I'm Making Pies

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I am indeed making pies for the first time in memory, but the experience is not so wistful as the one in Patty Griffin's pretty song. As I mentioned last time, St. Paul's AME Church across the street served sweet potato pie at their fish fry last week, giving me the inspiration. For some reason this pie is viewed by some as the shabby cousin of pumpkin. If I ever felt that way, I now disagree. I'm using a family recipe for the filling, but I did a little research as well, and was surprised to discover that virtually every recipe I found called for lemon extract. I never think of sweet potato pie as lemony.

It's probably time to stop putting corn on everything on the menu, although I did make one more big batch of corn pickle. We're in the middle of the bluefish run. Can duck and cheese pork be far behind? Given the state of the world right now we're offering a few things that I describe as simple food for complicated times. Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy, for example. Hopefully we won't reach the point where we're critiquing the qualities of the crusts as we wait in breadlines.

I love fall weather. The coolness seems to give me a jump start. It feels like things ought to shift into a higher gear, yet at the same time, my house feels more cozy. I'm preparing to do a bit of travelling. Next weekend I'll be returning to Oxford, Mississippi where this blog began a year ago. Technically, my year in the kitchen it at an end but of course I'm not about to shut up. The week after that I'm off to Japan to see the gardens in the fall and, as always, to eat anything that moves. I am particularly fond of eels, which are much eaten there. I lose my mind over the baby ones they serve in Spain and once, in Quebec, I bicycled 30 miles out of my way to visit a town famous for its eel fishery. It sometimes enters my mind to attempt to introduce them to North Carolina diners.We have lots of them here, but they really need to be kept alive until the last second, they are very unappetising to clean and they look too much like snakes for most people. They would be the maritime equivalent of kidneys- delicious but a waste of my time. Dante told of a special place in Purgatorio for those who were gluttonous due to eels. So, off to the land of unagi I'll go. (See the October 2008 issue of Wildlife in North Carolina. I love this magazine.)

posted by Bill Smith at 7:10 AM


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