Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fresh strawberry pie, as requested

Taking another small detour from Katie's Guide to Epcot, I have had a request (or demand) for the recipe for my strawberry pie. I just thought I'd post it.

The strawberry pie is a very special recipe. It was handed down to me via my grandma's recipe box. It's what I made the night my boyfriend and I got together. And subsequently, what I made on our anniversary this year.

It's very good. It's very simple to make. It's very sugary. It's not my favorite pie in the world to eat. But it's special to me.

1 c. sugar
3 tbs. cornstarch
2 tbs. light Karo
1 c. water
3 tbs. dry strawberry gelatin
1 qt. strawberries
Whipped Cream

Wash and prepare fresh strawberries (cut off stems and leaves). Boil sugar, cornstarch, syrup and water until thick and clear. Add dry gelatin. Cool, add strawberries. Pour into pie crust. Top with whipped cream.

There you have it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Katie's Guide to Epcot: China

Hey everyone, sorry for the extended delay in posting about China. I would offer excuses, but there's no need to waste time.
So, China.

Next on the World Showcase after Norway is China, land of cement dragon sculptures and tiny acrobats that balance large trays of glasses filled with liquid on their heads while riding extremely tall unicycles.
As strange as it may seem, there are no crappy Asian noodles in China. Or Japan, for that matter. China just has various bits of meat strewn over rice in their small cafe, the Nine Dragons. You see, I absolutely love crappy asian noodles. Vegetable lo mein. That kind of stuff. And to get it in Epcot, you have to walk all the way to the food court in The Land.

Sidenote: Excuse me while I rant for a second.

There's nothing wrong with the food court in The Land, but I read a blog post once that ridiculed ALL the food in Epcot as being unvaried and bad quality. The writer had only gone to the food court in The Land as research. What kind of close-minded idiot goes to a FOOD COURT when there are at least 15 extremely good, varied restaurants less than a mile away, and then jumps to the conclusion that ALL the food in the entire park is terrible? Especially someone who professes to be a critic that knows all about gourmet food and where to get it. MORONS.

Rant over.

So, honestly, the Chinese food at the small cafe in China is really no better than Panda Express, but without the noodles, which I'm sure surprises no one. I haven't been to the more expensive restaurant, but I have heard it's not anything to write home about either.

China also features a 360 degree "circlevision" theater inside the tallest blue pagoda. They recently renovated the pagoda, so it's possible that they added seats, but about 5 years ago, it didn't have seats, so you had to stand through the movie. I guess that's fine. I'd just prefer to watch my movies while sitting.

Outside the pagoda is a small landscaped area with a creek and possibly some goldfish ponds. In front of that, but behind the main gateway, is where the small acrobats usually perform.

There are about 12-15 of these talented teeny people, and they seem to be fearless experts in such exploits as riding tall unicycles, making human pyramids (or other structures) and flipping around really fast in handsprings and other such maneuvers. It's fun to watch a few times, but mostly it just blocks up the pathway all around China.

Now, as far as drinks go, there is about one beer worth drinking, and some other pretty strange concoctions. The beer would be Tsingtsao (I think I spelled that right), which I always think tastes a little like soy sauce. Not that it's a bad thing.

The other drinks you can get are all frozen, with names like "Iced plum wine" and "green tea" daquiri or something. They are weird. I have to tell you that they are weird. But, go ahead and try one, just for the sake of trying one.

The main attraction in China, I think, are the stores. There's no ride and no food worth eating, so it's got to be the store, although if you're going to a store in Epcot that carries everything and the kitchen sink, I prefer Japan's since it's an actual department store elsewhere in the world.

But, in China, you can get such things as...porcelain vases, tea sets, chopsticks, collapsible fans, funny pointed hats, Chinese silk dresses and shirts, shoes, jewelry, get the point. Basically, they sell everything.

To be honest, I think China is one of the more boring countries, which is why it has taken me so long to write this. I'm sure for some people, it is heaven, but I seem to have written about all the interesting things already.

One more thing you can do in China is to pretend you're meditating next to a cement sculpture of a Buddha.