Sue Spitulnik

Writing, Sewing, Travel, and Thoughts



Little Piggies

It’s National Pigs in a Blanket Day. My thoughts went to sausage links wrapped in pancakes that I served repeatedly when I worked at a Denny’s. Then I looked at the picture provided and saw mini-hotdogs wrapped in pastry. My husband likes both items; I don’t care for either one.

I know I have told you in the past that I eat most anything. For whatever reason I have never liked breakfast sausage. I have tried to figure out which spice it is that turns me off, to no avail. Generally nobody knows of my dislike, or comments, because when you go out for breakfast you can always order bacon or ham instead. That works for me.

We often go out to breakfast. I order a vegetable omelet, with artichokes if they have them, and my husband orders sausage patties, eggs over easy and pancakes. He puts the sausage on top of the pancakes, the eggs on top of both, covers it with pepper and maple syrup then breaks the yolks before he starts eating. I don’t mind my food touching, or the flavors blended, but the pepper mixed with the syrup keeps me from stealing bites.

At a party, my husband goes for the mini-hotdogs first, wrapped in pastry or just floating in bar-b-q sauce. I bypass them and go for the chips. Potato chips are one of those things I rarely buy. Too dangerous to have in the house. They disappear very rapidly, then I wonder, just for a second, why I never lose any weight.

I guess the visual attached to some food names depends on where you live and what you like to eat. Did you know that in England, sausages are called bangers? Bangers in a blanket doesn’t sound quite the same. Where ever you live and what ever connotation Pigs in a Blanket has for you, if you like them, I hope you have some soon.

Pastry; Which is Your Favorite?

There are many different types of pastry, most of which would fall into one of the following categories:

  • Shortcrust pastry – simplest and most common.
  • Sweetcrust pastry – similar to the shortcrust but sweeter.
  • Flaky pastry – simple pastry that expands when cooked.
  • Puff pastry – has many layers that cause it to puff when baked.
  • Choux pastry – very light pastry that is often filled with cream or other fillings.
  • Phyllo pastry – paper-thin pastry dough that is used in many layers.

I didn’t know there were so many types of pastry so I included the above from the National Day of Calendar.

I think we all know the first two types of pastry are your typical pie shell pastries. When making a pie, once you put the crust in the pan, trim the edges even. Those trimmings can be rolled flat, slathered with room temperature butter, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and baked all by themselves. A nice treat when you have to wait for the pie until after dinner.

Flaky pastry would be a biscuit or croissant. You can actually peel away layers.  While the biscuit is still warm, carefully separate the layers, butter and consume with a satisfied sigh.  Yum.

Puff pastry is used to make turnovers, among other things. You can actually see the layers of dough when you cut into it. Cherry turnovers are my favorite.

Choux pastry is used when making an éclair, or cream puff. Don’t forget the chocolate frosting.  My mouth is now watering…..

Phyllo pastry is used when making Baklava or appetizers such as fresh creamed mushrooms. Years ago I had an older lady friend that taught me how to make Baklava. The secret to working with the Phyllo and not having it tear, is to thaw it slowly.  I miss my friend Leta, and being able to eat Baklava without worrying about calories.

If you aren’t the baking type I’m sure you have a favorite place to go to get your pastry fix. Remember, the fresher it is, the better it will be!

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