Snacks, Pie, and the Medici



My pie exploded last night.  Maybe I ought to start at the beginning:  The Beast and I were having a lovely Saturday together.  We went for breakfast, and then came home to read books on our sunny patio.  Later on, the Beast wanted to practice his saxophone playing so I went out to get fixings for dinner.  We’d already agreed upon a simple meal of various “snacks.”  That’s what we call it when I toast up thin slices of baguette and get things to put on top, like cheese, meat, cannellini beans in olive oil and herbs, and Ontario field tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper.  I guess it’s like having loads of antipasti for dinner.

I headed towards the Thin Blue Line to pick up some cheese.  While there, I remembered my friend Giovanna mentioning that this shop now carries a selection of Pingue products including prosciutto crudo, bresaola and cacciatore.  I got a package of each.

As I walked up our street towards home, I could hear the Beast’s music and I couldn’t help but smile.  Right then and there I decided to make him pie.  In fact, I planned on making him two pies in order to facilitate a little experiment of mine:  I wanted to attempt both a butter + shortening crust, and a crust made with 100% lard, and then compare them.  I’d just bought some Ontario peaches and I had Onttario sour cherries in the freezer, so choosing the fillings was easy.  I figured I’d have enough time to make the pies, prepare our snack-dinner, shower (because my underarms smelled like meat loaf,) and relax with the Beast while watching our PBS documentary on the Medici family.

But then the Beast asked if I wanted to go play tennis.  We used to play frequently, but haven’t yet this summer.  Even though I knew I’d be pressed for time to do all the other things on my Saturday agenda, I agreed to the match.

We got to Sorauren park and the two courts were taken; one by three teenagers armed with a basket-ball, a skateboard, and one tennis racket, and the other by a father and his five year old son.  So we sat on a bench and waited.

Beast:  I’m going to hang my racket up in the court with those guys.  They’re not even playing!

Foodie: Oh just wait a second.  I bet they’ll leave soon enough.

Just then, the one teenager with the tennis racket decided to practice his serve in the direction of  his buddy who was sitting on the basket-ball.  Not surprisingly, a ball hit basket-ball boy in the head.  Everybody giggled a bit, including the Beast, once they knew ball boy was okay.  These teenagers continued to dink around and we were ready to go over and ask if we could play, but then the other court became available so off we went to the court opposite the teenagers.  That’s when tennis racket boy said something to the Beast:

Tennis Racket boy: Why where you laughing?

Beast:  Because it was funny.

Tennis Racket boy:  I bet you wouldn’t laugh if it happened to you.

Beast:  Yes I would, because it’s funny.  You laughed too.

The boys left and the Beast and I played 5 matches.  He won the first two and I won the last three.  I feel bad when I beat the Beast at sports.  I figure it’s got to be fairly depressing when your common law wife is more athletically gifted than you are.

Beast:  Do you think I handled myself okay back there?

Foodie: You mean do I think you were a sore loser?  No, not at all!

Beast:  No, no, no, I mean with those teenagers.

Foodie:  I think you handled yourself just fine.  Did you want to fight them in order to impress me?

Beast:  No.  But I did want to teach them a lesson about humour.  Physical comedy is the best kind of comedy.

Foodie:  I agree.  Do you want me to go get them?  I’ll beat the shit out of those punks for you, to defend your comic honour.

Beast:  No.  I could give them a knuckle sandwich if I wanted to though.

Foodie:  Oh I know you could have.

I felt more resigned than ever to make the Beast those pies.  And everything started out great:  I made my pie dough, I let the dough rest in the fridge while I prepared the fillings, and I rolled the dough out and tried to make fancy pie edges.


IMG_1486Then I started to prep our snack dinner, which was simply a matter of chopping up the tomato bruschetta topping, and arranging our Pingue meats and various cheeses on some plates.




While I waited for the pies to finish baking, I started washing up all my dishes.  I could smell my meat-loaf underarms (made all the more meatloafy after tennis) and I thought to myself, “boy I hope I can get a shower in before dinner but it’s 9:00pm and I’m so hungry.”  

And that’s when I heard the funny noises coming from the oven.  At first I ignored them.  And then I decided to peak inside:  the glass dish holding the sour cherry pie had cracked and boiling sour cherry juice was pouring all over the bottom of the oven and the kitchen floor.  

Foodie:  silence, followed by inner monologue; I will not be a spaz.  No I won’t.  I’ll just clean this up and the Beast won’t even have to know about it.  And dinner’s done and I can shower and then we can watch our Medici show because I have so much history to catch up on before we’re in Florence in two weeks and I can’t even remember what year the Pazzi conspiracy happened.

Foodie (yelling):  Can you come downstairs please!

Beast:  Sure.

Sometimes you just want attention when you mess up.  The Beast and I cleaned up the sour cherry disaster together.  And we didn’t even get into a fight while we did it.


In the end, the pies turned out great, although I think we’re both too nervous to eat any of the sour cherry one in fear of swallowing glass.  I didn’t get time to shower before dinner (it was 10:00pm once we finished cleaning) but the smell of freshly baked pie cancelled out my stench.  Dinner was perfect.  I love making up different combinations of toppings on each crostino. The tomatoes were my favourite.  I think the cacciatore was the Beast’s favourite because he ate nearly the whole thing before I got my hands on a piece.  He fell asleep really quickly after eating.  I, on the other hand, watched two hours of our show.  The Medici were fucking incredible, like a real classy Renaissance mafia family.  The Pazzi family was ready to take down the heads of the Medici family in order to get control of Florence and they made their hit on Easter day inside the city’s cathedral during High Mass. They stabbed Giuliano de Medici 19 times and killed him, but Lorenzo managed to escape!  And revenge he did seek:  the conspirators were all eventually taken down, some in horrific fashion.  And it was in 1478.  

I wonder if the Beast would get mad if I try to re-enact the Pazzi conspiracy in the form of one-woman show when we visit Florence’s Duomo?  Only one way to find out…

Foodie:  ***

Beast:  **1/2

3 responses to “Snacks, Pie, and the Medici

  1. So what’s the verdict on lard vs. shortening???? Did you get to taste the crusts?

    PS, how silly that I emailed you last time instead of commenting. Blogs 101. xoxo!

  2. This post almost brought me to tears. Or would have if I displayed emotion in that manner, but I don’t, although I did remove my spectacles for a moment of reflection. Then put them back on. While not as exuberantly hilarious as some of your entries, this post is such a perfect amalgam of tender domesticity, the tragi-comic ways in which our bodies betray us, high-stakes athletics and historical fiction that it made me rethink my plan of downloading a cam version of Julie and Julia and whiling away the evening with some port and a big bowl of maple chipotle popcorn, those appetites having been slaked by your tour de force of blogsmanship. So, thanks. If your story was the end result, that cherry pie did not hurl itself to the floor of your oven in vain.

  3. Well that’s just about the nicest comment. Ever!

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