Sunday, July 5, 2009

Inédito! (Unheard of!) Pecan pie in Chile! And language musing.

Today on my way to the land of pink and trivia games and measuring of pregnant bellies with soft woolen yarn (darnit, didn't even come close!) I took the metro. I did this because, despite major obstacles, such as the great pecan seizing of 2008 and also the very overpricedly available pecans and Jumbo and Santa Isabel (2990 CLP for 100gr, or about US $25 a pound), and then the finding of pecans, but in their blasted shells, which lands! are they hard to get out (especially with no nutcracker), I had made a pecan pie.

See how pretty?

So because of the pecan pie, which upon leaving the house, I could see at least looked prettyish, and this I did not wish to destroy with the jostling that is biking from my house to mountain-backdropped Las Condes, I decided to hoof and metro it up to the baby shower. On the way, I clutched the pie, and became mesmerized by the LCD display which repeatedly scrolled through information such as the metro schedule, the busses you could take when the metro closes (11ish most days), and asking you to please not talk on the phone on the stairs and escalators, not to run on the stairs (escalators ok, apparently) or on the platforms (shout out to Abby who learned this word in English the other day), and to not sit on the floor in the metro cars. The metro also seems to doggedly be pursuing the word punta instead of peak (said with Chilean accent) to describe rush hour, an effort which goes completely unnoticed by everyone, as we all still refer to rush hour and the price the metro costs during that time as "horas peak."

Among the messages being blipped across the screen was one instructing me to (I believe, I got distracted by the word choice, as you'll see) charge my BIP (say: beep) card at off times, to avoid... something.

The word they chose here was aglomeraciones. I don't argue with the use of this word, exactly, even if the informal Chilean word and the word I would normally hear or use for crowd is choclón (from choclo, or corn, see how crowded the kernels are?) You can hear a very dapper sounding Spanish speaker say the word here, if you were so desirous.

I'm not arguing with aglomeración, I'm sure it's a perfectly legitimate word for crowd. I think of congestión, maybe a taco (Chilean for traffic) peatonal, mucha gente, even muchedumbre, but hey, the person who programmed the LCD screen is more of a Spanish speaker than I am.

But as an English speaker, I was thinking of myself as one of a number of particles, and thinking how if we were to clump together, or agglomerate if you will, it would be harder for us to get out the exit gates of the metro. The thicker the solution, the slower it moves. Which is exactly what I was waiting for last night at about 7 PM when I called my personal 24-hour cooking hotline, also known as Mamaj (get your own) to find out how to know when my pecan pie was done. She wasn't there, so I had to rely on the second string, someone's uncle Google.

Did you see how pretty it looks? I also made fudge (for another party, zero pregnant people there, also no pictures) proving that I'm good at changing phases of matter. If I ever participate in guerilla public service announcement vandalizing effort, you can bet I'm going to do a play on words. Avoid thickening! viscosity! solidification!

... end of post

post-post! I violated Smith family tradition and made this pecan pie recipe, rather than the one on the corn syrup bottle, using 1.5 cups of pecans because darnit, I'd already (painfully) shelled them. I also did not use Texas pecans, and do not hold the authors responsible for the deliciousness that resulted.

post-post-post! I imported the corn syrup from the United States for the pre-pecan seizing plans I had in November. I don't know of any local equivalent, choclo be darned.


Marisa said...

That is a good looking pie. How does your baking turn out in an oven without a temperature? Or was that just my crazy Chilean oven? I had to ask my nana where to turn the oven for baking in general. What kind of oven has no numbers?

Eileen said...

I often say the following: My oven has two temperatures: nuclear and turbo. There are no numbers, and my oven was made probably in the 40s. It's a scary affair to be sure. The key to this pie was a lowish temp, putting the rack very high in the oven, so as not to burn the crust and periodically opening the oven and waving a dish towel in front of it to make sure the oven didn't get too hot. Also luck, luck is very important.

thanks for commenting!

Anonymous said...

I thiiiink you might be more likely to find corn syrup if you look for miel de maíz. Of course no idea if it's actually available anywhere in Chile.

Esto en un momento de ocio me puse a ver lo que es más común en las páginas google de Chile, jarabe o miel de maíz. Ahí está.

Katie said...

That is one yummy-looking pecan pie. I have yet to stumble upon corn syrup here in Argentina, but so far it hasn't been an issue (I hardly ever use it).

Anonymous said...

oh em gee. my mouth is WATERING. i love love love pecan pie and it has been ages since ive eaten one. i was trying to explain this wonderful delicacy to my pololo the other day and he had absolutely no idea what i was talking about. this is not difficult to understand due to what you had to go through to make yours. felicitaciones on your pie.

. said...

And what a delicious pecan pie it was! I'll provide the pregnant belly to be measured anytime as long as you provide the pie;)! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Bystander said...

That pie looks very good! You can buy pecan pie at De Tartas y Tortas in Vitacura (for a price). They have pumpkin pie around Halloween and Christmas pudding for Christmas. It depends how deep your craving (and your pocket) is. :)

Margaret said...

Ñam Ñam, which (we know) is Chilean for yummy... And now I see we need to add pie baking to your long list of skills! Yer makin' me hungry over here!

Abby said...

Thanks for the shout out! And congrats on the pie...looks scrumptious.

Anonymous said...

The pie looks scrumptious. And you can substitute normal sugar syrup if you have to for corn syrup. Just boil 2 c sugar to 1 c water. Works okay.

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