Mission Accomplished!

Last night I baked my fourth rhubarb pie of the summer, and again, I missed the mark of memory for my brother.

I wanted to share a few pics with you today, so you could see what I have been up to as I have attempted to recreate Gramma Foulkrod’s home-made and singularly excellent Rhubarb Cream Pie.

Experiment No. 1 we do not have a picture of, but I can tell you it was different from all the rest.  That first rhubarb pie was made in the fashion of a true cream pie (because I didn’t yet know what I was doing…).  It’s shell was baked ahead of time, and the filling made on top of the stove. It was wayyyyyyyyyyy sweet; too much so for this sugar addict’s taste, so I won’t be repeating that recipe EVER again.

Note:  When a slice of pie is too sweet for a sugar addict, you know it’s too sweet!  It was creamy though, and creaminess is a must-have for any cream pie–hence the name.  😉

Experiment No. 2 looked like this:

DSC_0697DSC_0700Experiment No. 3 looked like this:

DSC_0732DSC_0744And Experiment No. 4, baked fresh last night, looked like this:

DSC_0895DSC_0900What I can tell you from experimenting with rhubarb pie recipes is this…

I still do not care for rhubarb pie.

Rhubarb pie comes in a variety of colors, flavors, and aromas.

I liked rhubarb pie No. 2 the best!

My brother is still undecided about which recipe he prefers, although I believe he is leaning toward rhubarb pie No. 2, but with bigger chucks of rhubarb and more of them inside the filling.

My review of each pie…

  1.  A true cream pie, but the filling was too sweet.
  2. Not enough fruit, but a decidedly pleasant citrus taste.
  3. Too much of a custard texture.  Not really a “cream” pie.
  4. Missed that citrus smell and taste we liked. Too much nutmeg. Not a fan.

Pie No. 4 tasted more like a pie you would serve at Thanksgiving or Christmas. It was not creamy enough, had too much of a custard texture, and was devoid of the citrus flavor that really added a nice tang to the rhubarb but still kept the pie sweet.  No. 4 also cooked too long, so an unpleasant brown exterior appeared on the top of the pie.  When it first came out of the oven, the top of pie No. 4 was caramelized and hard. I thought it would stay that way, but it didn’t.  As it cooled, the topping absorbed the pie’s creamy filling and softened considerably. Still, I did not like the look of it, nor the wee taste of filling that I sampled.

So, there you have it! My brother and I are in agreement that rhubarb pie no. 2, made with orange juice (not gramma’s pie recipe), is the winner of this summer’s rhubarb pie bake-off experiment.  We have depleted our rhubarb stores at this point (unless we buy some at the grocers, and at $4.99 lb, I doubt we will), so this experiment is declared over.

Next up?  Peach cream pie.  Stay tuned for pending reviews.

Do you eat pie?  What is your favorite pie flavor? 

5 Things that Surprised me This Morning

This morning’s exercise routine went well. I got up reluctant, stuck in the Tai Chi DVD I borrowed from the library, fast forwarded through the introduction stuff, and began with some simple movements to warm up before my five minutes of calisthenics.


Five things that surprised me about this morning’s set:

  1.  Simple movements can be difficult to master when they are unfamiliar to you.

2.  Slowing down, when your mind tells you to run, run, run, is not an easy  thing.

3.  Being deliberate and patterned in your movements, while slowing down, takes concentration.

4.  I can see the benefits associated with Tai Chi exercises, but I’m not sure I want to adapt Tai Chi philosophy.

5.  I can be willing to do what I do not want to do, especially when I am convinced that what I do will benefit me and heal my body.

To My Additional Surprise: 

My five minutes this morning turned to seven minutes before I knew it. Coming off an injury that limited my mobility last week, I paid special attention to my body as I exercised this morning, and changed positions and movements when I noticed any pain.  It was a good start to a new program for me.

I have to say I am looking forward (with only the slightest bit of hesitation/apprehension), to learning a routine I can practice every morning going forward.  Anything that keeps me moving without too much pain is a welcome addition to my life.

Have you ever practiced Tai Chi?  When have you surprised yourself during an exercise routine, and how did that feel?

ThreeGoals-AlternativeGood morning, Thursday!

It’s time to set some goals for the week ahead, but first I’ll go over how I did this past week with my three teeny, tiny goals.

These were my goals:

1.Continued fiber in the morning (eat my oats).

2.Exercise first thing in the morning; this week we take it to 8 minutes.

3.Awareness of portion control while eating and prepping foods.

I did great on goal no. 1.  I think there was one day when I did not eat oatmeal with walnuts for breakfast, or maybe two. The wee ones were in the house this past weekend, so I may have missed one breakfast of cereal while they were there.  Regardless, I feel good about my breakfast fiber this week and the habit I am forming for eating this way in the morning.

I did pretty good with goal no. 3.  I was consciously aware of how much I was eating this week, but still I ate some portions that were larger than they should be. I also fell off the caloriecounter.com wagon this week. Why is counting calories so hard for me?  Answer pending.  :/

I had problems with goal no. 2 this week. As I reported, I hurt myself while exercising on Friday. Went too far with an exercise routine and pulled a muscle in my hip/lower back that made the weekend a painful event, so I did not exercise either Saturday or Sunday.  I did exercise all other days, but with much less enthusiasm than in the past.  That tells me this goal was not teeny, tiny enough to be doable by me–at least not in a way that is habit-forming and that’s what I’m shooting for with these goals.  I will go back to five minutes of exercise each morning this week, and stay there for a few weeks before I try again to increase my times.

Here are my goals for this week:

Continue eating fiber in the morning. This week I will allow myself to eat either oatmeal or veggies for breakfast.  Either way, I will have low fat milk with my breakfast to get the protein I need and keep blood sugar levels level as possible.

Exercise for 5 minutes upon rising each morning.  I borrowed a Thai Chi DVD from the library and I am going to incorporate that in my morning exercise routine this week, using it to stretch before my calisthenics.

Put my measuring cups on the kitchen table to remind myself to watch (measure) my portions this week. 

I’ve decided that I am also going to go back to having a salad with my evening meal each night. I’ve kinda gotten away from that habit, but need to bring it back, since I feel I need more fiber in my diet than the oatmeal is providing.

What three teeny, tiny goals are you willing to set for yourself this week?  How important is fiber consumption to your daily eating plan and digestion?