Enjoy the Absolutely Delicious Beauty of All Things Pie via The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

Emily Elsen and Melissa Elsen are sisters, pie-makers, and authors of a pie making book that tempts you to indulge hedonistically in the art of pie on multiple levels. Indulge in eating and making to your heart’s content with their help via their very beautifully rendered ‘cookbook’: The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book, Uncommon Recipes From the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop.  This pie making cook-book does double time as a coffee table art book thanks to the photography of Gentl & Hyers.  Indeed, their lens work should get you searching out the Elsen sisters’ pie shop if you’re anywhere in NYC ever. If you’re not in walking, taxi, or bus range of this pie shop then you’ll have to rely on their sumptuous pie making book to create pies all on your own. Don’t fret though, the photographs do more than make your salivary glands work overtime–there are excellent photos and illustrations of everything from mixing crusts, to how to do lattice-work pie top crusts to up close portraits of finished–and eaten pies. There are recipes for Apple Rose Pie, Lavender Honey Custard Pie, Gooseberry Galette, White Nectarine & Red Currant Pie, Plum Fig Pie, Concord Grape Pie, Green Chili Chocolate Pie, and Grapefruit Custard Pie. There are eleven different crusts –yeah, they’re not limited to the old standby of lard, flour and water, though that is presented for those not quite ready for Pistachio Coconut or Pecan Biscotti Crusts. The text is clear-cut, well written, thoughtful about not assuming the reader knows all the Elsen sisters know about making pies to swoon for. They’ll give you an informed by experience heads up about tools and ingredients so that even a beginner can take a run at creating decadent tummy yum yums. It’s ALL VERY VERY GOOD.

So you can see all for yourself here’s the link to Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ delightful website –> http://www.birdsblack.com/

Make a cyber visit now–if you love pie, you won’t regret it. Oh and if you are looking for a book gift for someone you adore, I highly suggest procuring two copies. Yeah, if you’re IN to pie, you are going to want one of these beauties for yourself.  Oh how I love my public library where I, far far from NYC,  discovered this gorgeous book of devilish pie delights.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds

439 3rd Avenue (at 8th Street) Brooklyn, NY 11215 

SATURDAY: 9am–7pm
SUNDAY: 10am–6pm

If you’re in Brooklyn, then what the hell are you waiting for? Go get some great pie! Eat a slice or two for me while you’re at it.

Music Theme: What’s my secret fantasy desire? My hope? My fond wish? Animate Art with Music! What else is worth living for?

Oh yes, my secret (not so much now) desire is to be an artiste de animation deluxe! Oh yes, let’s play with colorful fantasy desires complete with soundtracks of secrets, hopes and wishes galore. I wish I could ride a motorbike.  I also wish to be fluent in French. Honestly, I do. Now check these delights out. Ahhh, all for the art of animation. Sigh. Complete with cats. Light, fluffy and hopefully not at all stuffy. Unfortunately for one a bit too stuffy. What else are bad friends for except getting us into tight spots?  Slice some melon and leave aside being forlorn. It’s I-want-to-be-an-animator blogcasa night– or day. Here are some of my favorite delights. Oh it’s not all sweetness and spices. Not every dolly is nice-s. Do note, there’s food fun a-plenty. Mmm, Eve and her apples….mmm, yes. If only I had a geek brain.


O I so Wish! Ironic Fantasy fun!





A Ninja Love Story


Desires! Mythic Fantasy.

Mytho Logique


Secret, Desire, Fantasy

A Fox Tale


Comic Fantasy –and Desire, as in yeah, watermelon would be delicious right now. Seeds, the things from which wishes grow. 

Larva -Watermelon


Fantasy! Desire! Secret–oops! Who wants milk?


Secrets! and ???
Love Recipe
Hopes, Desires, Wishes, Secrets, Fantasies all in one! Food for the soul. 
Butterfly Dragon
Well, it’s been a rather long show, folks. I do hope you’ve all enjoyed the film-fest.  That’s the thing about secrets, once they start spilling, it’s tough to stop the flow. Hmm. So now you know. What????? Oh secrets, yes. They’re everywhere.  Take care.
Bear is spilling some Dreams http://bearspawprint.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/music-themes-secrets-hopes-wishes-and-fantasies/#comment-10633



D.S. Nelson

Johnny, guys, so predictable. 🙂    http://johnnyojanpera.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/secrets-hope-wishes-and-fantasies/

Breakfast Special, #26, “Fishing Lines and Irish Lace”

Fishing Lines and Irish Lace

Anton set aside his book and waited while Sarge adjusted the racks and closed the oven door on the two baking pans of banana bread he’d arrived with a few minutes ago.  He and Esther had already placed new bets with Mr. Ranoli on how long, how many ovens and how far along the street the bread baking spree, now in the middle of its third day of spilling out of Lily’s apartment might extend. Whenever Sarge wasn’t out clearing snow off rooftops with Anton and the rest of the Watch snow crew, he and Lily went to town mixing up breads then farming them out for baking in any available empty oven someone was willing to open for them. According to Ricardo, Rosa had skewed the betting odds of when all this bread making action would have to end due to a lack of ingredient resources by giving the pair free and easy access to her flour reserves stored in one of the large freezers in the front room. And she wasn’t the only one funneling baking supplies into Lily’s kitchen. The first batch of loaves had tasted pretty good and the second batch better. Now anyone who had an odd bag of yeast on a cabinet shelf or nuts, fruit, flour, sugar, anything else suitable for tossing into a mixing bowl was dropping it off and volunteering their oven.

Sarge set the stove’s oven timer, then grinned at Anton. “All set. Now what did you want to ask me?”

“I see you got a serious game plan going with the loaves. I don’t want to mess it. But, hey, how about you take a load off for a few tic tocs?”

“No problem. The game plan is in no rush, Anton.” Sarge sat down at the kitchen table hoping to set the clearly nervous Anton at ease. “You’re looking a little tight, Anton.  What’s winding you up?”

Anton listened to the voices in the hallway for a time then leaned towards Sarge and lowered his voice.  “Here’s what I’m stressing. Got a call back from this place in M-  where I dropped an app for a place on their kitchen line a while back. Main Cook Man says if I’m still fishing for a place on a line, to come round soon as the road open again. No sweat when, cuz he know the score in Falls. Just fill him in when feet can travel. That’s all sweet as far as I can read.”

“Sounds good so far. So what’s got you stressed?”

“It lay like this, Sarge. I worked a lot of kitchens in my time. But I never worked any kitchen line this high up before. Main Cook Man say he call me back cuz that boxed cod I plated up for him was best he ever put a fork to. I made it taste like fresh wild caught. See, I got my ways with the swimmers. I did this job pitch cause the funds so damn sweet. Cover travel and everything and still plenty cash to stash. No more need for Esther to do two part-times.  Hours reg too. Big sweet that. Most times I catch a job line in a place with folks I know. But not this place. I got no intel to fill me in. No eyes, no ears. No one ever done  more than hit the bar in this place for a treat. Now, I don’t mean no offence here, I just reading the book as it is. But, you being you, with roots in M-, maybe you know this place some. You read?”

“I get it. No offence taken. You want to know what you’re walking into up front.”

Anton relaxed and nodded vigorously. “Exactly.”

“Okay. What’s the name of this place?”

“Irish Lace on Lincoln Street. Sweet dining area up front.  Major kick-ass bar. Some tables in back. Live piano nights.”

Sarge nodded. “I know the place.” He looked at Anton. “You want it straight up, right?”

“Oh yeah, Big Man. Lay it on me.”

“Up front, I hope you know me well enough by now to know I mean no offence. Like you said, I’m just reading the book as it is. I’m trying to make sure I don’t put your back up. I like you, Anton. I don’t want any trouble for giving you what you’ve asked for.  You read me?

“I do. No blowback coming for sharing intel best can do. ”

“Good.” Sarge brushed some flour out of his hair then did his own check of the people in the hallway. Satisfied that they still had some privacy for their conversation but wishing for more, he gestured for Anton to lean in closer to him.  “If you’re working the kitchen, then stay in the kitchen. Not because you’re black.  Just because the kitchen is Mack’s turf.  He rules his turf. Kitchen staff are his people. If you were working the bar, you’d stay at the bar. That’s Charlies’s turf. He rules his turf. Bartenders are his people. Same goes for the tables and Tony. Everyone runs their own turf.  Unless you’re told to visit the bar to help out, you stay away from the bar. Otherwise you run the risk of setting off a turf war between three guys who have trouble implementing the concept of mutually beneficial peaceful coexistence.  Good so far?”

“I read. The dudes got territory issues. Go on.”

“Yeah, that’s one way to put it.” Sarge hesitated then dove in again.  “Here’s what I don’t know how to say any way that will sound nice and polite. So focus on the message not how it’s packaged. Intentions are all good on my part.  Okay?”

“We’re good. Let it flow.”

“All right then. The first time we met, Lily asked you to tell me all about the news for your speech practice. When you did that, you didn’t use any slang or your usual lingo. At Irish Lace,  it would be in your best interests to try to talk like that as much as possible while working. If they can’t understand you when the kitchen gets slammed, it’s going to piss them off. You don’t want that kind of trouble. I’m not kidding. Mack gets pissed and the knives start flying. He doesn’t like anything messing up his lines. ”

“I read. Talk their talk. Walk their walk. Anything else?”

“You don’t have turn yourself inside out for these guys.  They don’t expect that.  It’s just a matter of effective communication that’s all. Mack offered you the shot because he likes your cooking. With him and the people he takes on it’s all about the cooking. All they care about is what you do in that kitchen. You play nice with them and they will play nice with you.”

Anton laughed a little.  “Hell, you make it sound like a damn kids’ sandbox.”

“Yeah, well that’s pretty much what it is when you get down to it, Anton.” Sarge looked down at his hands for a few moments. “Now this is an entirely other matter you need to be aware of especially if you and Mack decide to commit to a long-term relationship. If there’s ever a fight when you’re working, do not under any circumstances get involved. Do not try to intervene. Do not make a play for a piece of the action. No matter what is going down or who you see fighting, stay the hell out of it. Do not call the cops. Keep your head down and out of the line of fire. Do whatever Mack tells you to do.  He watches out for his people. You follow his creed to the letter if there’s a fight. Have I made myself clear, Anton?”

“Oh yeah, Big Man. Oh yeah. No problem. I got no interest in kicking sand at anyone else.  Got plenty of intervention action right here in the Flats to suit me.  More than I care for. Ain’t about to tangle with others’ issues. Anything else?”

Sarge thought for a moment then said, “Oh yeah. Sarah, the owner, she’s a handsy type, but she doesn’t mean anything by it. She just touches everything and everyone. If you watch her with the customers you’ll see her do it non-stop. She can’t stop herself.  I think it’s some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder. You probably noticed that Mack has a lot of fly-swatters in the kitchen. They’re not there for swatting flies. They’re there to keep Sarah’s hands off the food.  I’m not joking. When I said she touches everything I meant it.  When Sarah reaches for the food you’re working with, you whack her hand just like everyone else does.  Don’t hold back. She won’t hold it against you. She knows she’s got a problem.”

Thinking Sarge really was yanking his chain, Anton grinned. “Don’t hold back with the fly swatter. I can do that. Thanks, Sarge.”

Sarge stood up. “No problem.  Good luck with Mack. You keep his lines sweet, he’ll treat you right. One more thing, Mack doesn’t care if you’re black or white or green. Keep that in mind if he gives you some flack when he gets stressed. He’s got a limited vocabulary. Now, I’ve got some dough to pound down. I’ll wander back in to check the bread around ring time.  If you think of anything else you want to know about Irish Lace just ask.”

“Will not hesitate. Hey, you got a compulsive disorder with all this bread you and Lily been making?”



Breakfast Special #27 https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/breakfast-special-27-lilys-coat/


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