Friday, October 13, 2006

Persistency Pays Off

No, I did not give up on the Great Pie Hunt. (When I want something, I want it ... ). Somewhere at the back of my mind, I remembered seeing a closed cafe on Glenferrie Road late one night, with a sign in the window saying "we use organic meat and free range eggs". So I went for a wander with the Plumbaby, and just as we had reached almost the top of Glenferrie Road and at least one of us was tired and cranky, we found the Pastry Kitchen.

The Pastry Kitchen does a range of chicken, beef and vegetable pies and rolls, plus flourless cakes and tarts. The sausage rolls looked scrumptious but I had come for a pie and we left with a box.

The pastry was flaky, the filling moist. The meat wasn't entirely regularly ground, but I found that reassuring - it's how my home made mince has always turned out. A bit of ketchup and absolute bliss. For $4.00 a pop, I found it reasonably priced, comforting and just what I was after.

Although I discovered a new standard just a couple of days later. Zipping into a fabric store on Lygon Street, I decided that there is only so much material you can look at and that what I really needed was a doughnut. I knew the Sugardough Patisserie was somewhere in the neighbourhood and found it tucked away behind a tiny shopfront. A handful of tables inside and out and the most amazing display of bread, pastries and cakes. Their bread is baked with organic flour and like all their goods, it looked like it was made with careful thought and pride.

I only had a handful of coins after the fabric binge so I was limited in my purchasing (I could have carried half the shop out with me otherwise). A doughnut was chosen, although a sweet focaccia was very seductive, and when I saw the words "Chicken Makani Pie" I knew what else I'd be taking. The pie combined a mild curry sauce with chunks of chicken and good pastry. I took exception to the coating of poppy seeds on top but you can't have everything in a pie I suppose. If I'd had more than 40 cents in my hand, I'd have rushed back and bought another. Sadly, the doughnut was not as good, it was based on a heavy yellow dough and I like my doughnuts somewhat more etheral. But that pie ... mmmmm

The Pastry Kitchen
834 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn
9815 1666

Sugardough Panificio & Patisserie
163 Lygon St Brunswick East
9380 4060

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Simply Unspeakable

I've wanted something disgusting since the weekend. I want a pie. Not a chunky-gourmet-tender-pieces-of-lamb pie. Not even the exquisite organic chicken and leek pie that I pick up from Organica and throw in the oven when I just can't be bothered cooking.

Digression 1: This obviously means that I am not a Real Cook. Real Cooks would tell me that I could whip up Spaghetti alla Olio in the time it takes the pie to heat. True, but I suspect a Real Cook also wouldn't eat satay sauce from the jar with stale bread, call it dinner and go to bed.

No, what I want is the standard, fast food, Aussie pie. Sloppy filling, ground bits of indistinguishable meat, commercial-tasting crust. I can't believe it, but I DO. Even all the raves at the Inaugural Great Pie Roundup haven't been able to change my mind. And this is the odd thing. I don't like beef. I hardly ever eat it - maybe 2 or 3 times a year and even then it's usually organic steak, cooked at home. At yet, everything in me yearns for the most appalling of scraps, from goodness knows where, minced up and covered in slop. Dear me.

Digression 2: I haven't eaten a regular meat pie for at least 17 years. A bout of vegetarianism makes it remarkably easy to chart these things, particularly as once I had exited from meatless exile I had a decided distaste for this kind of food.

I suspect it might be the prevalance of footy finals on the weekend which brought the classic pie to mind. Speaking of which, earlier the Figman flew interstate to meet up with some mates and watch their team unexpectedly be in some sort of final. This was very spur of the moment and when he rang me, I did some quick calculations in my head for airfare and accomodation and said "Fine. But I want a new vacuum cleaner".

Digression 3: For fear of sounding all housewifely, I must admit that I do not vacuum. I have probably only vacuumed once in the last 3 years. (Fortunately Figman sees it as some sort of masculine duty). But I was sick of the sight of the old one, held together with packing tape and spewing forth more dust than it collected.

I went on with my shopping and then idly went over the sums again in my head. Hang on. I texted him back "And a Kitchen Aid".

Underhand you might say. A dirty trick to play on a sports fan. But as the wise Melissa at the Traveler's Lunchbox would say "it is better to be the owner of a KitchenAid than a nice person"!