Hobby #2

Baking: Open Face Blueberry Pie

A long long time ago (in a galaxy far far away) I had this amazing blueberry pie.

When I was in college, the guy I was dating at the time had a recipe for blueberry pie from his gramma. One day we made it together and It was the most delicious pie I’ve ever had. I never forgot that pie and I’ve always been determined to find the recipe and make it myself.

Well folks, I bring you to hobby #2! With my need for amazing blueberry pie and my obsession with the Great British Baking Show, I decided to tackle baking!

So upon scouring the internet for a recipe similar to the one I remember from days of old, I found this: Blueberry Pie Recipe. Yay! The only thing not included in this recipe (from what I remember) was a thin layer of cream cheese spread on the inside bottom crust. Let the baking begin!

Farmer’s Market: Blueberries not pictured. Credit: https://www.facebook.com/FredoniaFarmersMarket/

So I went to my local farmer’s market to get some nice fresh blueberries (go big or go home!) and then to Wal-Mart to grab the rest (went big already, Wal-Mart will do for the rest!). I bought a ready-made crust, because I ain’t no Betty Crocker and making pie filling is hard enough as it is.

So I guess this pie was more of a cheat bake because the only actual baking I did was but the ready made crust in the oven (which I definitely was worried I was going to mess up!) and it turned out perfectly. Also making the filling went smoothly as well…..until I was nearing the end of the process to make the filling and realized I forgot the cream cheese! So I quickly tried to open the cream cheese and spread it on the bottom when I cracked the crust. Shit! Well there goes my pie…..

I continued to make it anyway and dumped the filling into the cracked pie crust. It looked alright but there waa blueberry juice leaking everywhere.

The pie. It looks nice here but once I cut into it, it all fell apart.

All in all it came out alright and it tasted great. If anything I can just call it A deconstructed blueberry pie. I am making some changes next time I make it though. I’ll probably include more blueberries into the sauce mixture and definitely some more cornstarch to thicken it up. The sauce was a bit runny which ia probably why it fell apart so bad. And of course because of the broken crust. That’s another thing! I will put the cream cheese on before I start making the filling!

Even with the mishaps, I would rate this endeavor as a success!

Hobby #1

Ukulele Jam Session: The B-Sides

For my first adventure into hobbyland I started with the ukulele, upon recommendation from a fellow librarian (If you read my about page you’ll notice that most of my ideas come from recommendations). She told me about a professor, from the university, who runs these ukulele jam sessions at a local coffee shop. There are two different types of sessions she runs. There is the beginner jam session and then there is the intermediate/advanced jam session, popularly known as the “B-Sides.” Of course, my fellow librarian is an experienced ukulele player and attends the “B-Sides” jam session regularly, and she invited me to come along.

Now I let her know that I’ve never played ukulele before so I wasn’t sure I was cut out for the “B-Side”, but she reassured me that the only difference between the “B-Sides” and the beginner jam session was the exclusion of the 30-minute introduction on how to read chords. Well I didn’t need that! I had attempted to learn bass guitar before so I was familiar with how to read chords, which made me think I’d probably be alright.

Well, as it turns out, it was a lot harder than I anticipated.

Let me first fill you guys in on how this whole thing plays out. So our lovely hostess projects videos and slides onto the wall that play the song and displays the chord progressions along with it. Well, that seems simple enough, right? Wrong!

Nobody warned me how fast chord changes happen!? By the time I finished looking at where to put my finger for C, we were already on D! Geeze Louise! I was sweating trying to keep up. Which I might add makes playing the ukulele even harder!

Chords
An example of what the set up looked like. This was the intro slide that would show the different chord progressions that would appear within the song…..see what I mean by difficult chord changes!?

Eventually, I developed a strategy, I would select two chords from the song and focus on switching between those two, until I felt comfortable enough to add another. This was a good way for me to nail down the fingerings. After the first half an hour I started to get more comfortable and started recognizing chords. I wasn’t good by any means, but I could manage to fumble through a song okay. The session was two hours long and I can say by the end of it, I could probably only play Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” all the way through! But hey! That’s a start.

Ukulele
Ukuleles were provided for those who didn’t have one. This photo was after the first hour and I had gotten seemingly better, so it actually started to be fun!

Although the jam session was difficult in the beginning and I felt like a total newbie, it turned out to be a lot of fun. I will probably go back (most likely to the beginner jam sessions for a bit first) because playing ukulele was easy enough and not gonna lie, I felt really cool doing it. Also, one of the songs we played was Wonderwall by Oasis, and anyone who knows me knows that that is one of my favorite songs and I always nag people who play guitar to play it for me (I don’t care how lame and cliche you may think it is, I think it’s great and I freaking love that song!). So if anything, I want to perfect Wonderwall!

This first adventure was definitely a success, but join me next week as I try something new (most likely canning). Also, I welcome any suggestions for hobbies you think I should try. As you’ll slowly learn, I feed off of other people’s recommendations.