Stuff wants to be kept

I have stuff. George has stuff. It all wants to be kept.

We have lots of books. We acknowledge that we could fully insulate our small house with them, only if we could keep them on the shelf instead of in stacks and piles everywhere. It is pretty shocking to see what this librarian does with books. The library work is good for me though. I don’t need to own every book. Some can be borrowed physically. Some can be accessed digitally. Still, we have too many books. Especially the ones that George wants to keep! Do we really need to keep that c.1979 Biological Paths to Energy Self-Reliance by Russell E. Anderson Ph.D? There must be something more relevant that we can borrow and return anytime.

I suggested that we send Bentley Farm Cookbook by Virginia Williams Bentley (c.1974) on to a used book sale. George likes to read and re-read cookbooks. Reading for entertainment and education is good. But Bentley Farm actually spends a lot of time on the shelf. George responded with he was keeping it for this recipe on p. 267:

Never-Fail Pie Crust

(Enough pastry for a 9-inch, one-crust pie)

Be sure to have waxed paper on hand!

2 c all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur unbleached flour.)

1 t salt

1/2 c corn oil

1/4 c cold milk

Stir ingredients together, lightly, in order given. Form into ball. Flatten and shape into a circle on a piece of waxed paper. Cover with another piece of waxed paper and roll out, with a rolling pin, to desired size. Peel off the top piece of paper. Place pie plate, upside down, onto the pastry. Holding pastry and plate together, turn plate right side up. Gently peel waxed paper off pastry. If pastry tears, it is easily mended. Press pastry firmly into plate with fingers and fork. If you are going to bake shell with nothing in it, prick it all over with a fork so that the pastry will not blister.  Otherwise, do not make holes in pastry, for the filling will hold it down. Make a nice, rippled , upstanding edge with your fingers, and then push edge inward a bit, so it is not stuck to the rim of pie plate. This holds the filling in better, so it doesn’t run over, and also keeps edge from browning too fast. A good pie should not be stuck to the pie plate anywhere after it is baked. Ideally, it should slide around in the plate. This makes for easy serving. This recipe is a little more than enough for one pie, so you have plenty of pastry to play with to make a good high, thick collar.

Warning: Never chill this pastry before rolling. Chill it all you want after it is arranged in pie plate. In fact, I always place the pie plate in the refrigerator while preparing filling.

For baking pie shell alone: Bake in preheated 475° F oven for about 10 minutes. Cool on rack for maximum crispness.

George has written the following note in the book: Add 2 T oil and water to make 1/4 c. 2 T sugar. He is not as descriptive as Virginia as what to do with these ingredients.

Perhaps that this recipe is now here for him to access, he will be able to pass the book on to someone else. Would you like it?

Another post that I want to write is about junk and recyclables that want to be kept. I can support my favorite school, prevent breast cancer, and encourage the troops by gathering, distributing, and/or entering codes from the products I buy. But, I’m in a good mood now and want to spare you from that diatribe.

2 thoughts on “Stuff wants to be kept

  1. lynn says:

    Oh Suzie, this really hits home! I also have stuff. One of my coworkers says I may be a hoarder, I deny that. I do not save EVERYTHING, only things I think I may need in the future, or things that I like. I too like reading cookbooks, especially the collection types from church or work communities. They offer comfort food just by reading them. I have thinned out the cookbook collection once or twice, but my favorites are still there. We bring books to work to exchange, how would that go over at the library I wonder? I also subscribe to a few cooking magazines and web sites. The computer is helpful, but not nearly as satisfying as sitting back and paging thru a well used book. I love books. I love librarians. I love food; growing it, cooking it, and eating it, reading about it. I think I love George too. Lynn

    PS I am thinking about that cookbook. You could let Jenny know that it is on my wish list!

    • Susie says:

      Lynn, I think the book may be yours! If I don’t tell George that you love him, but do tell him that you’d like the book, he may give it up!

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