New Thing #268: Apple Pie Shot

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When I mentioned that I had picked up a bottle of ??ubrówka Bison Grass Vodka to my partner today at work, he told me about a shot I should try with the stuff.

So I picked up some pretzels and granny smith apples on the wya home and and poured out an ounce of the spirit.

It sounded simple.

1. Eat the pretzel
2. Down the shot
3. Eat the apple slice
4. Revel in the taste of a piece of freshly baked apple pie

Unfortunatey it tasted like a pretzel followed by a shot of vodka followed by a slice of apple.

Oh well, at least they were all tasty on their own. 

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New Thing #22: Bake A Pie From Scratch

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I love pie. But as they say on Top Chef, I’m a cook, not a pastry chef.

My grandfather lived with us growing up and one of the few things that he’d make in the kitchen (aside from amazing home fried potato chips) was apple pie. I’d sit and watch him roll out dough, mix the spices and peel and core the apples all by hand. The smell that comes when apples, cinnamon and heat come together would permeate the entire house as only those ingredients together can. And god was it good.

That’s not to say my father, when so inclined couldn’t put together a fantastic pie himself; it’s just that my Grandpa’s was the first, and will always be the best pie I’ll ever eat in my life. 

So today I set to bake my very own apple pie from scratch. Aside from a few false starts with the pastry and a crust that turned the whole thing into more of an apple crumble than a pie it tasted fantastic. 

I also have a much greater respect for those bakers that spend their days churning out pie after pie after pie. I’m sure your pastry skills bet better over time, and that my next pie crust will improve. But I’d say all in all it wasn’t half bad for never having baked anything before in my life.

And thanks to my lovely daughter Audrey for helping out and only wrecking the dough once.

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New Thing #6: Windows Phone 7

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I’ve been dying to try out the new Windows Phone 7 operating system ever since the interface was unveiled. And after a couple of failed attempts at finding a working HTC HD7 (not a good first impression) I got my hands on a Samsung Focus.

And here’s the shocker: I think it’s awesome.

I love the way it integrates the way I use social sites right into the phone itself. Contacts show their latest Twitter and Facebook updates, the photo application pulls in your Facebook photo feed and Xbox Live is baked right in.

The interface is pretty snappy too and has a distinct Minority Report feel to navigating. Even Bing trumps the Google interface in Safari on the iPhone. I never thought about having search built right into the phone before, but now that I’ve played with it I want it in my next iOS update. The phone feels like Zune 2.0 which isn’t a bad thing, I always found the Zune interface to be both sleeker and smarter than the old iPod interface.

So will this little demo session make me switch my Apple allegiance? No. But that’s more about the Apple ecosystem that I’ve bought myself into over the years than this fresh, new idea of what a phone should be.

To be honest, it makes my iPhone feel boring, which is a huge feat when you consider it’s Microsoft that’s exciting me. So if anyone has one they’d like to lend me for a week, I wouldn’t say no. 

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