ZingLife

Maddie Talks Pie

My Life of Pie

Growing up in a food-centered household, each member of my family carried their own strengths in the kitchen. My mom reigned queen of banana bread, weeknight stir-fry, and Friday night honey chicken. My dad was the designated king of family get-togethers, holiday feasts, and Sunday night themed-dinners. My sister was, and still is, the baking superstar of the bunch, always knowing the exact moment to pull chocolate chip cookies out of the oven or just how much frosting with which to ice a birthday cake. And myself, well I guess you could say I was the floater, dabbling in all of these realms at one point or another.

However, there was one food in particular that was pretty much untouched within the LaKind family. One delectable, warm-my-soul, fill-me-with-more-happiness-than-I-know-what-to-do-with food that I could truly call my “specialty.” And it just so happens to be a food that will be gracing most of our tables at Thanksgiving dinner next week. Drumroll please…it’s PIE!

My love affair with pie developed gradually over the course of many annual summer trips to southwest Michigan and began with a game-changing strawberry rhubarb pie. Having seen the recipe on the Food Network’s website (the Facebook of my teens), and having never attempted a pie in my life, I figured why not? I already seemed to gravitate towards frustrating, labor-intensive cooking projects like homemade donuts, jars of jam, and even a fondant layer cake (yes, I actually attempted this at home and no, it was not my best work). Pie just seemed like the natural next endeavor. I mean they don’t call something “easy as pie” for nothing, right?
Oh Maddie, how very wrong you were.

While a good pie does only require a few key ingredients, what my naïve, amateur baker-self didn’t know at the time was just how many external factors have to be accounted for in order to create a perfect final product. Temperature, speed, elbow grease, and extreme patience are all key players in achieving that famous flaky crust and a well-balanced, well-textured filling (insert your favorite here). My first attempt at strawberry rhubarb pie wasn’t a complete failure by any means. I’m sure it was probably consumed in its entirety within an hour of coming out of the oven. But, looking back, there are so many things I could have done differently.
Lets examine Exhibit A, shall we?

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

Now, I knew my first attempt would present some roadblocks, but I don’t think I fully grasped the complexities of pie until I started baking it regularly. For the past four or five years, it has become my go-to dish for parties, holidays, and those casual nights when I need a stunning dessert in my life. After what I imagine are probably upwards of forty pies, I think I can say I’m at least beginning to hone my techniques.
So, lets take a look at Exhibit B.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

Despite the improvements, what pie has taught me is that nothing is ever perfect. As with life, every pie is an experience, teaching you something you didn’t know beforehand and helping you learn in the process. While I can’t say I didn’t shed some serious tears over all the soggy crusts, loose fillings, under-baking, over-baking, weird lattices, and burnt messes I’ve encountered in this journey, I take pride in persistence and trying to become the best at something you love.

That’s what pie has done for me, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to honor it by indulging in all its pumpkin, pecan, or apple glory this week. So this Thanksgiving, I wish you all wonderful meals, good times with family and friends, and, of course, a sweet slice of your favorite pie at the end of the meal.
For me, it doesn’t get much better than that.

- Maddie

ZingLife

Zingerman’s Thanksgiving Hours

Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 27.

Some of our businesses may have limited hours during the holiday week.
Check the list below for hours of operation:

Zingerman’s Deli
Wednesday 11/26: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED
Friday 11/28: 7 a.m. – 1o p.m.

Zingerman’s Roadhouse
Wednesday 11/26: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED
Friday 11/28: 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Zingerman’s BakehouseThis-Week-at-Zingerman’s-111213-thumb
Wednesday 11/26: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED
Friday 11/28: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Zingerman’s Coffee Company
Wednesday 11/26: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED
Friday 11/18: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Zingerman’s Creamery
Wednesday 11/26: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED
Friday 11/28: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Zingerman’s Mail Order
Wednesday 11/26: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED
Friday 11/28: 8 a.m. – 12 Midnight

ZingTrain
Wednesday 11/26: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED
Friday 11/28: CLOSED
Saturday 11/29: CLOSED
Sunday 11/30: CLOSED

Cornman Farms
Thanksgiving Day: CLOSED

The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses wishes you a relaxing and happy holiday! 

ZingLife

Z-Pic of the Week

November 21, 2014

Seasonal struggle.

Seasonal struggle.

ZingLife

Ellsworth Road closure

The City of Ann Arbor Construction an​d Traffic Controls​​​ reports that a section of Ellsworth Road will be closed Monday, Nov. 17 – Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.

“Beginning on Monday, Nov. 17, Ellsworth Road between Stone School Road and State Street will be closed to through traffic so that th​e Ann Arbor Railroad can perform railroad crossing maintenance. Traffic will be detoured on Stone School Road to Eisenhower Parkway to State Street. Local traffic will be able to access properties from Stone School Road to the railroad and from State Street to the railroad.”

Here’s a link to more information, including a detour map. 

 

ZingLife

Goodbye Deli; Hello Bakehouse

Maddie takes a step forward

This week marks a momentous occasion for me, one that brings with it both excitement and sadness. This week, I will be leaving Zingerman’s deli after more than four years to pursue pastry baking at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. I know its cliché to say, but I can’t believe four years went by so fast.

I started at the deli at the beginning of my sophomore year of college, young, curious, and wildly excited to be a part of the Zingerman’s community. Since that first day, I have been given more opportunities than my wide-eyed 20-year old self could ever have imagined. I blogged, I tasted magical wheels of cheese like Comté and Bayley Hazen Blue, and I served Aziz Ansari a sample of cheese. I made friends who have now become best friends. I participated in Zingerman’s-wide panel discussions. I learned how to professionally taste and assess food. I attended tastings hosted by world-class artisan food producers. I ate more #73 sandwiches than I could have ever thought humanly possible. I wrote schedules, managed shifts, took days worth of sandwich orders, and met the love of my life. I think the only thing I didn’t get to do was meet President Obama (I had the day off!).

In light of this impending move, I’ve been doing a good bit of reflection on my time at the deli and attempting to grasp just how much it has influenced my life. I’m reminded of a quote from The Office, possibly my favorite TV show of all time. In the series finale, one of the main characters, Andy, says, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” Andy, you hit the nail on the head. The past four years at the deli were my “good old days,” and the reality of my leaving is very hard to grasp. That little deli on the corner of Kingsley and Detroit St. became my second home and the people in it, my second family. Although, I will still be a part of the Zingerman’s community of businesses, the deli will forever hold a special sandwich-shaped spot in my heart. To all of my managers, supervisors, friends, customers, regulars, mentors, and everyone else in between, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support, your enthusiasm, your inspiration, your advice, and your love. These truly have been the best four years of my life.

In the midst of this big change are some very sweet things, specifically scones, cookies, brownies, pies, and cakes. Ever since I was a toddler, I have had a particular affinity for dessert and sweet things in general—my prerequisite question before a meal was “is it sweet?” So I couldn’t be more thrilled that I will be able to translate this deep love into my new work life at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. During the next two months, I will be helping prepare a smorgasbord of holiday treats, rolling rugelach, scooping cookies, shaping scones, crimping pie crusts, and so much more. And I’ll still be writing every step of the way, so stay tuned for all the buttery details!

- Maddie

Maddie Goodbye Deli

 

ZingLife

Z-Pic of the Week

October 31, 2014

Vampires' Ball scarecrow

Cornman Farms scarecrow welcomes guests to the Vampires’ Ball.