So, it's apparently the end of all things here in Chicago- it's snowing hard, but what I'm really finding remarkable is the wind, which has been whistling nonstop for at least three hours. The ground isn't even covered yet because the snow can't rest long enough to find a foothold.
Fencing practice is canceled and Boy is coming over for dinner, so I wanted to make something special to keep us warm on what looks to be an exceptionally cold night. So what am I making? Maple-Mustard Baked Chicken and microwave-baked potatoes.
The Mustard-Maple baked chicken is in the oven right now, and it smells amazing. Have you ever tasted Grade B maple syrup? I tried it for the first time today, for this recipe, and Oh My Goodness! It is completely different from the Aunt Jemima's my mom always served. It's toasty, sort of, and brown-sugary, and so fantastic that I don't even care that it cost more than a dollar an ounce, I'm a convert for life. It's my good luck, then, that I partly chose this recipe to use up some dijon mustard I got that I didn't really like enough to use in the mustard vinaigrette that I use on my salad all the time.
As for the bread crumbs, I don't have a food processor and I was worried that the soft bread would gum up my blender, so I spent ages crumbling my bread by hand before I got bored, threw it in the blender anyway, and discovered that it worked like a charm. Pity I discovered this not until after I'd also spent an hour using a water glass as a pestle to crush graham crackers for the pie crust. Oh, well. Lessons learnt.
This pie will be my third meyer pie venture, and hopefully my most successful. My first attempt, a custard-cream pie, never completely set even after refrigerating overnight - I think I may not have sufficiently cooked the egg yolks. My second attempt, a Meyer lemon meringue, fell victim to undercooking, leading to a meringue that drooped and sagged (but still tasted great) before I could get it to my Dad's birthday party.
So now, I'm making what I really had in mind when I bought twenty Meyer lemons - a key lime pie, sans key limes and avec Meyer lemons. Why did I buy twenty of them, you ask? Good question. I had read about them on food blogs all over the place, rapturous posts extolling the magic of subtle, sweet lemons with skins so thin you could almost eat them like apples, and also posts bemoaning their heartbreakingly short season. I saw them at the grocery store for 1.99 a pound, went hysterical, and with Boy egging me on (what he will not do to put me in a position where I must make more desserts!) it was not long before I had enough lemons to last me until next winter.
Recipe to be edited in later. I know, I keep saying that!