Performance anxiety, or getting grindy

4 Apr

Could not decide which would be the better title for this post.

Performance anxiety is the stress I feel cooking in public.

Teach people how to make pie crust? Ten times scarier than doing a play. Even a play I wrote.

Hence why when my darling Alice wanted me to teach pie making at her new home, I chickened out of doing the crust in front of everyone and was ok with making something new. It was an un-vetted recipe so if it turned out poorly…not my fault!

Shouldn’t be scared, Alice and Crosby are not scary:


But I was. Scared, I mean. Try as I might to be scary I just get people telling me I’m “cute” and “sweet”.

So I made my crust in advance for fear of failing when in front of everyone.

I also was scared because we had to make a lot of recipe changes-whole un-blanched almonds instead of blanched and slivered, brown sugar instead of white, no vanilla extract…plus we added in blueberries and were topping with strawberries.
See my suspicion?


Alice and Crosby told me there were certain details I HAD to include in this post. The fact that we were tackling a bottle of champagne at the time was not one of these details but I wanted you to be aware.

As for things the girls wantsd me to mention?
“getting grindy”

Getting grindy is what we did with our nuts:

That took far more finagling than you might imagine.

Thing #2 I was told to relate to you: Alice learned what tamping was. Not sure why this was deemed important but it seemed to be pertinent to this post at that champagne hour.

The verdict on the product? Tasty. Very tasty but now I want to make it without all the substitutions…

Almond-we’re-not-nut-racists-so-who-cares-how-blanched-and-white-they-are Pie(adapted from Baking Illustrated by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated)
Pie crust: click here
Blueberries to taste
1 cup whole almonds
A really good food processor
1/2 c. packed dark brown sugar
Pinch or so salt
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 egg and 1 egg white, whisked
6 Tbsp. butter
Blend the almonds and sugar in food processor until roughly chopped. Don’t believe the instructions if it tells you to use the blunt edged blade. Won’t work. Please don’t be mad at me if this somehow ruins your processor-all I can tell you is ours turned out ok.
Drizzle in almond extract and eggs bit by but, blending in between adding.
Add butter and blend up.
Put blueberries in pie shell. Spread almond mixture over. Bake at 350 about 45 minutes.
Drink champagne and toast to your friend’s success and new home whilst waiting.

6 Responses to “Performance anxiety, or getting grindy”

  1. Nadiya @ Milk and Honey April 7, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    lmao! “Getting grindy”! Never had to teach my friends to cook but I can imagine feeling a little anxious. Glad you had fun with your friends 😀

    • Ellen April 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

      Hehe, thanks! Yeah, it was fun. I’m not sure how much actual cooking technique was absorbed by any if us, but good times were had!

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. Sabrina at MyMiBoSo April 7, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

    Ooo, I would love for you to teach me some of your baking skillz! And yes I spelled that with a “Z”…seemed appropriate given your “getting grindy” comment 😉

    • Ellen April 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

      Sweet. Skillz. Yeah I can school you in the pie artz:)

      Sent from my iPhone


  1. What comes before a part B « Scrumptious Gruel - July 7, 2012

    […] I think the winner of the night was Alice ‘s creation. Perhaps you remember Alice? Alice who learned how to get grindy with me? Poor Alice who I screwed in the birthday cake department? Alice an I have done some grinding, some […]

  2. Thymes Two | Scrumptious Gruel - August 1, 2013

    […] we accomplish one thing. My friend Alice and I are notoriously making plans: to host pie parties (we do do this!), go hiking (happens sometimes), to visit the Jet Propulsion Lab (not yet), to read books in […]

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