31 December 2010

Pies Thus Far

I've now been out of school for nearly a month, and my pie baking skills have come a long way. I've made apple pies and blueberry, pecan and pumpkin, chocolate chip cookie and meringue, double crust and single, and many things in between. Almost every night for the past three weeks I have baked pies, and they have all been delicious (if I do say so myself!). Favourites thus far according to my faithful tasters have been the butterscotch pecan pie, the chocolate chip cookies pie, and the blueberry maple pie with cornmeal crust! Apple pies are also generally always a hit. I have pictures of most of my creations, but, unfortunately, none of them are currently on my computer. So, they will have to wait to be posted until I can reclaim them from the various cameras and hard-drives on which they are currently being stored.

As my break comes to an end, I still have five pies left to bake before I return to school, and after that I will be limited to weekend pies until the end of the term (attempting to bake a pie in my dorm's small communal kitchen simply does not sound like an especially enjoyable experience!). So, since I have been so inconsistent in recording my pie adventures up to this point ( a fact which I attribute largely to the amount of time I have spent crafting Christmas and birthday gifts for my family over the break), I will try to more faithfully record these remaining few. No promises though!

Now, I must away to create tonight's masterpiece: Pecan-Caramel Apple Pie (and a Rum Cake!). Let the New Year's festivities begin! :)

New Year's Resolutions: 2011 Edition

Once again, it's New Year's Eve and time to make New Year's resolutions!
To be perfectly honest, I don't even remember what mine were last year... But I'm fairly certain that I failed in keeping them! Funny, isn't it, how that always happens?
Well, this year I'm writing them down. Right here. On the internet. For everyone to see. Will that help me keep them? Probably not... But maybe!
So, what are my resolutions this year? I think I shall come up with eleven in honor of the year 2011. And, with that, here it goes:

Firstly, I plan to graduate college. Again. That one should be decently easy to accomplish. Only one semester to go!

Secondly, I will continue my pie-baking endeavors until I have reached a far greater mastery of the art of the pie! (I have, however, made significant progress along those lines this month. I will try to make a post about that later today!)

Thirdly, I will learn to knit. Currently I am decently proficient at crocheting and enjoy making things for others that brings smiles to the faces of those I love. However, I'm not much good at knitting and would very much like to improve my skills in that area.

Fourthly, every year I read many books but have forgotten what most of them were by the time the year is complete. This year, I would like to keep a list of the books I read and at least short reviews of them. That way in the years to come I'll know whether I ought to recommend and/or reread them or not!

Fifthly, I want to get my passport and travel out of the country. I've never left the United States except for a couple day trips to Canada when we lived up there, and I'd like to see something a little more outside of my everyday world.

Sixthly, I want to go on a mission trip. This may or may not go along with resolution seven since I know many mission trips are within the country, but I have never been on one domestic or international and would dearly love to go.

Seventhly (not a word, I know, but it provides nice parallelism), I think I'd like to try my hand at the whole NaNoWriMo next year. My sister has now participated in it two years in a row, and each time I've been inspired to try it for myself. I'm not normally much of a fiction writer. I prefer to write my research papers and article reviews and such, but I'd like to try at least once. So, since this year I won't be in school, and, therefore, (in theory) not quite as busy, I think I shall see what I can do!

Eighthly, my piano has been a bit out of use this past year. In the coming year, I will start practicing it again and work on regaining my proficiency. I would like to have at least four challenging songs memorized by the end of 2011 (I'm going with a low number... Let's not be too ambitious!).

Ninthly, I plan to read through the whole Bible at least once. It's been awhile since I've done that, and there are parts which I simply am not so familiar with any more. I want to be familiar with them and to take this opportunity to learn more about the God I love and serve and to draw nearer to Him than I have ever been before.

Tenthly, I plan to memorize a book of the Bible. Which one? I haven't decided yet, but I'm thinking probably 1 Peter. I'd also like to memorize Psalm 119. And maybe Ecclesiastes? There are just so many excellent choices!

Eleventhly, and finally, I plan to figure out to next step in my life. More school? Teacher certification? A job? Or something else entirely? I'm coming to a new chapter in my life now, and I plan to take this next year to spend some much needed time in prayer and consideration of the next step God has for me. It's both exciting and terrifying, but I know that He has plans for my life, and I can't wait to find out what those might be!

So, this year will be a year of many things: of learning new skills and polishing old ones, of new experiences on multiple fronts, and of focusing on growing my relationship with God and discovering the next step He has in store for me. I'm thinking it will most certainly be an adventure worth writing about!

17 December 2010

Pies... And A New Title

A book I picked up at the library recently had the line: “After awhile you’d start expecting apple pie instead of articles” as a female professor’s argument to a colleague on why she refused to marry him. My question is, why not both? Why can’t I make stellar apple pies and write stunningly insightful articles? I think I can. And will.
With this inspiration I’m revamping my blog. Again. Ever since school let out for Christmas break a last week I have made it my mission to master the art of pie baking. Until now I had never made one before. However, as of today, I have made three and am the proud possessor of three different cookbooks on them. I have made it my early New Year’s resolution to master this art, baking a minimum of one pie a week for the next year and recording these attempts: both successes and failures, on this blog. Will there be other things to write along the way? Probably. My life does consist of a bit more than baking pies, and some of that may seep on at times. Still, for a time at least this blog will probably be mostly about pies, baking them, and possibly the thoughts they inspire. Enjoy!