Saturday, June 04, 2005

Cake pans, pies, etc.

I haven't been on my quest for the best restaurant pie in a while, but I expect to begin the search again soon. I thought about it yesterday, as I drove through a few small towns on my way to Osage City, KS. I passed Shirley's Cafe in Overbrook, where I had a good piece of apple about six years ago. I went through Scranton, where I've told stories but haven't had any pie. I wondered if there was a place in Burlingame, a town with a main street so wide there's parking in the middle of it.

On Tuesday I go to Troy, up in Northeast Kansas, for a library performance. Maybe I'll find pie up there. Or maybe I'll have to wait for the Southeast Kansas Library System tour, beginning on the 13th.

Back to Osage City... I hadn't been there for a few years, and the last time the library hired me I told stories in a temporary space. They now have a beautiful new library, very welcoming. I got there early, in a downpour, so I had time to look around.

One of the things I noticed was that the library lends out cake pans. Not the standard 9x6 (or whatever the regular size is), but fancy shapes. I had never heard of this until I was up in Norton, KS in March giving a workshop for the Northwest Kansas Library System. They had bundt pans in the shape of a castle for the libraries in the system to borrow, to fit the "Dragons, dreams and daring deeds" theme. We had lunch at the workshop, which included castle cakes and castle-shaped jello.

I wonder if lending cake pans is widespread, or if it's a rural midwest custom. I like the idea, and if I were a cake-baker, I'd be happy to live in a place where I could borrow an unusual pan. I prefer pie, though and I've got a couple of glass pie pans that work just fine.

I don't bake pie often, but I baked two last week. One was cherry, with a homemade crust (half butter, half shortening) and the other was apple, with a store-bought crust. The apple was an afterthought. I think that's why the cherry was so much better.


Faith said...

Cake pans at the library! What a great idea! I am deeply disappointed in the pan I recently bought for way too much money - it is supposed to make 6 little angel food cakes all at once, and I had the misguided idea that it would take one recipe's worth of batter. Well, it was a chiffon cake batter that I made, but I had recently made the same one using my regular angel food cake pan, but this made enough batter that I had enough batter left over to make 14 cupcakes. And then to make matters worse, you're not supposed to grease the pan for either angel food or chiffon cakes, but yep, you guessed it, each of those 6 little cakes had to be dug out of the pan, thereby ruining the effect. If I had borrowed the pan from a library, I wouldn't have been so disgruntled.

Oh well. The cakes still tasted good, and I guess that the people I shared them with didn't mind that they looked pretty disheveled.

PriscillaHowe said...

Yesterday I was at another library that lends out cake pans, as well as candy molds. There must have been over 100 of them!