Friday, March 19, 2010


Man On Wire, Phillipe Petit

Isn't it funny how easily we get sucked into a vacuum-induced air pocket of whatever is going on in our lives at the moment, whether it's work, or worries about finances, family or relationships. A tunnel vision so singular and consuming that it's to the complete exclusion of anything else going on in your life, and there's nothing you can do but helplessly watch your house of cards crumble around you. You continually put off what needs doing today, clumping everything onto one long 'To Do' list that you promise yourself you'll get to when you have a minute to call your own. And when you do manage to come up for air, for however briefly, you're scrambling to play catch up as you clean up the mess you managed to make of things. I've always been somewhat of an all or nothing sort of person. When I take on something it's with everything I am, all that I have, with a determination not to let anyone down lest somehow it reflects badly on me. But life, work, love - it's all a balancing act. Having the strength, stamina, and steadiness to stay the course even when falling, maybe even failing, with nothing to grasp onto, and a sheer drop below. You have to believe there will always be a net to catch you. If not by your own fierce determination alone, then from those who cheer us on despite their own fears, and maybe in spite of our reckless pursuits.

I've always had a strong work ethic, and am inclined to be a bit of a workaholic. When I'm on a project it's often to the exclusion of everything else. With a hundred and one things to juggle, to keep track of, there never seems to be an available second to take a call, pay a bill, hit the loo, or even take the next breath. But of course there's always time to hit the pause button despite the frenetic pace, the constant demands, and the long hours. Only I haven't figured out how. I only know how to steal time for myself between projects, between mouthfuls of food I inhale at my desk, or in the dead of night when I'm really too exhausted to think about anything but the tasks that need sorting, and doing the following morning. In a strange way, there's method to my madness. Most of what I've learned in life has been on the fly without anyone to train me, or show me the ropes. When you appear capable, folks just throw things at you. And out of necessity, you learn to cope, to figure it out. And it may start out as necessity, but it can easily evolve into a very bad habit. I've always prided myself in the ability to just dive in, and somehow come up swimming. But there's nothing quite like working under a master, someone who not only does his job extremely well but is willing to take you under his wing to teach you not just a new skill, but a more effective way of doing routine tasks. It takes a special kind of person to not only have the patience but the willingness to show you. And it's amazing to watch them tackle their work whole-heartedly, effectively, and intuitively. I realized long ago that it's never too late to learn new tricks if you have the willingness to open yourself up to new ideas. You can always benefit from another's knowledge or experience. I've never claimed to know everything, not even close, but I sincerely believe that willingness and follow-through, sprinkled with just the right amount of enthusiasm can accomplish anything. All of us are masters at something, and I hope that the next time someone show's an eagerness to learn from me that I pay back that enthusiasm by doing for them what others have done for me.

I recently came across Pie Lollipops, bite-sized morsels in various flavors, with crinkled edges to hold in the delicious fillings. And in all fairness, since I blogged about cake pops yesterday I think these delicious portable delights deserve a spotlight all of their own.

Lollipop Pies
lollipop sticks
various fruits, for fillings
cinnamon & sugar, for flavoring
cornstarch, for thickening
1 7/8 inch (48mm) round cookie cooker
1 9-inch pastry dough
egg whites, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Make the filling (basic fruit pie filling recipe for one 9-inch pie). You can also used pre-made canned filling, or home-made jarred ones. For small jars of different flavored fillings specifically for these pie lollipops simply combine a cup of fruit, pitted, diced, or mashed with 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 2 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/8 tsp of spices.
  3. Roll out your pie dough on a floured surface, or on plastic wrap. Dust the opposite with a dust of flour. This will make the dough easier to work with and move around. With a round cookie cutter cut out two circles for each pie, one for the bottom crust, and one for the top. You can make about 8 or 9 pops with 1 9-inch pie crust.
  4. Place a stick in the center of your cut out. Using a teaspoon fill the pie center on top of the stick. Be careful as your filling is liquid, and will run. Carefully lay the second cut out on top, using the end of another stick to press the edges together.
  5. Using the egg wash, brush the tops of the pies with egg white. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops start to brown. Cool on wire rack.
  6. When completely cool you can bag these with small plastic treat bags and tie with ribbon to give as gifts.
inspiration via luxaire

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