Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ghosts and Pies

Here's a secret.

I've been sending Yasaman messages on Facebook for the past month now. I know, it's screwed up. She's not reading them. But it makes me feel better. Whenever I get caught up with remembering her, I just send her a message of my musings, and I don't know, it kind of makes it all a little easier. Here's the one I wrote tonight:

Is it weird that I pretend that you read these? I know you're not, but it makes me feel so much better to even pretend that you're sitting in front of a computer somewhere, checking your messages. I also still like to think of you as a ghost. I know it's just a fucked up self defense against sadness mechanism, and it completely goes against everything I believe in, but I like it. You're just off somewhere checking out new things, making new ghost friends, meeting the ghosts of all these famous people and whatever. It's a nice thought, and it doesn't make me sad. I feel this kind of happiness, or peace, at the thought of you still hanging around.

I know it's just a trick. I know, I know that you're in that little cemetery in Port Coquitlam, in that tiny coffin under the cold, hard ground. I know your body is decaying and falling apart, and those great big eyes of yours are closed forever, but let's pretend for awhile that somewhere out there, you're still laughing.
So I've pretty much been imagining her as a ghost for awhile. Yes, I know this is totally contradictory to what I believe, and I'm not changing those beliefs in any way at all just because of this tragedy. That wouldn't be right. But it really is nice to think of her wandering the world, and seeing things she could never have seen when she was alive. I was toying with the idea of drawing a comic about it, but I don't know. The Yasaman I remember is from 7 years ago, and I'm sure she changed in that time. I don't want to draw anything that would be inaccurate as to the way she was, and offend her friends and family or anything. I was thinking of doing something sans dialogue. I've seen a few comics that have no words in them at all, and I think they're really interesting, because then the reader has to interpret facial expressions and body language to figure out that they're saying, and you can also put your own little twist on things. It would be something short, maybe just a page or two and bittersweet. Hm. Short and bittersweet. Pretty much just described Yasaman there, haha.

Ah, life goes on. Went to a fabulous family potluck tonight. There was pasta salad, handmade tofu sushi, mini quiche, drummettes, deviled eggs, coleslaw and barbecued salmon. For dessert, we all enjoyed chocolate mousse, and a blueberry cream pie made by yours truly. Now, call my conceited, but I'm going to go ahead and say I made the best thing there. Really, I'm master the art of these vanilla cream pies. First it was coconut cream, then banana, and now blueberry? What could possibly be next? Actually, these pies are pretty simple to make.

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tap vanilla
  1. Mix together cornstarch, sugar and salt in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk, and whisk in the egg yolks until no yellow streaks remain.
  2. Bring to a sputtering simmer over low heat, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and whisk mixture until smooth.
  3. Return to heat and let mixture reach a sputtering simmer once more, and let cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring.
  4. Remove from heat and add in unsalted butter and vanilla, whisking thoroughly until everything is evenly mixed in and mixture is smooth. Spoon directly into prepared pie shell. To set, chill for 2-3 hours.
The key to this pie is whisking. In the original recipe, it says to stir the mixture with a heatproof rubber spatula, but I had to skip that part since my spatula is not heatproof and started to melt an itty bit (don't worry, folks, it didn't melt into the cream mixture). So I whisked it the entire time, and it turned out much, much smoother than the other times I tried this. Also, the great thing about this pie is that it's incredibly accommodating. For example, if you want to make a coconut cream pie, just dumb in a load of shredded coconut before pouring the mix into the pie shell. For my banana cream pie, I did one layer of cream, on layer of sliced bananas, and then another layer of cream and a final layer of bananas on top, and then covered the entire thing in homemade, sweetened whipped cream. For this blueberry one, I poured the cream into the pie shell, and then dotted the entire top with whole blueberries, and had a bowl of sweetened whipped cream on the side for people to use as they pleased. Originally it was supposed to be raspberries, but for some reason Safeway doesn't sell raspberries. But the blueberries were a much better idea. Sometimes the sweetness of raspberries can be a little too sharp, and often borders on bitter. The blueberries were a much more subdued sweetness that went better with what I wanted the pie to taste like. And since you've been good enough to read this far, I'll even give you the whipped cream recipe.

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp sugar, icing sugar or honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • a dash of cream of tartar
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large, chilled metal bowl and blend with electric mixer on high speed until at ideal consistency.
The cream of tartar was a last minute addition by myself, so if you don't have any lying around you don't have to go buy some just for this recipe. I wanted a thicker whipped cream, and I knew that cream of tartar was a binding agent, so I thought it would help. Honestly, I'm not sure if it did help at all, but it was the thickest whipped cream I've ever tasted, and it didn't melt or become watery at all, so I'm going to stick with my new plan.

Unfortunately, I have to wake up at a respectable hour and cart myself off to work, so goodnight. Dream of bittersweet ghosts and blueberry cream pies.

1 comment:

  1. Kinda sounds like its a good thing I didn't come to dinner. Probably would have been eating nothing but devilled eggs and pie the whole night xD