A Holiday Tea Party… and savory butter recipe

A few weeks ago I asked my eleven-year-old if she wanted to have a tea party with her friends and their moms. I love tea parties, especially preparing them. It made me miss my friends from far away back home, because it reminded me of so many an afternoon we had spent together. There was a lot of cleaning to do, the kids are just getting over colds and the house always needs a good scrub come Monday. Luckily I had spent some time Sunday evening reorganizing bits of my house, and the swoop to get tea-party-worthy-clean wasn’t too bad…
We did the classic gingerbread cookie bit…
 We did all the cookies beforehand…
making gingerbread cookies cookies, gingerbread dough, christmas
 So as not to have a crazy kitchen…
making gingerbread cookies cookies, gingerbread dough, christmas
 “Too many cooks in the kitchen can spoil the…
 FLOOR!”
making gingerbread cookies cookies, gingerbread dough, christmas
 But cookies are christmasy and fun to decorate…
 On Sunday while I was at the truck, I baked our desserts…
Apple Custard Pie with a gingerbread crust…
  (This link is to a different recipe, I thought it was the same one, but I guess I have two) 
I brought home leftover biscuits and made the most tantalizing savory butter to spread on them…
The very rough recipe is:
Rough Savory Butter
Please use your tongue as your guide, if at some point I get an exact recipe I will update this.
In a bowl combine:
1 stick butter room temperature
1/2 or more teaspoon summer savory
1/2 or more teaspoon tarragon
1/2 or more teaspoon onion powder
1/2 or more teaspoon sage
1/2 or more teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon toasted ground cumin
1 pinch nutmeg
zest from one lemon
Whisk until evenly distributed. Taste and adjust. 
We set out oranges and cloves to make hanging orbs of heavenly aroma. 
I remember doing this with my mom when I was very little…
 The cloves always hurt so much to push in…
 All in all it was lovely and very sweet. A very nice bunch of girls and their mamas…savory butter
                                                       All my best ~
                                                                    Marica

Holidays… Pie Days…

It’s happening fast. December has nearly doubled its speed. 
Make way for Christmas, make way for New Years, hold onto your hat! Here we go…
  
 
                                                                     Cheers ~ 
                                                                                   Marica

Dark Winter Days…

Days getting dark so early, holiday things beginning to happen. These pictures are from a friends Christmas party. Her house is a project, I am so excited she is going to make it beautiful!!! But for now it has the most incredible rustic feel. I love it!

                                                  Cheers ~ 
                                                              Marica

Pie Truck Post

I feel like I have very little time to take pictures right now. My days are soooo busy and filled to the brim with children, pies, house cleaning, and all the other little tidbits of things that have to be done. Gone are the days of toddlers and the four meals that happened before the sun even reached it’s peak in the sky. I miss that slower pace. I miss it a lot. At the same time my current adventures are exciting. I am serving the world up pie. Real, handmade, scratch-made, flour-all-over-me-made pies, every week. There is surely monotony, but there is also that burst of life that can happen when I make a connection with a customer. There are the mornings where all that takes me through is, strong brewed chai, a dabble of music and the revelation that I AM MAKING PIE for complete strangers. This is my art, in the form of the word meaning expression, and I better make use of it while I choose to indulge in such indulgences. 
Like with anything, working out of a truck has its ups and downs. It is a very personal, very connected feeling situation. I see the weather—the windshield and other windows of the truck gift me the sensation of being part of each day as its shifts in and out of clouds, sun, rain, or the rare snowflake that will certainly make me giddy as a child. I am in conversation with each and every customer. They see me wash my hands and attend to their meal, from start to finish. Not so much the cooking, I’m in the truck, and they usually wander off to sit down, but as in the way you are a friend to a barista; they remember your drink and make it themselves. I am my own boss. I hesitate to use that word, it is so ugly and unbecoming of what the meaning of that is. I have the weight of making sure I cross my Ts and put tails on my Qs. I often am ready to turn off the propane-powered ovens, lock the door and leave the mess for another day. But I don’t. But I do dream of it, sometimes. 

 I taste food, constantly. I actually realized something the other day—I recommend you give it a whirl—I realized that if you stop to taste food it tastes more. I am often beside myself with how amazing and unbelievably out of this world a simple thing like a mushroom sauteed in butter can be. What I noticed was, even if you eat something less than incredible, if you stop and let your tongue fully communicate to your brain before you swallow it down, it is remarkably more tasty. I tend to be a scarfer. I can eat a burrito faster than my stomach will enjoy, only near the end when I am already quite full do I slow down enough to truly taste. I am planning to adjust my tendencies. 

And I like how magical people find pie. I like touching the piece of a person that goes straight to their, for lack of a better word, “inner child”—the part of us that gets excited by windstorms and soft about Christmas lights. So often pie sounds good, but when it is delivered, it’s a lukewarm, over-sweet, rancid butter lingering disappointment. I love knowing that what I set before these people is the right amount sweet, freshly baked with real butter, and the kind of care I would want someone else to put into my food. Even our sweet pecan pie, though sweet, makes the mark, at least in my opinion. 
 
I wanted a place to serve food from. The goal was good, real food—kind you read about in storybooks—at a price where it isn’t only available to the aloof, fortunate eaters. That would make my stomach turn. It is an almost impossible balance, but so far we are hanging on. 
 
Well, long winded and pie oriented, I better get to bed. Tomorrow is Monday, lovely, lovely Monday. 


                                              Hope you all have a good night!

                                                                                         Marica

Oh Sweet Monday, and a giveaway…

Good morning lovely Monday world. It is my day off, the pie truck is closed and I have the whole day to do as I wish.  I am learning that on these days away from the truck I tend to have such high hopes for getting things done that I often feel frustrated come evening. It is not that I want to do ten million errands, it is that I want to work on so many projects that there is no way to fit them all in. How do I choose where to start? I am getting better at this weekly pattern—at least I see it, and am not so crushed at my lack of ability to create it all.  But there is still that rise and fall every week…

This is where my dilemma in loyalty gets split. Pies or books?? Clean house or take a nap. I used to hear people say if you want to do something well you have to give it a hundred percent. I always want to so many things all the way, I couldn’t settle for just one. Years ago I read Brian Eno’s biography and was forever inspired. He was a musician of course, a producer of some of the most amazing bands, a painter, involved in politics and he had children when he was young. This is the stuff I want to hear—you can do it all! Or at least he could…
As the holidays are nearing, I am excited to offer a giveaway of my first published 
children’s book Oh My Sweet Baby 
chidren's book, book for babies, indie art for children
chidren's book, book for babies, indie art for children
chidren's book, book for babies, indie art for children
 Please leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing. If you post this 
giveaway elsewhere, state the link and you will be entered twice.
Drawing will happen December 16th.
                                                                         Cheers ~
                                                                                    Marica

Thanksgiving…

Was a slow meandering day…
I started cooking early but we didn’t plan on eating til late.
 I remember a few years ago realizing we much prefer to have our feast at dinner time. 
Otherwise our day becomes awash with over stuffed stomachs and nothing 
really to work toward except bedtime. 
I also found there is nothing stressful when you have a whole day to cook, bake and simmer. 
I can’t believe it’s December 1st. Where did this year go???? 
Does anyone else feel like that?
                                                                 Cheers
                                                                             ~ Marica