This requires a little explanation. It will all make sense in the end, I promise.
I am a gigantic nerd. I sometimes wonder how close to the line of true geekdom I fall, because honestly a great deal of my geek cred has been acquired purely by osmosis.
How? Well, this is my dad. When I first started "dating," sometime in my mid-teens, I quickly determined my own litmus test for whether or not a guy was too geeky or nerdy for me to spend my time with- if he knew who my dad was, he was out.
So, when it comes to carrying on a conversation about some fine details of geekery, from the history of PayPal to the problems facing any anti-spam effort, I really can hold my own.
That said, my personal computer geekiness only extends to my basic knowledge of HTML and extremely long history with socializing via the internet.
|My first comic love.|
Of course, being vaguely geeky, even by association, I gravitated towards *real* geeks. People who build their own server farms, battle robots, or pornography empires.
And there are some elements of nerd/geek culture that are just plain inescapably awesome.
Like comic books.
It wasn't my father who interested me in comic books in the beginning. No, it was my uncle, who is less of a geek extraordinaire in his own right than he is an expert in something that geeks almost universally consider really really cool. His area of expertise? Sexual deviancy is post-Soviet Russian literature.
He despises Jonathan Safran Foer, or at least did after "Everything is Illuminated" was first published.
At any rate, HE was the big comic book geek. And when I was a kid, he decided he had "outgrown" his comic collection. A decision I expect part of him regrets to this day. Being the only relatives of "appropriate" comic reading age, my sisters and I inherited the bulk of his collection. Everything valuable he kept, but our home became refuge to more comic books- almost all in their protective sleeves- than I could have ever hoped to count. We could have opened a really crappy comic book shop.
At first, I had little interest in the comics. My closest experience with them was watching some of my younger cousins (on my mother's side) playing with X-Men action figures, and it held absolutely no interest for me. Until I discovered on one sleepless night, the Mars series. Scientist Morgana Trace, paralyzed, builds a super exoskeleton with which she is able to explore the strange and dangerous landscape of Mars.
It's really a very cheesy book. But I loved it. And I learned that comics might have something to offer me.
One of my first boyfriends later introduced me to Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. A few years later, my uncle bought me my first Love and Rockets book.
There was no turning back. I still think that the Palomar collection by Los Brothers Hernandez is one of the best books I've ever read.
So, I became a comic book... fan. Not quite a geek, really. I never got too into superhero stories. But I am utterly addicted to Walking Dead- the books, not the show.
Which brings me to my very very VERY bad idea.
You guessed it. Comic books.
I absolutely couldn't resist. Despite not being able to eat pretty much anything that goes into a pie, I decided to enter.
I started off by shooting myself in the foot. How? I spent an entire day emailing the owner of the comic book shop with questions- mostly about my ideas for awesome comic-themed pies. From what I could tell, this hadn't actually been part of the competition up to that point, but after being bombarded by emails he sent a notice to all of the contestants- the pies must be comic themed.
There went my comic-themed edge.
So I spent the whole afternoon coming up with awesome ideas for comic themed pies. A collection of Comedian Creme Mini Lemon Pies (with a drizzle of raspberry blood), a Hulk ice-cream pie (mint, of course), a Thing pie (sweet potato and covered in crushed Boston Baked Beans)... in the end, I settled on two.
The first was my Snow White and Rose Red Charming Cheesecake, inspired by the sisters of both fable and Fables. This was a real cheesecake- no cream cheese here. Just mascarpone and ricotta cheeses, with raspberries on one half and white chocolate shavings on the other.
The second was actually M's idea- Rorschach Creme Pie.
The Rorschach Creme Pie was something I had considered, recipe wise, but I hadn't thought of the theme. I was going to use it to make a Georgia Mud Pie, which is like a Mississippi Mud Pie except that there are dead people coming out of it (because the Walking Dead mostly takes place in Georgia, get it?). But M's idea was better.
They were both amazing.
And, out of about twenty pies, my Rorschach Creme Pie took first prize. The Charming Cheesecake pulled in at a prizeless #5, but only because meat pies were allowed. If it had been a sweet pie only kind of contest, I would have taken first and third. I feel pretty awesome about that.
What makes me feel the awesomest though?
The winning pie- judged barely better than a pie made out of spiced meat (but only then because half of the judges didn't get a chance to taste my pie at all- it had been completely devoured)- was nearly fat free. And vegan.
...that's right. My vegan pie beat out spiced turkey pie. It beat out "Spider Jerusalem Bacon and Swiss" pie. It beat out a "Gotham Night" pecan and bacon pie.
It beat both "Captain American Apple Pie" and "Fantastic Four Apples" pie.
It even beat "Banana: The Last Pie."
So, for those of you who don't believe that a vegan dessert can be just as freakin' delicious as any meaty, fruity, or otherwise creamy pie, eat your hearts out.
...so, why was this such a bad idea?
You might remember that I'm pregnant, and that for me that means I have a gall bladder that can't process fats. This was a contest of open judging- everyone who paid to enter the event (a paltry $7 that was waived if you brought a pie) was a judge. That meant that you had to taste as many as twenty different pies.
Oh yeah, this was a bad idea for me.
Even worse? After making friends of sorts with the owner, he's now having ANOTHER baking contest. For cakes.
The day after my birthday.
...who thinks they might be in the mood for some Bifrost Cake with Rainbow Bridge Frosting?
2 packages firm silken tofu
10oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (vegan)
10oz white chocolate chips (vegan)
1 3/4 c graham crumbs
1/2 c margarine (vegan)
1. Melt margarine in a bowl. Mix with graham cracker crumbs. Press into sides of two pie pans (or one GIGANTIC pie pan, as the case may be). Set aside.
2. In a blender, blend one package of tofu until mostly creamy. Add 1tsp-1tbsp water if needed.
3. In a double boiler, melt the semi-sweet chocolate. Add to blender, and quickly blend with tofu until homogeneous. Pour into pie crusts until about half full.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with white chocolate, topping off pie pans. Only this time, add just a little bit more water. Just a bit- so that the white chocolate is ever so slightly creamier than the brown.
5. Carefully drizzle chocolate syrup onto the surface of the pie. Using a toothpick, marble the top of the pie to recreate a Rorschach test.
6. Set pie in fridge to set overnight.
Easy as award winning vegan pie, right?