Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lunch, Doctor's Offices,

Today we are going, with friends, to the Mandarin. Our favourite Chinese buffet restaurant. I especially am looking forward to their Hot and Sour Soup. It is, as I have said before, one of the best I have ever tasted. One of these days I will have a go at making it properly. I have recently read, in a couple of places, that if you end up with back ache whilst standing (as I do when cooking) you should have a small stool and rest one foot on it changing periodically. I am now planning to get a small stool to try it out. It really does put the kibosh on cooking these days to end up in agony. I try and sit down a lot, but when you are cooking, that isn't always possible. Sorry to be a moaning Minnie.

Damn, damn and double damn. Our doctor in the next town over, Cambridge, opened two satellite
offices in our town, one of which was just up the road from us. Sadly, I got an email today telling me they are now closing them again because - they say - of Ministry of Health cuts to family practices. I am so annoyed. It was a pain in the butt to have to go all the way over to Cambridge, but gotta do it again I guess. Nothing wrong with the care they offer, but .....  Just remembered I had an appointment for my Diabetes Clinic in January so phoned the Cambridge office and changed it. I thought it was all going so well, but I guess it wasn't. They had a couple of Nurse Practitioners working there and one fully fledged doctor. In Cambridge they have a lot of doctors and one can always get to see one  - especially if you are over 70 when you can get an appointment the same day if you need it.

We bowled today, not good again. Only 3 of us so it went by pretty quickly. I had one fairly good game as did our other team member but generally the three of us were terrible. Saw the father owner before he went off to visit his wife in hospital, he seems to think she is doing pretty well but it will take some time. This being the woman who had back surgery as I mentioned last week.

Although I would be unlikely to make this recipe myself, I had to share it because it has obviously taken the chef so much time to arrange and is, in my opinion, absolutely beautiful. I would certainly like to eat it of course.

Rye Pecan Pie

  • Yield 8 servings


For the crust:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ pound cold unsalted butter, cut into dice
  • ½ cup ice water, more as needed
  • About 5 cups dried beans (for baking)

For the filling:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • cup molasses, dark or unsulfured
  • cup light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons rye or bourbon, not more than 90 proof
  • 2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 2 ½ cups pecan halves
  • Whipped cream, for serving


    1. Make the crust: In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine flour, salt and white sugar at low speed. Add butter and mix until pea-size lumps form. Raise the speed to medium-low and add 1/2 cup ice water in a slow, steady stream, mixing just until dough holds together. To test, pinch a small amount of dough. If it is crumbly, add more ice water, one tablespoon at a time. Shape dough into a ball and wrap it loosely in plastic, then roll it into a disk. Refrigerate at least one hour, or up to 3 days, before rolling. (Dough can be frozen for up to a month.)
    2. Open a 10-inch springform pan, flip the bottom over so the outside surface faces in, then close. This will make removing the pie easier when it is done, by preventing the dough from sinking into the pan’s crease. On a lightly floured surface, roll chilled dough into a circle 16 inches in diameter. Lift it and let it settle into pan, fitting the dough down into the edges. Press the sides firmly against pan and pinch around the top rim. Trim dough with kitchen scissors so it hangs over the rim by one inch, reserving excess. Refrigerate in pan until very cold and firm, at least 45 minutes.
    3. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prick bottom of dough with a fork. Lay a piece of parchment or wax paper in pan, then a piece of aluminum foil. Fill foil lining with dried beans to top of pan. Bake 15 to 25 minutes, until the sides of the crust have set and turned a light golden brown. Remove from oven and lift out the beans, foil and parchment. Patch any holes with reserved dough, pressing firmly. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until golden brown. Let cool at least 30 minutes before filling.
    4. Fill the pie: Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, melted butter, molasses, corn syrup, vanilla, salt and rye or bourbon. Place baked pie shell, still in the pan, on a sheet pan. Gently pour in the filling. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over surface. Working from outside in, arrange pecan halves in concentric circles, without overlapping, until entire surface is covered. (Use only as many as needed.)
    5. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, just until filling is firm and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into center. (Do not worry if the overhanging crust becomes very dark brown.) Let cool completely. Use a serrated knife to saw off all overhanging pie crust. Carefully remove outer ring of pan. Slice with a large, very sharp knife and serve with whipped cream.

    Have a great day


    1. Hi Jo - enjoy lunch ... sorry to hear about the Drs surgery change ... all the best - Hilary

    2. I've had to switch doctors 4 times in the 4 years I've lived here because they either move or stop taking my insurance. It's such a pain.

      1. At least I am not switching doctors per se. It's all the same bunch, they are just closing a couple of offices. Of course here it's all covered by Ontario Health Insurance Plan

    3. Enjoy your meal - but a pity about the doctor's office closing. Maybe things will change again now you have had a change of government.

      1. Thanks Helen, it is a pity. I know the last government make a lot of cut backs on health provision. Hopefully the liberals will have a different view.

    4. Ministry of Health part of the government? Scary they can control businesses like that.

      1. Well don't forget Alex, our health system is all paid for by the government out of our taxes of course.

    5. I hate that you have to drive. I live in a rural area and it seems we always have to drive to everything.

      Another idea for the back is a special mat. My dad was a chemist, so he was on his feet a lot and the place he worked got him one of these and he claimed it helped.

      Here's a link (if it works!) to what I'm talking about.

      1. We used to drive it Liz, but then when they opened an office just up the road it was fine. Back to square one.

        Just bought a small stool to see if it works for me. I hope. Will check your link out later though, thanks.

    6. I hope all goes well with the appointments!

      The pie looks good. I love pecan pie. My M-I-L has promised to bring one to Thanksgiving Dinner, so I'm exited. :-)

      1. Thanks Danielle, only one appointment at the moment.

        I haven't had pecan pie in years - calories!! I was just so impressed with the work which had gone into this one.

    7. I travel to my Dr in the next city-I never changed Dr's because he is so good. Thank heaven we don't have to pay every time we seem them of course. The biggest pain is the travel if it is bad weather. Sorry to hear your game went sucky but if you didn't go, you would be chomping at the bit in slang terms:) I was never one for pecan pie-too sweet for me

      1. I didn't change doctors Birgit, it was still the same group. Just a close branch. However, we are back to travelling. I too am glad we don't have to pay.

        You are right, we would both be chomping at the bit. We love to go bowling, even if we wonder why we bother some days.

    8. It must be very annoying and inconvenient for you to have to go so far now. At least you're happy and familiar with the doctors :)

      1. It is Pinky, I was so pleased when they opened an office here, especially as it was just up the road. As you say, I am happy and familiar with the doctors. The main doctor we have been going to for a number of years now.

    9. Sorry the bowling wasn't good. Yes, I can tell you that the stool trick does work, I used it back when I was a prep cook. We called it the Captain Morgan.

      Not sure if you saw my old comment on the dragon fruit from last week. Though I would weigh one but YIKES. Still too rich for my blood. So today, I got a good pineapple. Three bucks and it smells AMAZING. She is resting upside down, room temp and I'll cut into it soon. Do you like pineapple?

      1. That's good to know Ivy. Captain Morgan eh? Yo ho ho.

        How much did it weigh? I love pineapple. I'm lazy though, I buy pineapple spears.