The Recipe of a Relationship

Most of my time away from a real job is spent with recipes. Searching for them. Shopping for them. Preparing, tweaking, critiquing and writing about them. Devouring them. It's to the point that I feel as though I'm in a relationship with my recipes.

There are recipes that catch the eye immediately. They contain an exotic or intriguing ingredient that excites you and you want to know more about it. You want to try the recipe but maybe feel a bit intimidated by it, thinking it's somewhat out of your league. Or maybe the timing just isn't right so you file it away for future reference but find that the excitement has worn off the next time you run across it.

There are the tried and true recipes ~ the ones you can come home to every night and never tire of. Even after a bit of tweaking, you know them by heart and don't even need to look at the written copy anymore. They comfort you, cheer you up, make you smile.

Some recipes just aren't your type or are so unappealing you wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole.

And we've all seen the recipe that is impressively presented in the cookbook photograph, has quality ingredients, and sounds really appealing to our palate. Once you try it though, you realize that those photographs are styled by a professional and even with the quality ingredients, no matter how many times you try it, look at it or taste it, it's just not that appetizing after all. A great recipe for someone else, though. Maybe one of your other girlfriends would like it?

The subject of this post falls into both the first and the last category. I was introduced to the Sugar Cream Pie back in late September. I was immediately intrigued because it was not a pie from my neck of the woods, hailing instead from the Midwestern area of the country. I'd never heard of it, never seen it on a menu and I needed to know more about it. There were a couple of variations of the pie ~ some people knew the pie to be one way and others described the pie in a completely different way. I wanted to try both variations and draw my own conclusions about which was the best.

I started out with this recipe and found out after the fact that it was the closest replica of the Sugar Pie that I was trying to recreate. The end result was very rich and tasty with hints of butterscotch flavor and I'd dare you eat more than one piece at a time. Talk about a sugar high! With the high concentration of sugar and fat from the heavy cream, the top of the pie looked like an oil slick after it was baked, so I wasn't overly impressed with this version. The Sugar Cream Pie is also known as a Depression Pie because it was traditionally made with very simple ingredients that were almost always on hand and I'm sure aesthetics was not an important factor.

Convinced that the Sugar Cream Pie was something I really wanted, I went back for Round Two with this rendition which was totally different in all aspects. This version had a custard base which bubbled over in my oven and left me with a nice burnt charcoal briquette to clean up. It neither looked nor tasted like the first attempt because it was creamier and not as sickening sweet.

I eventually got to sample a real Sugar Cream Pie on one of several trips to visit the human aspect of this relationship and my final opinion of the whole situation? Although intriguing at first glance, after two attempts to get to know it better I just wasn't that in to it. I'm ready to end our relationship because there are so many other pies to try and so little time but perhaps it's the perfect pie mate for you?


gina said...

Never been much of a pie lover myself. I'm more of a chocolate cake-chocolate frosting love affair kind of girl....and I've been known to flirt with the sweet, cold kisses of a good homemade ice cream {sigh} I'm hungry..and maybe starved for affection? lol


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