Armadillo Pie Cozy

Yes, yes, yes. I know that the ad copy says it is a breadbin, but
what a waste. All this technology for bread? And wouldn’t it be cool if
it were made of clear, ultra-thin, polysomething so we could see the
lovely pie inside it? Coming soon in a larger pie-sized version to the
Slice of Heaven 24-Hour Pie Shop and Driving Range, for your
sitting-at-the-counter pleasure.


Armadillo Breadbin
looks unusual to say the least. Made of brushed aluminium, wood and
plastic, the Armadillo looks sharp, sleek and stylish. Rarely, a bread
bin can demand so much attention, but the Armadillo will certainly be
the center piece of a kitchen. The price for this breadbin is £65 and
it is worth every penny.

Zombie Golf

Can zombies play golf? Or should they?

I just finished reading World War Z, which is am impressive “oral history” of the zombie apocalypse. I say impressive because Max Brooks has done such a meticulous job of imagining and describing what aspects of life and civilization would be affected, and how, should the entire globe ever be infected by a zombie ‘virus.’

I especially liked the concept that zombies are too dumb to open door or crawl through windows, so a human bitten by a zombie in his or her car will most likely end up spending eternity in that very car, or at least until the car or the new zombie turns to dust.

Note to vampire fans: Read some of Jemiah Jefferson‘s stuff if you really want a taste of the downside of immortality.

So, I’ve got to wonder, would a golfer bitten by a zombie live forever more on the links? If a being is not smart enough to open a door, can that creature still hit a ball? Or will it just follow its bloodlust over to the Swing Barn and wait for a drunk to roll out? What about a zombie bitten in a golf cart?

My world is pretty small these days, so I tend to take any little thing — like the zombie apocalypse — and try to apply it to my own life. I can pretty easily imagine Joe Sparkle Junior unrunning the zombie horde on the E-Z cart, but I’d worry about The Clown. She does tend to shuffle and she also does try to please, perhaps too much, and so does the Stepford Girlfriend. Yes, I’m afraid they’d be among the first to go. I’ll miss The Clown, but Steppie really gets on my nerves.

I’m not really clear, either, on how long it takes for a new zombie to go from dead to re-animated. What if The Morning Guy were bitten while putting up Christmas decorations? Would he crash to the ground, wrapped in tinsel, and become the most festive zombie on earth? That’s something to consider, too.

I was never a big zombie-fiction fan before reading this book, but now I find that there’s a real void in the Pie Shop bookshelves. So remember us if you received some horrific story as a gift under your tree. We’ll be glad to take it off your hands.

Meanwhile, I keep reminding myself that the undead can’t open doors, but damn our doors are open much of the time. Twenty-four hours a day.

When Good Cakes Go Bad

Or why I prefer pie.

This entry borrowed in its entirety from

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Santa Gets the Shaft

We’ve already seen some flagrant Santa-abuse this year, but here’s a Christmas count-down of some more ways the big guy gets no respect.We start off with your no-frills decapitation (under dome), courtesy of Giovanna B.:

This isn’t horrendously wrecky, but it looks exactly like the bleach-bottle Santa crafts my grandmother used to make, so I had to post it. Here, I found a picture of one over on Thrifty Fun for reference:

Next there’s the beret-wearing, chin-melting, something-seriously-wrong-with-the-whiskers incarnation:

Huh – I’ve never seen a handlebar mustache grow all the way around the nose like that, Shelby B. You think it’s a French thing?

And speaking of disturbing facial hair, it looks like Mrs. Claus needs to get her hormones checked:
Maybe she’s born with it, Darla D. (Maybe it’s Maybelline.)

Apparently Deon M.’s local decorator didn’t get that new CCC Puzzle pan from Santa this year, and decided to lash out the only way s/he knew how:

Poor Santa. You’ll thank him later, dear wreckerator; he’s only saving you from yourself in the long run.

Suzanne G., this next little holiday vignette makes me feel a song coming on:

Here goes – y’all feel free to join in, now:

“Santa got run over by a snow plow,
Walking home from our house Christmas Eve,

You may say there’s no such thing as Santa,

But once you see this stain you may believe.”

“No respect! I get no respect around here! That’s a lump of coal for you, Jen! And why the *%&! do I never get a proper nose, anyway? Is it so hard to give me a frickin‘ little nose?!? Huh? I just – I’m so – I can’t even talk to you anymore! Geez. Somebody get me a hot cocoa.”

I’d fetch that right away, Alden M.

Last-Minute Shopping

If you haven’t decided what to get me for Christmas yet, I’d be happy with almost anything from the Tovolo website. I’m thinking of re-doing the Pie Shop kitchen with only Tovolo tools and accessories. If I had a kitchen in my turquoise conch cottage, I might put some in there, too.

Cooking Utensils

Slide/Tear Towel Holders

Perfect Cube Ice Trays
Dual Layer Freezert Pop Molds- Blue Star Style With Stand that holds three
Freezer Pop Molds
Sweet Treats
Sweet Treats

Mixing Bowls
In Cup Tea Infuser By Tovolo
Tea Service Tools
Tovolo Logo
Outdoor Entertaining Link
Outdoor Entertaining

Elbow Room

I’ve been spending most of my time in Pie Shop lately, not out on the range, due to a curious wankiness in my right elbow. Nurse Crotchett took a look at it and sent me off to physical therapy, which has meant driving into the village in real SoFLA traffic.  It’s definitely “the season” now, and I would be happier driving the E-Z Cart and picking up golf balls all day long.

Still, I’m of an age where I need to take care of these aches and pains, especially if I am to make it another 30 years to The Singularity and then live forever. I’ve already ordered Ray Kurzweil’s new book on the topic for the Pie Shop bookshelves, and a number of us frequently like to discuss the ongoing ramifications of immortality, at least when we are not examining each other for rampant immorality, which we also enjoy discussing.

I’m surprised by how many people say they would not want to live forever, but Crotchett and I agree that we both have a lot to do and see, and 20 years may not be enough, even if we are wicked buff and trim, which we are not.

When my yoga guy, smoking outside the screen door while sipping a large cup of coffee, hears us take this tack, he yells in, “That’s your ego speaking! There is nothing more. This is it. Be here now.”  We ignore him, so he takes another drag on his cigarette and walks over to the side of the building to supervise the Morning Guy’s weekly ritual of detailing his BMW R 75/5s motorcycle.

In the greater scheme of things, I understand that my sore elbow is a mere bagatelle, a glimpse into sports medicine that I’ve found to be interesting, but nothing that I want to pursue through additional injuries, neither chronic not episodic. I do like the attention that I get during physical therapy, and I hope, in my own Pollyanna fashion, that this will ultimately improve my swing. I just have to convince my mind and body to accept new instructions about alignment and rotation. Yes, I am upbeat on this topic.

I am perpetually fascinated by the possibilities presented by the human body, both in space and on earth. Some days, I just can’t wait to see what will happen next. For example, doctors have now performed the first successful full-face transplant. I thought that had been done long ago, but then I realized I was thinking of the John Travolta movie Face/Off.

I probably would not be going down this road at all, except for the fact that your second-cousin Darnell borrowed my car the other day to go over to the Pancho Villas gated community, and was too lazy to change the radio station. Consequently, he ended up listening to a lengthy discussion on bio-ethics, which left him feeling a little bit dazed and confused.

For most of us in the Pie Shop, though, the real face-transplant question was “Who would you like to look like, and why?” For me, the answer is easy: Julie Christie in Doctor Zhivago. Or maybe Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.

For Darnell, though, the idea of his body perhaps sloughing off a new face was too much too consider, and even Crotchett seemed to think that the ethics of wearing someone else’s face bears additional discussion. She’s in the right Pie Shop then.

I’d love to hear what you think about this. If money were no object, would you go for a new face? How about a new heart? New elbow? Let me know.

Coffee–and more–in Space

I love the idea of coffee: hot, black, creamy, dreamy, precious. I only drink it about once a year, which makes me one of the few people in the known universe who understands the fantastic drug-like properties of the brew.

Seriously, my dear, if you drink it all the time, your resistance to its charms is so strong that you don’t even notice them, not unlike any other long, and yet comfortable marriage. Stay off the stuff for a year, and take a sip, and it’s honeymoon time all over again.

Of course, most of the Slice of Heaven 24-Hour Pie Shop and Driving Range are coffee fiends, so we do what we can to keep them happy, or at least in check. While my apprentice Prentiss and I continue our search for the perfect key lime pie recipe, we are also seeking out the perfect coffee chaser.

This lovely espresso pot might just be part of the puzzle:

otto-stove-top-espresso-maker.jpgIsn’t it gorgeous? I found this in a, |

Gorgeous Otto espresso maker is like time capsule from the future, full of joe

It is 9:48am and I am drinking instant coffee out of a gigantic mug shaped like the hollowed out brain pan of an anthropomorphic cow. I love the ease and comfort of instant coffee. Simultaneously, I am admiring the OTTO espresso maker, with its bright, world-flipping mirror polish, as metallurgically liquid and mercury-like as some sort of device sent back in time by advanced creatures from the last moments of the universe to record our lives. The discordancy of it all is enough to make a hungover Berliner sneeze brain out of sheer incredulity.

OTTO espresso maker – stove top espresso maker [Appliancist]

Of course, by the time Prentiss and I come up with the perfect pie-coffee combo, we may all be drinking our coffee in space:

Space travel, by the way, seems to be getting more interesting all the time. This teaser from The History Channel even makes me wish I had a TV:

Sweet Potato-Clock Pie!

Sue Ten never ceases to amaze me. Just tonight she brought me a plate of piping hot waffle fries, fresh from The Swing Barn’s own organic Fry-O-Lighter.

She assures me that these delicious crispy potatoes are full of vitamin C, and she hardly even winced when I sprinkled malt vinegar over the plate and dug in. As it turns out, confectioner’s sugar would have been just as good.

I tell you, the woman has a gift for potatoes. Granted, I do have an ongoing dispute with her about potatoes masquerading as pie crust, but I will never turn down her potato-sausage-cabbage casserole, her potato-brocolli-cheese soup, or her potato-bacon frittata. They are all perfect beyond question.

Just now, though, I’ve found out a little more about her love affair with The Spud. When her kids were in school, they all five, one after another, took on the daunting assignment of building a potato clock. I’m sure I remember seeing a kit for such a thing in the back of my brother’s copy of Boy’s Life, or Grit, or some such magazine, but I never attempted to assemble one of the things and had pretty much forgotten about the potato-as-battery concept.

Sue Ten never forgot, however, not after helping what must have seemed like a neverending parade of frustrated middle-schoolers year after year re-create this particular piece of magic. Never one to waste hard-gained knowledge though, Sue Ten continued to tinker with the damn things long after all five of the little Tens had long since grown up and moved away, leaving Sue and her husband Logan with time on their hands and several empty rooms.

Let me take a minute now and fill you in on potato-clock technology, Just in case you are one of those rare individuals who doesn’t know what a potato clock is. Yes, you might be, although that would be surprising. Even your second-cousin Darnell knows what one is, and Joe Sparkle Junior has been running one in the E-Z Cart so he knows what time it is when he’s out on the driving range picking up golf balls. I now have two in my turquoise conch cottage down at the end of the lane.

Regardless, I found this description on the Hooting Yard website, and I thought it might help you out:

Potatoes, as we know, have power.

”Which of us . . . has not, at one time or another, taken two common galvanized nails, three alligator clip/wire units (that is, alligator clips connected to one another with wire), two short pieces of heavy copper wire, a simple low-voltage LED clock unit, and two potatoes, and obtained a simple LED clock unit that functions from the power of a 1- to 2-volt, button-type battery, opened the battery compartment to remove the battery, noted that there is a positive (+) and a negative (-) terminal point where the battery was installed , identified the potatoes as number one and number two, inserted one nail in each potato, inserted one short piece of heavy copper wire in each potato, placing it as far from the nail as possible, used one alligator clip/wire to connect the copper wire inserted in potato number one to the positive terminal in the clock unit, then used one alligator clip/wire to link the nail in potato number two to the negative terminal in the clock unit, used the final alligator clip/wire to link the nail in potato number one to the copper wire in potato number two, and finally, with no little sense of triumph, set the clock a-ticking?

“Which of us has not harnessed the power of the potato to control time?

Indeed. Heady stuff, I think controlling time with potatoes. There’s more to this particular story, though. I mentioned Sue’s husband, Logan Ten, an affable guy with gifts of his own, a man who would go into any town and find a free buffet or a public reception in a matter of hours. He was a man who had mastered the art of the two-for-one, and usually came out with three.

Once Logan retired, though, he seemed content to collect his pension, and he began a peculiarly sedentary life of watching CNN 24-hours a day.

During that time, though, Sue developed what can only be described as an obsession with potato-clock technology. Her timepieces became ever more efficient, and her potato batteries reached impossible levels of duration. This, I understand now, accounts for the great variety of potato dishes coming out of The Swing Barn kitchen.

As Sue experimented with different strains of potatoes, she would buy spuds in quantity, and then cook up the leftovers after determining key factors such as longevity and quality of the best electrical charge.

While all that was going on, my mother and her sisters were running the pie shop, the driving range was but a fantasy, and I was on an extended walkabout, looking for an honest man, but settling for Pretty Boy Boyd instead. By the time I returned to South Florida, no one had seen Logan for quite some time, but Sue Ten was behind the bar at The Swing Barn, smiling and chatting as usual.

I was happy to see her, and we soon moved from small talk to more serious issues. “It must be hard on you,” I said, “without Logan here now.”

She looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”

“I’m sorry, Sue,” I said. “I thought you and Logan had split up. No one has been him for so long.”

“Oh, no,” she said. “He’s still here. He just doesn’t go out anymore. You know how he always loved to watch CNN? Now he just does it 24 hours a day, but that’s fine. His pension check is on automatic deposit, and he’s fine.”

That night, as I walked down to my turquoise cottage, I looked back at the Tens’ doublewide behind The Swing Barn, and I noticed a warm glow coming from one of the bedroom windows. I knew Sue was still at the Swing Barn cleaning up, so I let my path diverge and headed north to see what was up.

Standing on my toes, I could peek into the window, and there I saw Logan, propped up in bed, smiling just as I remembered him, eyes closed though, and beathing softly. The glow was coming from the television set broadcasting CNN, as well as from an array of aromatherapy candles.

There was just enough light for me to notice that Logan had been outfitted with what appeared to be a couple of electrodes affixed to this temples. The main wires for the electrodes came from opening just above the bed’s elaborate headboard featuring a reproduction of some of the murals in the “happy house” in the ancient city of Pompeii. A container of blue bills was nearby on the nightstand.

I moved silently to the next window and was stunned yet delighted to see shelf after shelf after shelf of potato batteries, some with clocks, some without, but all feeding into the network that was, apparently, keeping our dear Logan in his perpetually restful state.

“Yes,” I thought, “Logan his beloved news show on 24/7, the pension checks are being deposited, and Sue will never really be alone. No need to tell anyone about this at all.”

I don’t know what brought Sue and Logan to this junction, but I do know she does seem as happy now as she ever was. As for Logan, he may even look a little bit more relaxed than before. Yes, I think he is doing fine.

Hanging with the Clown

I was never one of those kids who was afraid of clowns. Apparently, that’s one of those genes that skips a generation. If anything, some of my earliest, happiest memories are of being at the circus, watching clowns frolic around. I’m sure some of them were miming golf swings, and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some of them in plainclothes here at the Slice of Heaven 24-Hour Pie Shop and Driving Range.

Yes, I’ve always liked clowns, even though my true circus love was the human canonball, and I suppose I am still looking for someone like him. But can you imagine it? What would we talk about? Science, I guess. Alan Shepard. Lunar landers. Parabolas and projectiles. The distinct steak-like aroma of space. Heaven.

Ah, well. Perhaps that will happen some day. Meanwhile, I will be content to enjoy my growing friendship with The Clown whom I met at the Hollywood Halloween Party, along with Nurse Crotchett and The Morning Guy’s delightful, but somewhat dull, Stepford Girlfriend. They are, all three, pretty good golfers, but The Clown is the best. After all, she has to play with giant crazy clubs that waffle around, and her spiked shoes are enormous. Surely her feet cannot be that big.

Some of the other players tend to go home early when The Clown is on the range. They get distracted by her honking and little dances, but I just love them. I noticed that lately she has added a little Izod logo to her lovely striped outfit, and she has a very nice new tam o’ shanter on her head. Her golf bag matches her outfit, as it should, and best of all, there’s always room for everyone in her golf cart.

What could be better than that?

And did I mention, that when she does hit one of her over-sized golf balls, it really does fly?

Granted, we’ve had a lot of clowns come here to play golf before, but she’s the best. I just wish she weren’t quite so fond of whipped cream pies.

Cosmo Quiz

Yesterday, to my surprise, there was no Post-It note from The Morning Guy on my computer screen. Instead, his Stepford Girlfriend was bustling around tidying-up my stacks of file folders, catalogs, and return-reply envelopes.

Once I pointed out that all that clutter was solely my concern, and a very small concern at that, she smiled sweetly, grabbed a piece of raspberry cream pie, and settled down to read her copy of the Cosmo Compendium of 812,683 Ways To Please Your Man.

I resisted the urge to point out that the book was actually a spoof, put out by The Onion, but I figured, “It’s working for her. Why mess with it?”

In fact, after thinking it over, I decided to order my own copy for the pie shop bookshelves. It might be a nice read, and I’m sure my new apprentice Prentiss will get a kick out of it.

Prentiss, by the way, had already given me the link to this Onion video on the same topic:

‘Cosmopolitan’ Institute Completes Decades-Long Study On How To Please Your Man

If there’s any one thing I’ve learned from The Morning Guy, I’d have to say that it is that “I have been doing it wrong” in general. And yet, I always hoped that meant that he had plenty of new stuff to teach me. Apparently wrong. He’s way too happy with a woman who not only anticipates his every need, such as sleeping in late this very morning, and she even has the ability to create — and satisfy — needs he never knew he had.

Me, I would just have keep right on making him pie and asking for more golf tips. At least he still shows up to stock the soda machine. Sometimes.

So this brings to mind the Cosmo Quiz. I know you’ve taken at least one of them. We all have.  How did you score? Did it help your relationship? Tell all.

By the way, what do YOU think I’ve been doing wrong?

As you know, the more often I fill out a personality profile, the more likely I am to be stunned by the results, so I’m not gonna do that no more. You can always tell me how I’m driving, how I’m baking, and how well you do or don’t like my talent for karaoke.

After all, what are friends for?

Blackbird Pie Cupcake

I think I like this pie, but it confuses me due to its cupcakeness:

Four and twenty blackbirds …..

Four and twenty blackbirds ..... by abbietabbie.

For more nursery-rhyme cupcakes, click here.  And when you see the original fo this one, move your mouse over the screen for “notes” of interest.

Books To Eat: The challenge

I think I will have to put my new apprentice Prentiss to work on this one, since I will just barely be done with International Pie Day before I’d need to get ready for the festival. I hope you will send us your recommendations for book-related pies. I’ll give you bonus points for ideas for golf-book related pies:

The International Edible Book Festival is held annually around April 1st. To date, the following countries have held this festival: Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, United States of America, Russia. Hong Kong has just announced its participation in 2007.

April 1st is the birthday of French gastronome Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), famous for his book Physiologie du goût, a witty meditation on food. April Fools’ Day is also the perfect day to eat your words and play with them as the “books” are consumed on the day of the event. This ephemeral global banquet, in which anyone can participate, is shared by all on the internet and allows everyone to preserve and discover unique bookish nourishments. This festival is a celebration of the ingestion of culture and a way to concretely share a book; it is also a deeper reflexion on our attachment to food and our cultural differences.

The International Edible Book Festival is a creation of Judith A. Hoffberg and Béatrice Coron. Judith got the idea over a Thanksgiving turkey with book artists in 1999, and Béatrice created Books2Eat website where despite the distances everybody can enjoy worldwide’s creations. They contacted friends and colleagues; their first event happened in 2000. Since then the festival continues as an annual sensation. The current Web Site Manager for the festival is Adage (

Everyone is invited, individually and collectively, to this world banquet where delicious, surprising bookish foods will be consumed.

Participation rules are as follows:

1 The event must be held on April 1st (or close to that date)

2 All edible books must be “bookish” through the integration of text, literary inspiration or, quite simply, the form.

3 Organizations or individual participants must register with the festival’s organization (go to Registration) and see to it that the event is immortalized on the international festival website (

I Am Not My Brother’s Driver

Last night, I fell just a little bit in love with a couple of guys who came in late and stayed later. It was about 2:00 a.m., and my new apprentice Prentiss seemed to have everything in the pie shop under control. She’s already mastered the fine art of making a light flaky vodka pie crust, and I’m sure her key lime filling with be the tops after a few more practice sessions. At any rate, I’m glad to have her here, especially now that The Morning Guy is spending so much time with his Stepford Girlfriend. She doesn’t have them wearing matching outfits, yet, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

I’ve been away, visiting the twins and touring museums, getting a lot of great new ideas for our own pie museum, which we’ll start working on as soon as Sparkle Junior makes a bit more progress with the putting green. At some point, he will need to stop studying the blue prints and get to work with the bobcat. We are all looking forward to that.

I enjoyed my travels immensely, but missed having the time and opportunity to practice my swing, so I was happy to be outside under the lights, greeting the range iguanas and raccoons once again. As usual, it took me about 20 swings to have any sense of timing or balance at all, but then I hit a few good ones, and felt some semblance of confidence in my stoke.

I hadn’t noticed the new guys on the range, but then I started hearing a soft voice behind me, giving a running commentary, and punctuated with the occasional “whoo hoo” and “that’ll play!”

I looked to see who was there, and saw that my new companion was a 6’5″ African American man with a big smile, a diamond earring, and a 46-inch titanium driver.

“What do you think?” he said, pointing at an equally tall but considerably more slender guy a few spots down to my right. “This is my brother’s club.”

I told him it looked like a pretty good club to me.

“Oh it is,” he said. “He spends a lot of money on his golf clubs, and this is certainly a fine one, but you know what. It’s not my club.” He nodded and went back to hitting balls, and talking to himself.

For the next hour, I felt privileged to be included in the banter between the two brothers, tuned in to the sound of their swings, and I enjoyed watching their golf balls fly to the far boundary of the range. Most of all, I liked the sheer joy that i felt around them, their openness with each other, and with anyone else who wanted to chat for a while.

“I came to golf late, but my son plays now,” he said with pride, “and this game will put him through school just like football did for me.”

My friend The Caddy came by to offer me his usual litany of tips, and the brothers just told him I was doing fine. “Are you trying to teach her to play?” marveled the brother on my left. “You should know better than that.”

I liked that observation, just as I liked the guy’s understanding that his brother might have “better” clubs, but the best ones for him were his own. They say that true wealth comes from having “enough,” and it was a treat to meet someone who made that real for me.

I hope you, too, will always have enough, but be sure to save some room for dessert.

Mad Scientist Pies

Can we ever have enough mad scientists? I don’t think so, especially not the good kind, and let’s face it, mad scientists have been getting a bad rap for years.

Surely one or two have done something wildly good, like inventing the giant-head titanium drivers that so many of my midnight golfers seem to favor. I’ll give the mad sci guys bonus points for astroturf, slinky critters, and the whole space program, too.

As you can imagine, I was glad to see that the folks at are doing what they can to foster more mad science by adding a set of “Young Mad Scientist First Alphabet Blocks” to their catalog.

Young Mad Scientist First Alphabet Blocks

Young Mad Scientist First Alphabet Blocks

As I look at the blocks, all I can think is how great these designs would look on pie crust, and it doesn’t really matter what the filling is. I’m hoping some existing mad scientist — maybe you — will volunteer to help me fire up the laser etcher in the Slice of Heaven 24-Hour Pie Shop and Driving Range so I can get going with this project.

Here are the 26 images on the Xylocopa blocks:

A – Appendages
B – Bioengineering
C – Caffeine
D – Dirigible
E – Experiment
F – Freeze ray
G – Goggles
H – Henchmen
I – Invention
J – Jargon
K – Potassium
L – Laser
M – Maniacal
N – Nanotechnology
O – Organs
P – Peasants (with Pitchforks)
Q – Quantum physics
R – Robot
S – Self-experimentation
T – Tentacles
U – Underground Lair
V – Virus
W – Wrench
X – X-Ray
Y – You, the Mad Scientist of Tomorrow
Z – Zombies

That’s a lot of pies, and I’m excited to be on to something new. Let me know what you think, and put in your order soon. I want to have all 26 under my Christmas tree, don’t you?