarse powder and sprinkle over mixture. Add ground beef; mix gently with hands until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Transfer meat to foil rectangle and shape into 10-by-6-inch oval about 2 inches high. Smooth top and edges of meat loaf with moistened spatula. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf reads 135 to 140 degrees, 55 to 65 minutes. Remove meat loaf from oven and turn on broiler.

While meat loaf cooks, prepare glaze. Spread half of glaze evenly over cooked meat loaf with rubber spatula; place under broiler and cook until glaze bubbles and begins to brown at edges, about 5 minutes. Remove meat loaf from oven and spread evenly with remaining glaze; place back under broiler and cook until glaze is again bubbling and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes more. Let meat loaf cool about 20 minutes before slicing.

"Family Album"

American Life in Poetry: Column 041
By Ted Kooser
U.S. Poet Laureate

Those photos in family albums, what do they show us about the lives of people, and what don’t they tell? What are they holding back? Here Diane Thiel, who teaches in New Mexico, peers into one of those pictures.

Family Album

I like old photographs of relatives
in black and white, their faces set like stone.
They knew this was serious business.
My favorite album is the one that’s filled
with people none of us can even name.

I find the recent ones more difficult.
I wonder, now, if anyone remembers
how fiercely I refused even to stand
beside him for this picture — how I shrank
back from his hand and found the other side.

Forever now, for future family,
we will be framed like this, although no one
will wonder at the way we are arranged.
No one will ever wonder, since we’ll be
forever smiling there — our mouths all teeth.

Reprinted from “Echolocations,” Story Line Press, 2000, by permission of the author. Copyright (c) 2000 by Diane Thiel, whose most recent book is “Resistance Fantasies,” Story Line Press, 2004. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.