Wednesday, April 15, 2009

That's new to me. + Pie [RECIPE]

Normally, I stick to what I know. It's safer that way. And in my world of supah anal-retentiveness and control freakishness, Same = Good.

Sometimes, however, New = Good, even if initially I'm very anxious or freakish or get the poops because of it or feel the need to create a back up plan with my officemate because WHAT IF THINGS GO HORRIBLY WRONG AND I NEED TO BE RESCUED?

See - scary. Inside my head it's sometimes scary.

Well, I'm happy to say that I experienced three new things lately that were not scary or horrible and none required me to be rescued by my officemate, a fact about which I'm sure she's relieved. Also, I didn't get the poops, which is a relief given my history with this affliction. I guess I should really just be worried about taking an Excedrin on an empty stomach and stop worrying about everything else?

Anyway, let's talk about these New But Miraculously Not Horrible things.

First of all, my Blogger Blind Date.

Have you had any of these? Not like, a "date" where you've met someone on a blog with whom you want to engage romantically and then you meet up at a seedy bar with a rose between your teeth, but a date where you just finally lock eyes (to steal my blind date's apt term) with this person with whom you've been sharing lengthy emails about the similarities between your lives, husbands, gardens, political opinions (oh yes, we went there) and favorite cocktails.

Me? I've had only one before this one. Which went great! In fact, I've managed to meet up with that blogger twice even though she lives in Italy. She is fantastically nice and funny and interesting, just as I imaged she would be, but was afraid she wasn't going to be because YIKES I'd never had a Blogger Blind Date before her and didn't know what to expect.

She was my first. Awww. Hi Sara! You're swell.

Most recently though, I got to Blogger Blind Date with Dig This Chick who, if you don't read her blog, is a lovably spicy gal who runs with her dog, gardens like crazy, cooks delicious things that I love and is married to a man much like my own Bubba. In fact, when we were going to meet up, she said that she was going to bring "her Bubba", which I thought was lovely.

I'm sure you can see our similarities falling right into step, here.

Which makes my pre-date anxiety even more ridiculous sounding because OBVIOUSLY we were going to hit it off and swill some cocktails just like old friends and everything except that my brain started to get the better of me and then I told my officemate that I was going to meet a blogger friend and she looked at me like she might never see me again and I started to freak out a little.

Was I a weirdo? Was I going to get chopped up (a long time fear I'll have to share with you some time)? Was I going to get the poops?

Thankfully, before my mind derailed any further, she called and said she was on her way over the bridge and she'd be meeting me at the clock and then we could go get drinks. And she sounded all normal like a normal non-chopping person might sound. And I could hear the bug fussing in the background and "her Bubba" talking, so I figured things were on the up-and-up. 

How many chopper-uppers do you know that hang out with a fussing baby and the world's calmest sounding man? Yeah, see? None.

And then I went to the clock and we had that awkward cell phone moment where we're talking and trying to figure out who the other one is as we approach one another going, "I think that's you! Are you wearing a pink sombrero? No? Thank god. Oh! I see you!" and what not. 

So graceful, us gals.

A couple drinks later and we were close-face picture taking like old pals.

And then we had a lovely lunch outside in the sunshine on the Embarcadero in San Francisco that involved multiple cocktails at noontime, which I adore, and some not bad food and some live and in-person dishing which I found pleasingly similar to the emails we'd shared.

Dig is real. And cool! And not a chopper! Phew. Thankfully, I wasn't the only one who'd made backup plans, since she admitted to having "her Bubba" on standby via cell phone just in case our lunch went awry and I did something crazy or began to profess my undying devotion to chemical fertilizers or some other unacceptable act that would render us unfit for friendship.

Because, yay, I'm not the only one with Blogger Blind Date stage fright. This whole scenario made me feel all better but now I'm sad that this gal (Hi Dig!) lives far away in Montana where we can't hang out and talk smack about people and compare notes on our gardens in a face to face way all the time. Boo.

But let's not dwell on that. Instead, let's just say YAY for Blogger Blind Dates that don't result in chopping! and move on to the next New But Miraculously Not Horrible thing: the weather in San Francisco that day.

See - I don't live or work (usually) in San Francisco. Not because I don't love it there, but because my house and office (usually) live farther south where the sun shines more regularly, parking isn't a optical illusion and houses are properly equipped with backyards.

Which is why, when faced with a trip into The City (as we Bay Area folk are prone to calling SF), I begin to get nauseous. Not because their houses are just backyardless facades, but because the weather is usually too cold/rainy/drizzly/crappy for my taste and there isn't a GDF place to park LeeLoo.

The anxiety about these things can be crippling to me because I'm a wuss and spend a lot of energy trying my best to avoid all hassles. That's another story for another day though.

The New But Miraculously Not Horrible thing THAT day, my friends, was that I took a work shuttle into The City, thus negating the need to find a magical and illusive parking space and, wait for it...


And lovely. 
Do you see the blue sky here? Not a Photoshop trick.
To the point where we could dine and drink al fresco on the waterfront just like I'd imagined in my wildest dreams. I would like it to be noted that in all my time dining in SF (which is somewhat significant given that I've lived in NorCal all my life and worked in SF for a handful of years), this is MAYBE the fifth time I've comfortably enjoyed a meal out of doors here. That includes baseball games. 

Sure, I've forced myself to dine out of doors in SF before when the weather wasn't great because I just wanted the experience of being outside, but the shivering and damp food can't be denied. Usually this is not a recommended plan - trying to plan on al fresco dining in foggy San Francisco. 


Good times - the weather cooperated for our Blogger Blind Date, and its timing couldn't have been better. Thanks, Nature! And thanks, Dig, for a great afternoon of drinking on the clock. You're a pretty cool chick. And now I will not make easy jokey references to your blog name because that would be too cliche and I would have to gag me with a spoon.

The final New But Miraculously Not Horrible thing is totally unrelated to the previous things but nonetheless very not horrible: Key Limes.

Those in the back there are kumquats. My favorite fruit evah.
What's up, wild change of subject?!

Yes, my uncle came to Passover last weekend bearing a sack of Key Limes from his tree (who knew these guys had a Key Lime tree? Not I.) hoping that someone ANYONE would want some.

Um, yes please.

Of course I was going to take some because, hello, I'm a whore for free produce. Especially the unknown kind of free produce because what the F do you do with Key Limes other than make Key Lime Pie?

Well, I still don't know the answer to that question because that's exactly what I did. I made Key Lime Pie. And it's goooooooooooooooood.

Now, I'll grant you that I didn't have much concern over whether this New Thing would end up Horrible because when is pie really horrible, but I was kinda worried that I'd taken too many (turns out, I took just enough) and that they were going to go bad and dusty in the fruit basket on my counter.

These babies were tiny. Like baby limes. Baby baby baby. Done.

That could scare a person! Well, ok, it could scare *me*. 

Thankfully, Joy of Cooking told me that I'd need a lot of limes for this pie and good thing you're greedy because this recipe is going to use all those limes. 

Wow, Joy of Cooking really knows me. Weird.

This doesn't look impressive, but it's very, very good.
Key Lime Pie
from Joy of Cooking
my changes in bold

14 oz can of sweetened condensed whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh squeezed key lime juice 
4 T grated lime zest
1 prepared graham cracker crust from whatever recipe you like

To make
Bake your graham cracker pie crust however you like in a 9 inch pie pan. If this means you buy it at the store and take the plastic off, that is AOK with me. I don't have to eat it. No pressure here, by the way.

Preheat your oven to 325.

Whisk in a good sized bowl: milk, egg yolks, lime juice, zest. Pour this mixture into your (potentially shameful storebought) crust and bake for 15-17 mins. Let this cool completely on your stovetop and then fridge it for a few hours or until it's nice and cool. Serve up some not-so-photogenic slices with Reddiwhip topping to your husband and neighbors and accept ample praise.

I do believe "best meal ever" crossed someone's lips (not mine), although that may have more to do with Bubba's amazing bbq brisket than my slightly ugly but nonetheless delicious key lime pie.

And that's all for the New But Miraculously Not Horrible things I have to share. Every other new thing recently has sucked balls, apparently.


  1. I was your first! *sniff* How proud I am. :)

  2. Hooray for not getting chopped up OR shitting yourself!

    It's good to have low standards.

  3. Looks delicious. This is how I like to use limes: If you get your hands on some more free limes, you should give it a try.

  4. I can understand your trepidation about a Blogger Blind Date. I've only had one (with Miss Saucy of Bloggedy Blog Blog) and I worried so much beforehand that my IBS kicked in. But it turned out to be a fabulous experience and made my little blogging world seem so much more real.

    Thank you for the pie recipe. I'll give it a try.

  5. You're so funny Finny! It looks like you had the perfect BBD -- how could it go wrong with drinking on the clock? And Yay Key Lime Pie -- we love that stuff -- well, except for squeezing all those little limes -- that's a lot of work!

  6. Isn't it weird how you can get to *know* someone on the internet enough that you'd actually want to talk with them in real life?

    So far I've only talked on the phone with one of my blog friends, never met any in real life.

    And I could see how you and Dig would hit it off. I sense a similarity there.

  7. Wait! No hose-drinking???????

  8. Hi, official friend. Oh that was fun. I mean, really, we talked for like two hours with no awkward moments or anything? I love your account of our meeting. Funny, of course. I look forward to our next meeting in Montana, Bubbas and all. xo!

    (Next time I'll have a chance to like brush my teeth and glance in the mirror cause I will not have just hopped off a plane and such.)

  9. Lera, hose drinking? Was Finny to make me drink from a hose?

  10. get the poops!!! OMG you must so be related to me and my's a common affliction between us.

    my favorite? when you're nervous you might get the poops over something and THAT nervousness gives them to you.

    seriously - can i disconnect my brain from my pooper?

  11. Sara - Well, I was going to say "broke my blogger cherry", but decided it might be a little crass for my mood at that instant. Now, though, it seems funny.

    I'm glad you're proud rather than horrified. ;)

    Kris - I don't shit ON myself, crazy! Things just get fast and loose, IYKWIM.

    Anyway, enough shit talk. My standards are low, but not *that* low ;)


    That looks good right now, in fact. What if we added a little rum? Oh...yes.

    Thanks, doll!

    Junie - Yep - sounds familiar. I guess I just worry that in real life they're going to think I'm a spaz since the only thing people know of me is my censored/filtered blog personality. Which, is sort of a scary thought, that my blog has any censor or filter because that would make me, in real life, something of a crazy.

    Still though, Dig didn't run. Instead, she was awesome and fun and we had a great cocktail lunch. :)

    I had the last piece of pie last night. Even after 4 days in the fridge, it was VERY good. The crust was a little squooshy, but that's what happens to crackers when they sit under key lime pie filling for 4 days, I guess.

    Anna - Nah! Not too much work. Do you have a citrus squeezer? I have all kinds of fancy juicing devices, but for this job, I just used the hand squeezer thing and it didn't take much work at all. Plus those limes smell heavenly. I'm going to have to go back to my uncle's for more.

    Wendy - Yeah, we're more *the same* than I thought. It was def. one of those meet ups where you're, like, "Yeah. I can see how we'd be friends in real life." I just wish we lived closer.

    Good thing there's Facebook?

    Lera - HA! No. We couldn't find any hoses in SF due to their backyardless houses. ;) Instead we drank cocktails.

    Dig - Right?! No awkward, "uh, now what do we talk about?" moments. That was a cool thing. In addition to neither of us being ax-wielding psychopaths or pity party-goers ;)

    Maybe next time I see you in Montana, *I* will have just hopped off a plane and you can see what Finny's like post-air travel. It's nothing like your bright-eyed bushiness, I assure you.


    Dig - Well, if we'd gone running, perhaps we'd have had to stop to drink out of a hose, a la Dig in Montana. However, we know no one in SF has a hose. That would mean they had a backyard and NO ONE in SF has a real backyard. Jerks.

    Sharon - Dude. Right? Perhaps I'm taking in too much fiber? Or perhaps I'm a loon. Who's to say?


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.