When I was in high school, I was a vegetarian. I decided to become a vegetarian for a few reasons. For one, I read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. It’s a story about the turn of the century industrialization of the meat industry… ugh. I couldn’t look at a piece of meat without wanting to throw up. Also, I developed a very close friendship with a girl named Julia who was also exploring life without meat. Together we transitioned to chicken only, and then onto meat free. I’ll admit I slipped occasionally, but for the better part of high school and the beginning of college, I made due on a whole lot of black beans.
This website is proof positive that I have rejoined the meat eating world, but now I try and consume a little more consciously. Dan and I buy all of our meat organic, cage free, antibiotic free, etc. I’m more comfortable being a part of the food chain when I know what has happened to the food I’m consuming. Julia and I used to talk about how we would eat meat if we were farmers, and we could guarantee that our animals had been treated right. Funny enough, that is exactly what Julia is doing these days.
After graduating from Vassar, Julia moved to Los Altos, California to work at Hidden Villa Farm. Hidden Villa is a teaching farm that uses its facilities to teach the bay area about farming and social justice. Julia has had an incredible experience there, and she’s learned more about animal husbandry than most of us will ever know. As part of her wedding gift, she gave us lard that she harvested from Hidden Villa, along with her pie dough recipe. Lard plays the same role in doughs as vegetable shortening or butter, it’s just a fat that helps hold the dough together. And this dough was incredible. It was flaky and delicious, the perfect compliment to the caramel apple pie I made on this brisk October day.
Julia’s Pie Dough
Source: Julia Fiore
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp lard
8 tbsp butter
1 cup ice water
All ingredients should be cold.
Mix together flour and salt.
Cube butter and lard, and work into dry ingredients with your hands or a pastry blender.
Use a wooden spoon to stir in ice water, a little at a time. When the dough is able to easily form a ball, separate in half and wrap with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate 30 minutes, then roll out for your pie.