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Saturday, November 7, 2015

The season upon us

A friend at my wife's work asked if we could make her one of my pecan pies for Thanksgiving. 'Those are so good, I'll pay you.' Seeing as we will be out of town visiting family, it would be prudent to make four pies. Three to take with us and one for our friend. 
Technically all my meads are on the secondary stage of brewing. I had to start one over after it got stuck. But all the fruit has been strained out and what remains is clearing up. I'll be watching them through the holidays. I still haven't gotten around to the phone store, so no pictures, sorry.
Instead I'll share the secret to my culinary success: Alton Brown. One of my favorite celebrity chefs. He has taught the humble geeks of the world to cook, or as I like to call it; better eating through science!
Without further ado, I bring you the spicy pecan bourbon pie. Read the whole page please. You can't simply start at the beginning and follow the recipe blindly. First, you have to make the spicy pecans, which involves toasting them and coating them with a sugary spicy glaze. When you're done with making them, start on the crust while the pecans cool down. Now the dough for the crust has to cool as well. You would know that if you read the whole recipe. Then you have to make the filling. Once that is done, set it aside and return to the crust. You'll be combining the pecans and filling afterwards too.
It's a little like playing with Legos. You have to build one thing up to a point, start on another thing up to a certain level, then combine it all to make your masterpiece.
Even then you have to tweak it. For instance, my oven doesn't deliver the same performance as Mr. Brown's. I leave the pie in the oven longer than the 20 minutes he specifies at the end. Making sure my pie is fully set, I then remove it. The results are immediately apparent. It behaves like a pie, and not eggs over easy. The wife and I have an agreement: I grill the turkey out on the smoker while she prepares the sides and trimmings. We go all out and brine the turkey the night before. I feed the smoker chips and charcoal as if it were candy. There is really a challenge in keeping the whole setup a certain temperature for the duration of cooking the bird.

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