And, IKEA Saves the Day
I have been assigned to bake pumpkin pies for my Toastmaster’s club Thanksgiving day party (that’s tonight). (Actually, I volunteered because I thought a pumpkin pie would be relatively easy, and I love pumpkin pies…) A little background, my toastmasters club decided to have a sort-of Thanksgiving feast instead of our normal Thursday evening meetings. Just so happens, Thanksgiving is on Thursday. Works out well. Well, it was decided that the Americans in the group do the cooking to show our non-American club members what an American Thanksgiving would be like. (well, we’re going to try!) So, Wednesday after work (that’s yesterday), I decided that I’d better buy my pie baking supplies (as I had two pies to make before Thursday!). “How hard could it be?”, I thought. I decided to go to Jenny Lou’s, which is, may I say, the most popular, and extensive, import goods grocery store here (they have several locations around town and completely blow away their smaller rival April Gormet, and the big boys’ [Carrefour, Walmart, Tesco] sorry attempt at selling import goods.) I also have seen baking trays and already-made pie crusts (just in case) being sold there. Well, I go to one of the larger Jenny Lou’s in Sanlitun (on the way home from work) at about 6pm as I thought that would increase my chances. I get there and begin looking for the stuff. OK, first, let’s find the crust. Well, I looked all over the shop, and no already-made crusts. Hmm, I guess no one ever bought them. Well, is there any pie crust mix? Man, that was hidden! Took me 20 or so minutes to find that. And there were two boxes left (each box makes 2 pie crusts). I decided to take both, just in case (sorry guys). “What the heck does Pumpkin Pie mix look like?!” Crap. After another 10 or so minutes of looking down the aisles and a few phone calls to my girlfriend, I finally found the Pumkin purée in a can. It was in the jam section (I think). Thankfully, the import company didn’t put the stupid ingredients translation sticker over the Pumpkin Pie recipe. I needed to get ground cinnamon, ground chives, and ground ginger (all n problems at Jenny Lou’s - they sell this stuff by weight) and evaporated milk (also no problem). I had eggs at home, as well as salt. I’m in business. Pie Dishes! Doh! I went upstairs where they normally sell this stuff. Lots of cupcake dish options. Some square dishes. No round pie dishes. Crap. I decided to pay for this stuff and check the lousy April Gormet just down the road. Not surprisingly, they didn’t have what I wanted. I then decided to drive to the Jenny Lou’s at Chaoyang Park West Gate - thinking maybe the Sanlitun store was just out of stock of round pie dishes. I was wrong. The Chaoyang Park store has identical stock. Now, I’m getting a bit desperate. I decide to go to the Carrefour near my home. That was a complete waste. I forgot that pretty much no one here has ovens - thus no one bakes! I try a last ditch effort to go to the Jenny Lou’s near my home at Jianwai SOHO. Nothing - even worse of a selection than the first two. It’s 8:30. Then I remember IKEA! It’s a bit of a drive, but they’re open ’til 10. I get there around 9:00 or so. Not many people there at that hour, so it was a breeze. In, Out. Got my pie dishes! Now time to get home and actually make the pies! Well, I’ve got the goods, now I am sure you want to kno just how far I drove, and in what wacky order! Here’s the map! [googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&t=k&om=1&s=AARTsJp4VmFQtrn_lbVAZLPAADDavzVQ1g&msa=0&msid=114081299157522590496.00043f7ae0a1fb1cf3e7f&ll=39.938304,116.472073&spn=0.094766,0.085831&z=13&output=embed&w=500&h=720] Note: I didn’t put my return route on the map as I pretty much followed the going-to-IKEA route to get home. Do the math. This is what I ended up with (actually two of them). It worked well in my small oven. I checked the IKEA site this morning and found this pie dish. This one probably would have been better, but I didn’t see it at IKEA. Oh well… Note: Images “borrowed” from IKEA China’s Website.