Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pie Blogger for a Day, Phat Man Running

What do baking pie and short-distance running have in common?

Well, nothing.

Nothing, that is, until two friends who write completely dissimilar blogs decide to combine individual interests into one action-packed day that results in two fantastic articles posted on each others' respective website.

It's a crossover-post, like that episode when Steve Urkel helps Stephanie learn to love her new glasses. Don't pretend you don't know what I'm talking about.

Read Sean's take on the day's pie baking below; my post on running appears on his blog HERE

From The Desktop of PhatManRunning
Inviting a pie blogger into your home always sounds like a great idea. There are expectations of course, and they aren't unreasonable. The first expectation of course is that you'll be eating pie. Not stopped at the very closest bar to the train station drinking beer (though admittedly, that was at least partially my fault). The other, perhaps more important assumption that I made, is that when I asked, should we make a blueberry pie and she said yes, that she would follow with at least mostly the right directions, but I digress.

Let us start from where all great stories do (and most completely shit stories start as well); the beginning.

When I starting blogging (Phat Man Running) it was in large part inspired by Mary's similar adventures in blogging in this very spot. I was a few weeks into beginning a new running regimen and I thought blogging might be a fun way to keep myself going. I hadn't expected the results to be a sweaty photo of me being the first images to now come up when I Google stalk myself, but this is what happened. Mary and I have been remotely comparing notes on blogging, constantly checking our website traffic, and commenting on how "big" we seem to both be in Russian. While our blogs seem diametrically opposed, it also seemed like we would have to do a blog cross-over sooner or later. So, we set the plan that Mary would come to Always Sunny Philadelphia (Killadelphia as it's been called lately) bake some pie and run a little bit.

The date was set, and on a brave Sunday morning in February she took the bus down. Again, to be fair, the bar was my idea. Also, skipping the whole running/pieing/blogging thing and just going on a bar crawl that would involve eating pie (and possibly running from cops) may have been my proposal. But rather than doing less, we chose to do more. Rather than make a pie, we chose to make a pie meal.  Mini quiche appetizers, Shepard's pie, and blueberry pie (someone once told me antioxidants were good for running, I don't remember why, but this is the kind of healthy advice you are used to if you've read my blog before, I'm assuming I don't need to hyperlink to it again.)

After a short trip to Trader Joe's, we returned to my home to make the pie crusts. While Mary clearly had a better idea of how to make the pie crust than I did, she didn't speak up. Rather, she chose to just passive aggressivly tweet at me--made worse because she didn't tag me in the tweet, nor use the official Pie Running Cross Over Post hash tag, #PRCOP. 
I believe you Mary, it's okay.

The pie crusts were put in the fridge before we got all did up and ready to run, which you'll have read about on Phat Man Running. Needless to say, she didn't find the fun.
When we got home, we started boiling some big peeled russet potatoes. Afterwards, we created the filling of the pie which started with four chopped carrots and a large onions sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper. Once they were softened, a pound of lean beef was added and browned.

After draining the excess fat, we added a tablespoon of butter, quarter cup of tomato sauce, a glass red wine, and two tablespoons of flour before letting it cook down. Once it cooked down, a cup of chicken stock and half a can of corn was added, then cooked down again, finishing the filling.

The filling was added to a pie crust, mashed potatoes with butter and buttermilk was piped onto the top of the pie, coated with a beaten egg and sprinkled with parmesan before it was placed in the over at 375 for 20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

Shepard's Pie
  4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories 842.3
  Total Fat 48.4 g

  Saturated Fat 25.0 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat 2.4 g
     Monounsaturated Fat 16.9 g
  Cholesterol 151.5 mg
  Sodium 1,145.8 mg
 Potassium 1,274.7 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 68.4 g
     Dietary Fiber 6.5 g
     Sugars 2.4 g
  Protein 28.9 g
I expect this is the first time--and likely the last time--nutritional information is ever discussed on Pies Etc. It's not what the blog is about, and I wouldn't expect it to be. But my blog is, at least superficially, about fitness, I've lost nearly 25 pounds since starting it four months ago, so I'm not without any authority on the topic. And its from that position I can report, this wasn't a healthy pie. It's wasn't HORRIBLE and you really could have gotten six or eight serving out of this if you had to. But, I'm also going be gracious by saying we only ate a quarter each.

The good things about the pie though, is that there was plenty of protein (but really I'm just stretching at straws to say that.) What I don't have to stretch to say, is that it was a delicious pie, that it was easy to make, and will be scrumptious come St. Patrick's day, just a few days a way (you will be able to tell this when a grass hopper pie appears on the blog shortly I'm guessing.)

This is already a really log blog post isn't it?

Well we also made some puff pastry mini quiches for apps and runny blueberry pi--though I guess it was thematic-- which most pie bloggers would call a failure, but Mary's ability to forgive anything that comes in a round shape and a buttery crust seemed to save it from the bin. We scooped it in to bowls and licked them clean.

How did my experience as a pie blogger for a day go? Well, having Mary come and visit is always a pleasure. Cooking with her? Not so much. But I will say, while finishing a 5 miler race, or even a 5k twitter road race with a record time might give a sense of accomplishment, it's nothing compared to coming home to fridge packed with leftover Shepard's and blueberry pie just waiting to be eaten.

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