Monday, March 19, 2007

I'm Back (Urd Und Himmel Pie)

I recently returned from a long bout of job interviews. I am pleased to report two things: First, that I successfully ate restaurant food for 11 days without getting a major dose of gluten. I did get halfway through a prime rib sandwich (without bread) before starting to suspect that it might have a thin layer of gravy. I ended up with a headache that afternoon, which is my primary response to eating gluten, so I should have asked about "sauce". Live and learn, I guess. I came home sick of omelets, and five pound heavier than when I left, but without major problems.

Second and most important, a few days after getting back I got a phone call from the Chemistry department head at Home Town College, the last place I visited. They have offered me a faculty position, to start in August. This job is almost a perfect match with what I was looking for, and I get to move close to family for the first time in almost ten years. The Maestro is excited to live close to cousins, and Riley is now is major moving mode. Everything we own gets the scrutiny of "Do we want this thing enough to pay to move it accross the continent?" Of course we like having the things we have, but if we have to pay for them a second time, which is essentially what moving is, do we still want them? Hildr is just happy to have her Dad back.

Of course, now I need to finish the thesis, so the Boss will let me go, and HTC will give me the job they want to. Time to get to work!

The day after I got home, Riley and the kids all took multi-hour naps while I made dinner for them and Hildegard. You'd think they hadn't slept well without me, or something.

After all the omelets for Breakfast, and Hamburgers with no bun that I was forced to eat in the 7 airports I visited, I had a craving for an Urd und Himmel Pie, Sausage with Apples (Himmel) and Potatoes (Urd). I couldn't find any potatoes, so I went with a saute of three apples, a pound of turkey sausage and large onion. I whisked up two eggs with a splash or two of Tabasco and garlic to hold it together.

For the crust, I doubled the basic recipe I had at Pumpkin Fest, except that I tried the sorghum/tapioca/rice mix that I use for muffins instead of the sorghum/tapioca. Then I pre-mixed the xanthan gum with the water, and cut it into the flour mix before adding the shortening. Weird I know, but I was able to transfer it onto the pie without breaking it this time. I rolled it out between sheets of wax paper, and basically picked it up like a frisbee when I was done. I don't know if it was the rice flour, or the xantham glop (boy does that turn to glue) but it didn't crack. In the picture, you can see the threads of xanthan-water complex marbelling the unbaked crust. Next time I need to try the flour mix with rice, and adding the xanthan gum as a solid to see which change made the difference this time. (Either that, or I rolled it out thicker this time.)

Oh, I just had a delicious thought. HTC is in prime Rhubarb growing country. Oh the pies we can have!

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