No ducks were harmed in the making of this meal
Exhibit A: Rachel’s new pie obsession.
I can’t even remember what I put in this particular pie. I know there was elk meat. I can see chard sneaking around like the masked avenger of scurvy and perhaps some potatoes bobbing like small icebergs. Likely, there were onions and garlic, because, obviously. And I seem to remember shaking in the last glop of pinto beans from the bottom of a jar.
And this is exactly why these pies are my new favorite. You whip up a pie crust (recipe forthcoming and easy) and then you pack in every lost and lonely drifter in your fridge. Even that single carrot rolling around behind the milk is welcome. Even the tarnished cilantro – the few worthy leaves can jump in. And despite the haphazard arrangements, you really can’t fail, especially assuming that whatever is in your fridge is what your family already loves. And especially because you’re eating pie for dinner. And especially if you sprinkle a dutiful layer of cheese on top.
This crust, which calls for yogurt, came from the abundance of yogurt we have around the house lately, which came from the abundance of local milk we’ve been buying.
And if your family is starting to catch on to the abundance of pies and the sort of pre-compost quality they may take on (especially when you serve one with the warning “this needs to be finished by tomorrow on account of the beans”), presto chango! You can morph your pie dough into:
And just because you can smorgasbord most anything into these pies, does not mean that you shouldn‘t scrawl out a special list of stunning ingredients or not toss in your top shelf goodies; you should! I made this pizza for my parents and it had broccoli, the ubiquitous chard, sauteed onions and cheese on top of a roasted garden tomato/basil sauce I canned last fall.
Yogurt Dough (makes 2 pie crusts)
(this recipe is adapted from the cookbook Nourishing Traditions):
1 cup plain whole yogurt
1 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 1/2 cups flour (I use spelt)
2 tsp sea salt
Cream butter with yogurt. Blend in flour and salt. Cover and leave in a warm place for 12-24 hours. Say what? Did you plan that far in advance? Me neither. I let it sit for 2-3 hours, and it works wonderfully. Roll on a floured surface and press into pie shells. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. At high altitudes increase your heat to 375.
Mix your filling separately, pat into cooked pie shell and bake until warm through and through (approx 30 minutes).
Chard, potato cheese recipe:
I hope this recipe doesn’t read as awful as my geographical directions (go north until you see the house with the big yucca plants in the yard, turn left on the next corner and go over three potholes…).
Steam a bunch of chard (or kale, or spinach) and chop small. Bake four potatoes and chop. Saute half an onion and a couple cloves garlic. Mix together with salt, pepper and 1-2 eggs. Place in pie shell. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top. Bake.
Was that okay?
What would you put in your pie?
Happy Friday and may your weekend be full of tasty treats!