Hello my Foodie Friends! The holiday season is a great time to reminisce and bring up the stories that are told time and time again. Many family traditions have to do with holidays and holiday food and the stories that soon become part of our traditions. These traditions can strengthen family bonds, contribute to your children’s identity and well-being, and create lasting memories. While we sat around the kitchen table, my wife Paula brought up a story about our time together before kids. That is when our one baby was our dog Bogie. He was named after Humphrey Bogart and he loved to roam between our house and our neighbors next door. This was before invisible fences and we didn’t have the money for a regular fence. Bogie was a German Shepherd/Black Lab mix puppy when we rescued him. His color was pure black and he grew very fast to100 lbs of muscle. He was the happiest dog in the world and loved by both our family and our friends next door, Ron and Deedee, whose children were now grown. Bogie could make anyone feel like they were his favorite person in the world. He would go over to visit Ron and Deedee, who were passionate foodies, every day. He always came back carrying leftovers which were usually a big steak or ham bone. They loved him as much as we did. Bogie would however, test your love from time to time by taking food that wasn’t offered to him. There was the Halloween party that stopped dead in its tracks as all of our guests watched in amazement as Bogie took an entire pizza down the hallway and quickly devoured it. He never stole food from Ron and Deedee until his thievery reached legendary status on Thanksgiving 1989. There was a knock on our door and it was Ron. He had his head down and in a sad voice he said; “John, Bogie stole two of the mincemeat pies I had baked for Thanksgiving”. I responded to Ron with a mixture of denial and embarrassment; “are you sure, how do you know”? Ron said he put his pie on the roof of his 1989 Mercury Marquis, with 3 miles on it, in the garage to cool. When he opened the garage door to go out he forgot to close it. When he came back, there were no pies. However, there were paw prints on the hood of his beloved Marquis. Those prints then headed in the direction of our house. Ron and I then found the empty, perfectly cleaned, pie tins. I apologized and offered to pay for the pies but Ron laughed and told me not to worry. He said he would have to think of a new place to cool his pies and remember to close the door next time. Although it has been many years since this happened, Ron can still tell this story like it happened yesterday. We still love to go over to their house and have a cup of coffee and talk about Bogie. Where did we find the dog after his caper? He was curled up by Paula’s legs in the kitchen sleeping it off. I think this was “the start of a
At Compliments to the Chef we carry everything you need to make your favorite pie this season; including cooling racks (versus the Mercury Marquis!), pie chains, pie plates, and all of your baking cool tools. Keep your pies safe! Remember my Foodie Friends: “Life Happens in the Kitchen.” Enjoy the holiday season baking and making forever interesting memories. Stop by and shop for your traditional holiday season culinary needs at 33 Railroad Place in Saratoga Springs (near the Bow Tie Theatre).
John and Paula
We did get the recipe for the Mincemeat Pie:
• 2 Granny Smith apples,
peeled and finely chopped
• 2⁄₃ cup Golden Raisins
• 2⁄₃ cup Dark Raisins
• 2⁄₃ cup dried Currants
• ½ cup packed Dark
• 2 oz. (½ cup) shredded Beef Suet
• ¼ cup Brandy
• 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 2 tsp fresh grated lemon zest
• 2 tsp finely grated fresh
• ½ tsp ground Allspice
• ½ tsp ground Nutmeg
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 2 tsp Granulated Sugar
For Pie Pastry Dough
• 2 ½ cups All-purpose Flour
• 1 ½ sticks (¾ cup) cold
unsalted butter, cut into
• ¼ cup cold vegetable
• ½ tsp salt
Pie Pastry Dough
1. Blend flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a bowl until most of mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Evenly drizzle 4 tbsp ice water and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in a food processor) until incorporated.
3. Gently squeeze a small handful; it should hold together. If it doesn’t, add more water, 1 tbsp at a time. Do not overwork dough or it will become tough.
4. Turn out onto a work surface and divide into 2 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather each portion of dough and form it into a disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic wrap and chill until firm for at least 1 hr.
Prep: Stir together all mincemeat ingredients. Chill in an airtight container for at least 3 days.
1. Put a baking sheet in middle of oven and preheat to 400°F.
2. Roll out 1 piece of dough (keep remaining piece chilled) on a lightly floured surface into a 13” round disk and fit into a 9-inch glass pie plate (4 cup capacity).
3. Stir mincemeat, and spoon into shell.
4. Chill pie while rolling out top.
5. Roll out remaining disk into a 10” round disk on lightly floured surface. Cut into 1” strips with a fluted pastry wheel or a knife.
6. Arrange strips in a lattice pattern on top of filling and trim strips leaving a ½ inch overhang. Seal edges and crimp decoratively. Brush lattice and edge with some of egg and sprinkle with sugar.
8. Bake until pastry is golden brown, 50 mins. - 1 hr. (If pastry rim gets too dark, tent with foil.) Cool for 2 hrs. before serving. We don’t know where Bogie’s relatives may be so Bon Appetite but look around first.
(Accompany with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.)