Tuesday, November 25, 2014

30 Minutes for 30 Days, Day 25, plus My Personal Pie Crust Formula

Welcome to my 30 Minutes for 30 Days series!  If you are joining me for the first time, you can find out how this all got started HERE.  You can read all the 30 for 30 posts HERE.


Today I spent my 30-for-30 session wandering around the house trying to really see places that I typically just walk past without looking.  As I passed a shelf or opened a drawer or cupboard, I took a moment to rummage around for things that could obviously go in the trash or recycling, and in the process found many things I could give away or donate.

For The Minimalist Game, today I got rid of:
  1. One broken tablet charger. (1)
  2. Two MORE pairs of socks. (4)
  3. Four headbands. (4)
  4. ANOTHER box of canning jars. (16)
  5. Two folders-worth of papers shredded and in the recycling bin. (2+)
  6. Bunches of random things that I decided were trash. (12)
  7. Four empty file folders. (4)
  8. Random end-of-roll pieces of Christmas paper. (6)
  9. Random packages out of the pantry - crumbs of potato chips, half a dozen dried blueberries, etc. (7)
  10. One bag of styrofoam plates purchased for a craft project (which they turned out to be unsuitable for). (1)
  11. One broken nightlight. (1)
  12. Random pieces of plastic cutlery. (7)
  13. Seven packages of no-sugar-needed pectin. (7)
  14. Two pillow cases. (2)
  15. One crib sheet. (1)
  16. One flat sheet. (1)
  17. Random scraps of fabric.  (5)
  18. Half a yard of Titans fleece. (1)
  19. A cute staple-free stapler that doesn't really work. (1)
  20. One bottle of expired saline solution. (1)
  21. Five wine bags that I was saving for a, uh, wine emergency?  (5)
  22. A dead lamp (that's theatrical-speak for "light bulb".) (1)
  23. One damaged poster in the recycling bin. (1)
  24. One small decorative flower pot. (1)
  25. One unused picture frame. (1)

I was going for an artsy look, which is hard to accomplish when you're trying to keep a cat from knocking things off the table. 

Yes.  More jars.

It's just what the signs say.  Recycling.  Trash.  Perhaps I should have just skipped this photo.


...of which today there were 93 discrete pieces, counting packages as a unit and not their individual pieces.  To date I have removed more than 1469  individual items from my home.


Here's today's pre-Thanksgiving day recipe, which is really a formula:  3-2-1 Pie Crust.  This crust works for sweet or savory pies and you can make as much or as little as you need at any time.  Just remember this formula (parts are measured by weight, not volume):

  • 3 parts flour with a pinch of salt
  • 2 parts solid fat (butter, shortening, lard, or a combination)
  • 1 part water

Cut the fat into the flour using your fingers, a pastry cutter, or a food processor.  Add the water a bit at a time until the mix comes together.  Let the dough rest in the fridge for about half an hour before rolling it.  

The colder the ingredients, the lighter and flakier the crust will be.   Once you roll it, you can put it back in the fridge to allow the fat to resolidify before continuing with your pie recipe.

That is the basic crust recipe and process!  NOW, to make it useful:

For a sweet crust add some sugar.  You can also spice it with cinnamon, nutmeg, powdered ginger, or anything else that appeals to you.

For a savory crust you can leave it plain, or add some herbs, or grated cheese, and/or some ground pepper.

Make your pie crusts tonight, wrap them in plastic, and put them in the fridge or freezer. Fill them while the turkey is cooking, then put the pies in the oven while you have your dinner on Thanksgiving Day.  The pies will be ready to take out of the oven by the time dinner is over.  By the time you finish cleaning up and putting away the leftovers, the pies will have cooled enough to slice and serve.

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