Monday, November 30, 2009

Catie: Pumpkin pie and chicken stock.

[caption id="attachment_358" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="pumpkin pie in the crousty."][/caption]

Here's our pie!

Between baking and then rapidly consuming the pie, I forgot to take any pictures of it out of the oven and actually baked, but there it is IN the oven.

It turned out surprisingly delicious.

I've made a lot of pies before, but never pumpkin (I avoid it when... well, when I'm not out of the country and desperate for ANY pie at all), so that was new in itself.  It was easy, though.

I tried a, "Baking Powder Miracle Pie Dough" against my better judgement.  It had the word, "miracle" in it!  I had to see if it was really miraculous.

Turns out... not so much.

The pie crust I would make at home has half lard, half butter and is delicious and tender and nice.

The "miracle" crust was.. hard.

Not to mention gross and weird.

And so, in future, I will stick with MY recipe.  Not miraculous ones.

I also found out the Crousty doesn't cook evenly at all.  This is fine.  I mean, already I'm asking too much of our poor Crousty toaster oven.  I think I can manage to turn things halfway through.  It's just good to know.  And the pie was still good, just a little brown on one side.

Yay!  Thank you, my mom, for the spices!

Tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday, I'm shadowing Aaron at school to figure out how to do things when he leaves for the US (I don't envy that plane ride -- ugh).  I was supposed to go today, but the school has just developed a "CNN" debate class that starts this term.

And, yes, apparently it is patterned after The CNN.  Although, I guess they got weirded out when Aaron tried introducing debate to the debate class.

"Why do you not teach them from the book?" or something along those lines was said.

But why would you have a debate class and no debate?

Welcome to Korea!

Anyway, Aaron doesn't teach the CNN class on Mondays, so I'm waiting to go until Wednesday, when I'll get to see how the CNN class runs.

Since we'll both be gone and out of the house for two days, I am cooking lots of food today.  Which is really relative, because, in Korea, you can't cook lots of food at once.  There are only small pots, small pans, and small ovens.

In light of this, I'm making two dinners.  A chicken pot pie (if all goes well) and chicken taco soup.  Together, I think these will hold us over for lunches and dinners for two days.

The chicken taco soup calls for (of course) chicken broth.  And I've seen Swanson chicken broth at the gourmet market in Dunsan-dong, but that is far away and I didn't feel like hopping a bus and braving the TimeWorld Galleria crowds today.  We did it Saturday and again on Sunday (all three of our Starbucks are located within a block of TimeWorld Galleria), so I'm not feeling up to it again.  I even tried to bribe myself with this delicious wrap they have there -- it's this tortilla filled with chicken, a red cabbage/green cabbage coleslaw type mix, onions, tomato, yogurt sauce, sweet, spicy red sauce and mustard and it is A-MAZING, if spicy -- but to no avail as that would only have made the trip more expensive and, therefore, less appealing.

So, I'm making my own chicken stock.


I've never made chicken stock.  Plus, I thought I'd found celery at the store, but it turns out I didn't, it was just MORE of the giant green onions.  They look so much alike.


Apparently, a lot.

So, it's celery-less.  Hopefully that's fine.  It'll have to be fine.

Turns out chicken stock is easy, so I doubt anything will go wrong.

In better food-finding news, I did find vinegar!

Actually, to give credit where credit is due, Ben found vinegar.

It was located, at Good Morning Mart, right below the corn syrup.  Just where you'd hope to find vinegar.  Along side something sickeningly sweet.  Actually, maybe that's where it would be in America, I think it was just the language barrier that really got me.  All English is in teeny, tiny letters at the bottoms of labels, so you don't immediately see it.  Plus, I tend to get self conscious quickly as Korean grocery stores are full of over zealous, over helpful staff and when I stand too long in one spot, staring, I'm always afraid I'll be accosted in Korean by a nice lady in a yellow shirt and orange apron who doesn't know what, "I'm just looking," means, nor, "Where the heck is your vinegar?"

I need to learn Korean.

What's the Korean word for, "vinegar"?

I got it though.  I'm not sure what kind of vinegar it is.  I wanted distilled white.  This is a little yellow, but it seemed like the most generic kind they had and it's perfectly fine as far as I can tell.  Maybe it's.. distilled yellow vinegar.

The more I cook, the more I long for American grocery store shelves, with their predictable order, their aisle numbers, their helpful signs and familiar ingredients.

Still, the hunt is challenging, and that in itself is fun.  Plus, I get to learn to make my own ingredients.

Like French's french fried onions, evaporated milk.  And chicken stock.

Let you know how all this goes!

- catie


  1. Those onion strings might work for French's onions. After you fry them, try baking to kind of harden the coating. Your pie looks yummy. I always did like the custard part more than the crust anyways. I also don't think leaving out celery will cause irreparable damage to your stock...Love you--MOM

  2. Homemade chicken stalk is sooo good, I'm glad you're a convert!

  3. Sounds like fun! Your pie looks great.
    We'll sure miss you guys this Christmas, I'm sad that everyone will be so scattered this year. Although, I do get mom for the evening, so I shouldn't complain.
    love you!
    Hope you guys are doing well!