I left work early to meet Liz at a bar. After a 10 hour work day, all I could think about was my couch and a pint of ice cream. But I pulled it together and put on my heels. When I got to the bar, I was asked to write my favorite hobby down on a sticky note. I wrote eating, then immediately tried to hide my sticky note out of embarrassment, but to my mortification, several people pointed it out. Literally, they pointed and laughed. At my bright blue purse, where I had so inconspicuously hidden the note. One person chimed in, “You don’t look like eating is your favorite hobby.” Um, excuse me? The nerve.
Another person bashed the entire legal field, then tried to sell me real estate.
One person’s hobby was “dog walking.” That was funny. I liked that a lot. I hope one of my friends dates him. He looks like Seth Rogen.
At some point, I started telling people I was 60 years old.
And then, just when I had given up on being a good wingwoman, we met Aziz Ansari. He introduced himself as gay. The perfect man for Liz!
Okay, not the real Aziz, but just as funny. And good at fooling Liz, who I’ve just realized is the most gullible human alive. I’m pretty sure Liz believed him when I asked, “So what do you do?” and he coolly replied, “Cagefighting.” I practically toppled off my high bar stool. Then Liz compared him to Aziz (her love), and he said “Oh, I’m not Indian.” “OH, I KNOW YOU’RE NOT INDIAN HAHAHAHAHA,” she shouted.
“Wait, hold up, how do you know he’s not Indian?” I jumped in, lawyering up. He looked pretty Indian to me. Blank smiley face stare from Liz. “What are you, then?” I asked. After going through Irish, black Irish, and Brazilian, he finally admitted to being… Indian. Damn. By now I really wanted him to be Mongolian, like Genghis Kahn.
It also turns out he’s not gay. Duh, Liz.
Unfortunately, we discovered that almost-Aziz could not do math. After 10 minutes of guessing my age, he landed on “between 30 and 30.” “You’re so close, like days away!” Liz said encouragingly. And inaccurately, I might point out. “Okay, so… 27?”
Wut? I’m pretty terrible at math, especially considering I’m Asian, but how is 27 between 30 and 30? We gave him another chance. “Oh!” His face lit up. “28!”
This was when I tried to take a stale defrosted muffin out of my purse and eat it. I was so hungry, but Liz said “NO.” I obeyed. Nobody messes with Liz. After all, I suggested she put “fighting” as her hobby.
I still hope he becomes our new best friend. Liz did volunteer me to cook for them, after all. Her exact words were: “This one cooks for us.”
On that note, this completely unrelated strawberry basil pie. So juicy and delicious, with my friend Cindy’s perfectly buttery lattice crust. Seriously, the crust was so good I sprinkled extra scraps with cinnamon sugar, baked them, and ate every last scrap. “Damn, I make gooooooood crust,” Cindy exclaimed.
Impatiently waiting for this pie to cool so I can dig in. Cindy was very concerned about me burning my tongue. “I burn my tongue all the time, it doesn’t even matter anymore!” I protested, but Cindy made me wait nonetheless.
- Whisk flour and salt together in a large bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes to chill the flour.
- Using a coarse grater and working very quickly, grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture. Toss to combine the butter and flour, using wooden spoons. Refrigerate the mixture for another 15 minutes.
- Add one tablespoon of ice cold water at a time to the dough just until it holds together. "Just a pinch," Cindy says.
- Divide the dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You can also make this the night before, which is what we did, and take it out while preparing the filling to warm up just enough to roll out.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Flour a clean surface and roll one ball of dough out into an 11 inch circle. Drape the dough over your pie pan, then trim off any overhanging edges. To crimp the edges, place your thumb on the inside edge and pinch the outer edge around your thumb. Place a sheet of parchment paper over your pie crust and fill it with beans to blind bake for 10 minutes. Take it out of the oven after 10 minutes and let it cool a little.
- Combine all of the filling ingredients, sprinkling the cornstarch or instant tapioca evenly over the mixture and tossing to coat.
- Roll out the second ball of dough into an 11 inch circle and slice it into half inch strips.
- Spoon the strawberry mixture into the pie crust. Place alternating strips of pie dough in vertical lines on top of the strawberries. The strips should be parallel to each other and evenly spaced apart.
- Fold every other strip halfway back. Place one long strip of dough horizontally across the center of the pie. Lay the folded strips back over the horizontal strip. Take the strips that are now underneath the horizontal strip and fold them back. Lay another horizontal strip down and unfold the folded strips. Repeat until complete!
- Trim any overhanging pie dough, then gently press the edges into the pre-baked pie shell. Brush the lattice crust with egg white and sprinkle sugar on top.
- Bake for 45 minutes, rotating the pie halfway through so the crust bakes evenly.
- Cool for at least 20 minutes. Serve hot and juicy, or chilled with a firmer filling.