“That’s what a good cooking partner is,” Debbie said the other day while we were making pies together for various upcoming BBQ’s. (How nice it is to have a stash of berry and rhubarb pies waiting in the freezer for just the right alfresco dining opportunity.)
I’ll be honest. It was a rough start to this cooking date since my good friend had me sitting out in front of her house in my car for more than a half hour — with two impatient kids — only to learn much later (after finally giving up and going home) that she was confused about our start time. When I didn’t show up at the time she had etched in her brain, she called me, wondering where I was. By that time, since she had already done the shopping, had her berries washed and ready on the counters (and I had the rest of the pie dough) I had no choice but to come anyway. And I am glad I did!
Once we got past our bumpy beginning, she was in full pie making mode when I walked in. In fact, every time I turned to do something — like wash the berries, take out an ingredient, such as sugar or corn starch, or find a measuring cup or mixing bowl — Debbie already had it out and ready. After many moments of her advanced preparedness, she turned to me, sharing her observation that a good cooking partner is always one step ahead.
And for this cooking date she was right, she was “one step ahead.” But truthfully, she better have been prepared for me after making me wait all that time in front of her house. Otherwise, I may have been a bit miffed, and that wouldn’t have lent as well to my sweet blog style.
The end result? We cranked out four pies in less than an hour and managed to make tacos to feed five hungry kids — with a side of corn. We were quite efficient creating our pies together.
Four Berry Pie Filling
Makes enough for two pies
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 tablespoons corn starch
3 cups washed strawberries (halved or quartered)
2 cups rinsed blueberries
1 cup rinsed raspberries
1 cup rinsed blackberries
Juice from two lemons
Zest from two lemons
Divide the sugar and corn starch into two separate mixing bowls. Mix well. Gently divide the berries intp the two bowls and mix (careful not to squish) until combined. Grate lemon zest and squeeze juice from one lemon into the mixture. Pour into a pie pan lined with pie dough. Cover the pie with a top layer of dough and crimp the edges together. Place several fork holes into the top of the dough.