In Janet Goss’s Perfect on Paper, Dana Mayo is a woman finally getting back into dating after realizing that she has carried the torch for an inappropriate man for far too long. She meets two men, both of whom may be inappropriate for their own reasons, but that doesn’t stop her from diving right in to try to figure out which one she should be with.
Look at the food choices that happen when she meets one of them for a date at the famed Katz’s Deli in NYC.
Ah. But I could order a knish. A nice, bland, relatively compact knish. We approached the counter where Billy caught the eye of a server.
“I’ll have a knish,” he said.
Great, I thought. I wasn’t about to order the same thing. What else on the menu was smallish?
“I’ll take a hot dog.”
What the hell had I ordered that for? There was no genteel way for a woman to eat a hot dog. Now I was about to sit directly across from Billy Moody and go down on a six-inch length of meat.
Eowyn Ivey’s The Snow Child takes place in 1920’s Alaska. The main characters, Jack and Mabel, are having a difficult time in their marriage, and an even harder time taming the Alaskan wilderness to create a successful homestead. Most times they have to turn to nature to supplement their diet.
Thankfully, though, they had rhubarb pie.
When the weather was fine and the bugs were miraculously scarce , they ate outdoors. Jack and George would build an alder fire in a pit early in the morning and then roast a hunk of meat from a black bear Garrett had shot in the spring. Esther would bring potato and beet salad; Mabel would make a fresh rhubarb pie and spread a white tablecloth. The two women would walk together arm in arm and pick fireweeds and bluebells. In the background they would hear the men talking and laughing as the flames in the pit sputtered and flared with the bear fat drippings.
Check out the video of the making of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from the The Joy of Baking.
I have only been lucky enough to have had any type of rhubarb pie once, and this was a couple of years ago. It just doesn’t sound that appetizing, rhubarb. Strawberry seems to be a popular pairing for it, though I saw a few recipes for blueberry as well.
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)
Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Toss gently to blend.
Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter flass pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.
Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.
Brush glaze over crust. transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.