I was out running some errands after work last night when I decided to stop in at a fairly well known national chain submarine/hoagie/ hero/grinder shop to get a quick bite to eat. Conscious of my recent efforts to lose weight, I opted against anything containing large amounts of salami, pastrami, bologna, or ham (if for no other reason that to avoid the need to gulp water for the rest of the night)... which included about every sandwich the store makes. Instead, I decided to get Oriental Chicken Salad.
Ugh. What a mistake that turned out to be! Let us review what a national chain
submarine/hoagie/hero/grinder shop considers worthy of the title "Oriental Chicken Salad":
Into a bowl approximately half the size of a human head, place the following:
Finish off with a small package of brown dressing with the consistency of ketchup.
- a bowlful of shredded iceberg lettuce,
- a few bits of grated carrot,
- some stale Chinese sesame noodles, and
- some cubed chicken white meat
Eating this salad monstrosity was not a pleasant experience. The iceberg lettuce was fairly bland and (as I've come to understand) relatively non-nutricious. The carrots could have been grated rubber eraser for all I could taste of them. The chicken and noodles were fairly pleasant, but small in proportion to the amount of lettuce. The ketchup-like consistency of the dressing made it difficult to spread on the mountain of lettuce I was expected to consume. In all, it seemed that I was just supposed to eat half a head of plain, raw iceberg lettuce and like it, thank you very much.
No thanks. Next time I'm in the national chain submarine/hoagie/ hero/grinder shop, I think I'll opt for some soup, chili, or maybe a meatball sandwich... which are all generally pretty edible.
On a more positive note, R. (Mrs. Geek's stepmother) gave us some apples from the tree in her back yard on Saturday night. I used them to make a pie from scratch on Sunday afternoon. (For those of you with Disney-like fantasies of evil stepmothers giving out apples, fear not... R. is about as kind and gentile as can be.) We took the pie over to a BBQ hosted by friends, set it down on the table after dinner, and they other guests practically licked the pie plate clean. I'll take that as a positive endorsement any day.
I've made less than a dozen pies in my life and pie-making has been a somewhat uncertain and mysterious process in the past, especially when it comes to the crust. I tried for better consistency in the dough making process this time by measuring the flour out by weight rather than volume. I also kept good notes about the flour/cold water ratio I used. Lastly, I had a brand spanking new French rolling pin available to use, which is a little tougher on the wrists, but seemed much easier to use to get a thin, even crust.
The pie itself came out rather well. I used a pizza cutter to create a lattice top. I must have done a reasonably good job getting the crust down into the pie plate because no air/steam pockets formed in the crust. Finally, I managed to avoid a "soupy" pie with a little additional cooking time that gave the apples a soft mouthfeel... but I don't like hard apples in the pie anyway.
Note to self: start taking pictures of your creations. Oh well, maybe next time... we were in a bit of a rush to get the pie out the door.
on 2004-09-08 at 1:20 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond