Leaves. They are new.

So far, my secret plan to post consistently on Sunday-Thursday nights has been less than stellar. Or rather, the plan is fine, but my execution of it… not so much. I also haven’t yet added the smaller size personalized ID tags to my storefront. But before I spin myself into Negative Nellie… I did get through a few features in my Netflix backlog, I washed another load of laundry, I took all of the recycling to the municipal center (which is a short, dull story in itself), I baked experimental Key lime pie #4, and I spent time with a handful of friends, which is always worth a little schedule altering.

Recycling: I’m for it. The town I live in offers curbside pickup to individual residents, but I live in a Condominium Complex. And my Neanderthal Homeowners Association won’t pay for pickup in our complex (yes, I’ve asked nicely, and offered up sparkling statistics that show that our very own city planners estimate that our trash pickup needs would diminish by 30% if we began a recycling program, but it all fell on deaf ears). So I collect my own recycling, and when it reaches the point where I’m in danger of being crushed by bottles and cans and junk mail oh my, I haul it all out to the car and take it to the local municipal bins. The location that I’ve used for the last few years closed in November, but there’s another set of city bins at the courthouse about 4 miles away… but OH LOOK AT THAT THEY’RE FULL. Crap. Crap crap crap, now what do I do? I know there are more city-sponsored bins, but I don’t know where they are and I don’t have a fancy iPhone so I can’t go online from inside the car with my sexy widescreen and GoogleMap them… so I drove back home, went to the city’s web site, got the list of addresses, mapped them out… and realized that there is another set of bins at the firehouse that is tripping distance from the courthouse THAT I JUST CAME FROM. Well, feck. I hope all this recycling is offsetting the GAS that I’m using to drive back and forth. Yeah, I know, it’s only a few miles… but I hate obvious inefficiency. At least I managed to combine the recycling drive with a trip to Safeway so I could get more Key limes…

Key Lime Pie #4: Can I have pie for breakfast? Screw it, I’m an adult and I can do what I want. Okay, let’s see… It slices nicely. The consistency of the filling is finally exactly where I want it. As for flavor; the eye-squinting tartness is missing again (how? I almost had it right with the last pie!), which means I’ll have to risk the texture to get the flavor right. That’s okay. What isn’t okay is me juicing any more friggin’ Key limes. They are tiny little buggers and not actually very juicy, which means I need most of/all of a bag for a single pie, and even with my new countertop reamer, my hands get sore. The seeds are small enough to go right through the seed/pulp catcher, so I wind up picking them out with a spoon anyway. Also, it’s possible that some of my tartness issues are stemming from inconsistent fruit. With all that in mind, I’ll be switching to bottled Key lime juice for future pies. I won’t have the zest to add, but now that I’ve made two pies each with and without the zest, I can safely state: it makes no difference to the flavor. In a recipe that isn’t already this limey, it can add a nice zing. But the large ratio of lime to the other ingredients in a pie really doesn’t benefit from added zest. (Now! With added Zest! Dude, that should SO be my new tagline. Erin, can you whip me up a lime-themed page? Instead of this dark, S.A.D. page? Okaygreatthanks.) Yeah, so anyway, the biggest problem with this particular pie is the meringue. What the heck happened? Oh, right, THIS time I went to a cookbook and FOLLOWED DIRECTIONS. Usually, I judge the whipping of the meringue by eye, and it’s been beautiful. The best part of the pie, in fact. This week, I pulled out BH&G and whipped the stuff for FOUR MINUTES on HIGH which I thought was borderline insanity but that’s what the book said to do. Those folks in the Test Kitchen cook a whole lot more than I do. And you know what? It looked great going in, and it puffed up coming out, and then it SANK LIKE CRAZY when it cooled. I have the meringue equivalent of fruit leather on my pie. Hello, BH&G Test Kitchen? Yeah, are you guys HIGH?

And here I am, still in my pajamas, eating pie, well on my way to being late for work. Thank you all for coming, and I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

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