Saturday, November 15, 2008

How to make a pie crust from scratch

Making a pie crust is harder than programming, i have decided. It is one of the hardest things a man can undertake. Anyway, i am a pie crust making beginner. I just made a great pie crust and i need to remember how to do it.

You will need:
a food processor with a metal blade
1 1/4 cups white flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) of cold butter, diced
1 egg, beaten to a pulp
1 table spoon of water

First, the butter needs to be pretty cold, think, freezer cold. The colder, the better.

  • combine flour, surgar and salt in the food processor and turn it on, let it do its thing while you do the next step
  • dice your stick of butter, and put it in the food processor, leave it on until the mixture looks like corn meal, make sure that all butter gets mixed in well.
  • beat the egg and add that into the food processor. at this point the dough should start forming into a ball.
  • add 1 table spoon of water and let it get mixed in.
  • remove the dough from the food processor, and form it into a ball. refrigerate the ball for about 15 mins
  • get some clear plastic wrap, lay it on your counter. put the ball on the wrap and start forming into a circle, about 1/8 inch thick. (it has to be bigger then your pie pan by about 1 inch)
  • after you make the circle, cover it with some wrap, and put it on a pizza pan, and freeze it for 5 mins
  • take dough out of the freezer, it should be hard, and easily broken. DO NOT BREAK IT. put it on top of your pie pan and remove the plastic wrap from under it. let it rest there for 3-4 minutes to warm up
  • when dough warms up it will be more pliable. form the dough into the pie pan. if it breaks, uses peices to patch up cracks. you might have extra dough on the sides. use food scissors to cut off excess. you can make something cool with the extra on top of the pie.
  • freeze the dough in the pie pan for 5 minutes, covered.
  • put a piece of foil in the pie plate, and form it around the dough, add pie weights (i dont have these, so i use a pan top)
  • bake at 400 deg for 20 minutes
  • remove foil and bake at 350 deg for 5 minutes or until crust is golden.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How to debug UI display issues

i spent far too much time tracking down stupid UI issues in IE. This is an attempt to write down some techniques that yielded results.

  • If the issue is on a screen with a javascript UI widget:
    • Does the issue occur oh pages without the widget? no:
    • Does returning early from the widget rendering function fix it? yes:
    • Move the return statement down the render function, until the UI breaks.