The Way We Get By

August 12th, 2010 § 3

I’m learning French.

I’m learning French because thoughts of happiness have consumed me lately and research says that we don’t get happiness from our jobs alone. So I’m learning French. Also, I want to be able to order food in French should I ever go to France. Also, I’m afraid of just getting by.

So I’m learning French and I go through lemon chiffon cake marathons and I participate in blueberry pie competitions. Blueberry pie in French is tarte aux myrtilles.

Happiness research says if you are not challenging yourself and learning to do new things at home, that satisfaction with your life will be elusive. I worry about this. And so that is why right now I have a blueberry pie in the oven with a recipe I have never tried before. And a recipe that I can’t share with you either, well, until the competition is over.

From past experience I knew a couple of tricks about making pie crust, and then Cooks Illustrated points Smitten Kitchen in the direction of vodka. And I knew what had to be done. Vodka will mostly evaporate in the oven, meaning that your crust gets the liquid it needs but much of it will not stay. Also, Vodka is by definition, colorless and odorless, so once it’s baked, you’ll never know that it was there to begin with.

And so I mix ingredients, and I roll out the dough, and I wait by the oven, watching my pie bubble.

Photo Credit: Flickr: Joana Hard

Why an empty pie crust here? Well, like I said you’ll have to come to the competition to find out what filling I used for this Vodka concoction.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out what my next baking project should be.

Apparently, research also goes on to say that exercise is no longer optional. We used to think it was. But today, it is overwhelmingly clear that exercise changes your life and makes you perform better at work and that it is absurd to think that you can function optimally in life without regular exercise. I don’t exercise. This sentence makes me sad. I’m trying to be happy and I don’t want to just get by and I want a challenging “home life” and so I bake blueberry pie, and mix dry ingredients really really hard. That counts as exercise, right?

And sometimes when I’m baking I have the KitchenAid Mixer in a not accessible position so that I would have to lift it in order to use it. I will count that as exercise too.

Today: I am happy about having written this post.

Side note:

Also, if you’d like to go to the Wild Blueberry Festival this weekend, here are details:

When:  Sunday August 15th, 2010 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Where: Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto

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