Bits of these days…

May happened so fast, is it true we almost have made it through half this year already? It surely doesn’t feel possible. May has brought many hot days. I feel like I should embrace them, but instead I still detest too much sun. 
Our little neighborhood here hosts an annul parade. Exactly one year ago Sunday, the pie-truck opened during the festivities of this yearly event.
This year we’re far more experienced and no longer the newbies on the block. The pie-truck has had a good year. Winter was harsh, so harsh I often began to think we were nutty dimwits for opening the whole pie deal, but as weather warms and rain becomes an occasional treat, the pie patrons are returning. As well as the resurgence of orders for salad… 

Lazy afternoon naps are something I cherish as often as possible, especially since 
my schedule has returned to morning til night; it’s all pie, all the live long day. 
Fittingly I must sing; in the tune of I’ve been working on the rail road:
I’ve been working in a pie truck
All the live long day

I’ve been working in a pie truck
Just to pass the time away ay-ay-ay

Can’t your hear the timer blaring
Biscuits out to cool

Now the customers awaiting
There’s still more dough to roll

Paiku won’t you roll
Paiku won’t you roll
Paiku won’t you roll the dough ho-ho-ho
Paiku won’t you roll
Paiku won’t you roll
Paiku won’t you roll the dough

Someone’s in the kitchen at Paiku
Someone’s in the kitchen I know oh-oh-oh
Someones in the kitchen at Paiku
Rollin’ out the ol’ pie dough

And singing

Fee-fi-roll out the dough
Fee-fi-filly-i-roll that dough-ho
Fee-fi-filly-i-oh
Rollin’ out the old pie dough
Other bits of non pie life:

                                                   I hope everyone had a tremendous Mother’s Day!
      
                                                                          All my best and many cheers ~
                                                                                                Marica

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

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

Cranberry Sauce with Brandy and Marmalade

Quite tart, but super tasty, this is the cranberry sauce I made for tonight’s feast.
Combine in a pot and simmer over medium heat until
cranberries are soft (about 10-12 minutes).

24 oz fresh cranberries washed and picked over
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup marmalade
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Hope you all are having a wonderful, restful Thursday!!!
                                                           Marica

Paiku, living and breathing…

Scrambling the day before opening, I made our banner out of “NO FISHING” signs and bailing wire…
 The first day in the kitchen was something I already can’t exactly remember. The sensation is still recall-able, but there isn’t exact words to describe it. Adjectives could include: Stressful, hurried, excited, unnerving, stomach upside-down-ing, and I’m not sure what I’m doing… 
Three weeks later, I would say my handle on the business of pies being cooked in trucks, is much more comfortable and predictable… I now know the biscuits cool not on the cookie sheet, but are moved to a pie plate, and then eventually into a tub with a red lid. This all happens on the shelf above the stove. Hot pies also cool there. These are good things to figure out. Useful recurrences that are making my day more logical… 
 The sublime truck is a tight ship. We make EVERYTHING on board. EVERYTHING. If you didn’t notice the all caps the first time. 
 I lug groceries almost every morning. Actually, I don’t know why I say almost, I will rephrase: I lug groceries every morning. I shoot through the store at a safe version of top speed piling ridiculous amounts of butter, flour and lettuce into the cart. I always forget something, but mostly remember everything. There has yet to have been a chance to create detailed inventory lists. Image how convenient life will be at that point. 
 The dough is now second nature. It still makes as much mess as when we first opened, but at least now I know the handful of ingredients backwards and forwards…
 Each batch becomes four disks which creates two complete pies…
Oh yes, pies… 
 Sometimes I almost forget… We have a pie baking company!
 We have food we are creating by hand, to serve to total and complete strangers, in return for their hard earned money. 
 Rather presumptuous and alarming, and yet simultaneously it is most logical and pleasant. 
                                                                       My Best to Everyone~
                                                                                          Marica

A peek at what’s been happening…

Haven’t had a whole lot of time lately, but wanted to post a few pictures of what craziness is going on in this neck of the woods…
Hope everyone is well, and I’ll have a chance to write soon.
                                          Cheers ~ 
                                                         Marica

Feaster…

Well, also know as Easter…
A reason to bake carrot cake and tons of pies…
And —oooo— more things that are tasty and delicious and decadent and not so healthy…
 But hey…
That’s what Feaster is all about!
bluberry pie, vegan blueberry pie, vegan, sweets

                                                                            Cheers ~ Marica

Lately…

There has been…
 Biscuits with duck gravy…  made three times… trying to find perfection…
duck gravy, biscuits and gravy, heavy breakfast foods, awesome breakfast foods
 Upside-down apple pie… Meaning I made pie crumbs, sautéed apples and dumped 
them on a bowl of vanilla ice cream… Perfection there!
apple pie up-side down, apple desserts
 Tomato soup from the Silver Palate cookbook…
tomato soup, cream of tomato soup, silver palate cookbook, tomato
 Apple blossoms…
apple blossoms, spring in portland, spring blossoms
 And my new favorite breakfast. Baked eggs, arugula and a sliver of left over salmon…
salmon, breakfast, gluten-free breakfast ideas, healthy breakfast, baked eggs
               Hope everyone is well!
                                        ~ Marica

Turkey and walnut meatballs recipe …

These meatballs came out really nicely!! I usually prefer how beef meatballs taste, 
but these are rounded, tasty and entirely satisfying!
gluten-free, meatballs, turkey meatball recipe, light meatball recipe, healthy meatball options, dinner recipe, portland blogs
Turkey Walnut Meatballs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl mix:
1 small onion diced
1 clove garlic minced
1 lb ground turkey 
1/2 cup walnuts (pulse in a food processor until they become granules)
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Dash of some sort of Italian seasoning… dried oregano, parsley, basil…
Salt and black pepper

Form into 1 + 1/2 inch balls and place in a large heated pan with olive oil and a dash of tomato sauce. I usually make my sauce in a separate pot, then put about 1/2 a cup in with the meatballs. This way the meatballs stay tidy and the sauce doesn’t get a super meaty flavor. That’s the way I prefer it. Having grown up vegetarian, I am weird about random meat related things. Cook at medium heat and flip when they look ready. Once the meat balls are close to done, place in a baking dish and bake at 375 degrees until the meatballs begin to have a nice light brownness, about 10-15 minutes. 
                                                                  Cheers ~ Marica