Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Trivia

Needs molasses

Today I give thanks for our One Percenters, our libertarian self-professed experts, our Village of Idiots who persist in believing that inheriting luck and fortune is the same thing as earning luck and fortune. Watching our jumped-up, wanna-be leaders pretend to be experts is always good for a chuckle.

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
If you're one of those people searching for a pumpkin pie recipe, may I recommend this one?
23 Nov Favorite Retweet Reply

She has such confidence in herself, bless her heart. It's too bad she doesn't have the faintest idea how to bake. But we are supposed to believe that McArdle came from a long line of culinarily intimidating bakers since McArdle's mother was a caterer, just as we are supposed to believe that our elite know what they are doing because they graduated from elite schools. Why bother with facts when you already know you're special?

The link leads to this:

Mom's Pumpkin Pie
I can't tell you how different homemade pumpkin pie is from the awful stuff that gets served in restaurants and bakeries. I wouldn't use the latter for anything but emergency spackle, or checking erosion in a gully. My mother's pumpkin pie on the other hand, is sublime. And easy!

1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt

Combine all of the above and add 1 1/2 c pumpkin (one "one pie" can)

Mix in 1 beaten egg and a cup of milk

Put in an unbaked pie shell and bake at 400 for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 until done, about 1 hour, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Posted by Jane Galt at November 24, 2004 09:41 AM
Not only is her recipe sublime, but bakery pies are good for nothing but spackle! Which is strange because McArdle's recipe is very close to the recipe on the back of a can of pumpkin but with several important and unfortunate changes.

Pumpkin pie is a custard pie, which means it is thickened with eggs. It is similar to a cream pie, which is also made with milk and eggs, but cream pie fillings are often thickened with cornstarch or flour as well. The eggs, milk, sugar and flavoring create the custard and the more eggs and milk you use, the more rich, firm, and silken the custard becomes. The recipe on the pumpkin can uses two eggs and 12 ounces of evaporated milk, I add one more egg and a lacing of molasses for a very rich, custardy pie. One egg and 8 ounces of milk would, at a guess, result in a mealy pie with none of the richness provided by the thickened, sweetened milk and eggs. I would also check the pie well before the hour is up; the pie should be cooked until the filling is just set, quivery but not loose.

It's like McArdle has a grudge against flavor and won't let it in the house. Any day now I expect The Atlantic or the New American Foundation to pay her a fat fee to write a cookbook.


Sibylla said...

It's astonishing that she tries that hard to be a snob, and yet is still so bad at it. A store-bought pie shell and canned pumpkin? If store-bought pies are that distasteful, surely you have to insist on homemade pie crusts and fresh pumpkin too, no? Why stop at half-measures?

Clever Pseudonym said...

Hilarious. Bakeries, which specialize in baking things like pies every day, have just dreadful pie, while Megan's super-special recipe is exceptionally better than places whose professional reputations depend on the quality of their output.

Her arrogance never ceases to astound. She went to special schools and has a special, intimidating family, so certainly none of us lower plebes will notice that she hasn't got a clue what she's talking about. The important thing is that we all know she did it all with her $1500 food processor. She's the same way with baking and cooking as she is with her poser intellectualism. She wants the image of being capable, without having to invest the time or energy to become so. It's pathetic.

Downpuppy said...

I left the pie to the A-Team this year, and they made the same mistakes - too much pumpkin, no milk. So I'll be back to baking duty.

Although they did make an excellent spinch phyllo pie.

Also, too you've been scooped by TBogg:

Kathy said...

That is the EXACT recipe on the back of my Raley's can of pumpkin! Except it called for brown sugar.

I put less cinnamon in and a bit more cloves & nutmeg.

Ah- plus EGGS. You need EGGS when you make a custard, which pumpkin pie is.

Kathy said...

Restaurants tend to have overly sweet pies, or at least chain restaurants I've been to.

Frozen pies are OK.

Emily said...

I used 12 oz half & half instead of the evaported milk. Pretty good.

Kathy said...

I had to add half/half to to the condensed milk. Had to go to 7-11 for eggs, for that matter. I haven't made a pie in 7 years. Had to use a Dr. Pepper bottle for a rolling pin, dough kept sticking to the countertop. Still, it was fun, pie turned out OK.

I make no claims to amazing cooking skills, tho I like making slow-cooked stovetop dishes more than baking.

But ArgleBargle's phoniness and ignorance combined with arrogance is so ... so ... well worthy of snark.

Downpuppy said...

I use Jiffy crust mix & a sherry bottle rolling pin.

Family tradition - aka from when we had no choice. And it makes for a pretty good crust.

Rugosa said...

By all means read TBogg's post, especially the comments. They certainly know how to gut a twit!

Modestly blogwhoring here - I commented on her book review here

blivet said...

Hey, it's almost time for the Jane Galt Annual Holiday Gift Guide! Yeah baby!

Substance McGravitas said...

It's astonishing that she tries that hard to be a snob, and yet is still so bad at it. A store-bought pie shell and canned pumpkin?

I'll bet outsourcing the production of these ingredients to China would would make this radical recipe even more XTREME TO THE MAX!

Mr.Wonderful said...

Another vote here for reading Tbogg's comments, which are a scream.

If you are pretentious, ambitious, or confident enough to tell people how to cook--especially on your "economics" blog, where nobody asked--you cannot base it on canned pumpkin (which one is blameless for using, but which you get no credit for specifying) and frozen pie dough (which IS for beginners, amateurs, and busy people doing other things, and which you ALSO get no credit for prescribing).

She wants a medal, and kitchen cred, for instructing us to use cinnamon and cloves and an egg? That's hilarious. Color me the opposite of intimidated.

Susan of Texas said...

That's great stuff. But McArdle isn't done.

atlasfugged Just a glance at Chef @asymmetricinfo's supposedly best pumpkin pie recipe + I can tell it's awful. Just ONE EGG?!

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
@ @atlasfugged In the follow-up tweet, you'll note I recommended the addition of a second egg. At time, I was cooking for a cardiac patient.
15 hours ago Favorite Retweet Reply

That follow up tweet:

asymmetricinfo Megan McArdle
Nota bene on the pumpkin pie recipe: I now favor two eggs instead of one, though one also works
23 Nov Favorite Retweet Reply

So if you follow her twitter feed you know that she changed the sublime recipe, although not enough.

The only good thing in all this nonsense (besides the mocking) is that blogging about cooking prevents her from blogging about economics.

Mandos said...

"Culinarily intimidating baker" should be the name of a blog.

Anonymous said...

This really is priceless-- an unbaked pie shell. Why no recipe for the crust? Could it be that that is actually the part that is somewhat difficult? Making the filling of any custard pies is as easy as, well, pie. Really! I made two this year-- pecan and pumpkin and spent about 1/10th he time on the filling as I did the crust.
I noticed she had you cook the pie for an hour and she makes absolutely no mention of shielding the crust. So, I cannot really believe that she has baked a pie.

Susan of Texas said...

She has to know that a lot of people cook, right? And that many of those poeple have cooked every day for decades and watch food tv and read cookbooks. This isn't economics, where she can count on people being too ignorant to correct her mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for her holiday gift guide. Good times.

I remember when she said a silicon spatula was useless because it wasn't any better at being nonstick than a regular spatula.
As if silicon didn't have other properties if she had taken any basic science class.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Look out, Susan, more people are getting in on the act.

Apparently Meegan is just too much of a 'target-rich environment' to pass up.

Susan of Texas said...

Fortunately there's more than enough McArdle idiocy to go around.

Anonymous said...

@thunder: Ah, yes, William Dean Howells-- how far they have fallen!

Glennis said...

Heh indeedy! I was just going to say it sounded like the recipe on the back of the Libby's can.