Leavin’ Home Behind

Made a custard pie on Wednesday and it was not bad. This time around I made it with a cookie crust and sprinkled it with nutmeg, and my, was it ever just right. I’ve been craving lighter foods these days, not the heavy cakes and pie and gravies of winter. Light foods, with lemon and pistachios and creams. Sangria, too, and berries. You know.

Been craving a vacation as well, somewhere with a fine landscape and some little shops in a little town, and new things to try and buy. Mr. S isn’t as big a fan of travel; he’s more about the “Staycation” they call it. You know, where you hop in the car a few days in a row and do something local and fun. County fairs and trying out a new restaurant and a paddleboat ride down the river and such. I’m all for that, too, but for me there’s something refreshing about boarding a plane and leavin’ home behind.

We’ve been having our summer plans conversation this week, and we’ve got visits to the cabin on the calendar, along with a family reunion, a wedding and a fishing trip up on Lake Superior.
There are a few musical events on there as well, and when I gently suggested perhaps we might visit Ireland again, or Scotland, or take a train across Canada, Mr. S did not say no. He said, “Perhaps.” He says that often in response to my suggestions, and it opens up a world of possibility. It means I have time to convince him should I choose to, and I do, and I will, if things go right.

I’ve never been a hot weather fan when it comes to taking a trip. I’m all about cooler places where there’s hiking and a mug of coffee waiting and museums and art and amazing new food to eat. So I’ll work on that, and perhaps he will agree to a trip to Alaska, even. We could fish there, and wander about and drive through the Chugach Mountains where I went with my father not long ago. Send home some fish, too, so we might feast on salmon and halibut awhile.

In the meantime, I plan to get a fishing license, just in case. And some sunscreen. And a straw hat. I lost my hat somewhere along the way, and hope someone found it and is wearing it as I write. Someone who likes adventure, and wandering gardens, and rides in an old rowboat. Someone who gets lost now and then, but doesn’t get rattled, and might find useful an old straw hat when searching for the road back home.

This crust is a nice companion to any number of pie fillings, especially cream pies or those with fruit. Try a sprinkle of nutmeg in the crust to make it a bit of an adventure.

Sugar Cookie Pie Crust

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Beat together the butter, sugar and salt until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the egg. Mix until the egg is fully incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl again and add the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, mixing after each addition until everything just comes together. Form the dough into a large ball, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Press the dough into a 9-inch pie plate, making sure to press it evenly so it’s 1/4-inch thick all the way around and up the side. Prick the bottom and side with a fork and chill, unwrapped, in the freezer until it is frozen through, at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the middle position. Take the crust directly from the freezer, line it with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights. Bake until the side is golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the weights and liner and bake an additional 5 minutes. Let cool before making the filling.



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