Suet Crust

Suet Crust-1As I mentioned to one of my clients today, there’s likely nothing one can do to make some people understand the idea of making firm decisions about either buying or renting a property they’ve looked at.   There’ve been times when I’ve had my ears burned by nasty language directed at me from people who believed I was going to call them and let them know someone else was making an offer on the one in which they’d shown some mild interest.  I may be many things, but a mind reader I’m not.  With that said, they’ve been countless times when buyers and tenants have given me an “evil eye” for not holding a property for them until they’ve made up their minds.  As far as I’m concerned, whenever there’s someone ready to pull the trigger on purchasing or renting, I don’t go back and beat the bushes looking for any and all other leads.  I was chided today for not “holding” a property for a person who said she was interested in taking it but wouldn’t give me a commitment until she’d looked at one last property.  Well, in the meantime another prospective tenant stepped up to the plate and agreed to rent it.  Why this person didn’t understand the concept of not waiting for someone to make a decision and knowing full well there was only a 50/50 chance at best she would have rented it.  I can only imagine what a salesperson would say to a chap who’d been looking at a car but couldn’t make up his mind and finding someone else had purchased it the following day.  I’m sure it would be a response something like, “I’m sorry, but you gotta remember Mr. that when you snooze you loose.”  I’ll never understand why so many people don’t “get it” when it comes to either moving forward or moving on.  The only person that was worthy of blame was the prospective tenant attempting to make sure she’d get the best house for the money instead of being punitive towards me for not holding it for her.  What’s unfortunate is that she’s now likely branded me the villain.

On a lighter side, I was doing some re-arranging of a few books yesterday and came across an extremely old cookbook that was likely published somewhere around the mid 1800’s. I get a kick out of paging through it every so often to get a glimpse of what life must have been like back before electricity and gas arrived. Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner I thought I would share one of the recipes for pie crust. It’s a hoot!

To every pound of flour allow five or six ounces of beef suet, one half pint of water. Free the suet from skin and shreds; chop it extremely fine, and rub it well into the flour; work the whole to a smooth paste with the above proportion of water; roll it out, and it is ready for use.  This crust is quite rich enough for ordinary purposes; but when a better one is desired, use from one half to three quarter pounds of suet to every pound of flour. Some cooks, for rich crusts, pound the suet in a mortar, with a small quantity of butter. It should then be laid on the paste in small pieces, the same as for puff-crust, and will be found exceedingly nice for hot tarts.  Five ounces of suet to every pound of flour will make a very good crust; and even one quarter pound will answer very well for small children, or where the crust is wanted very plain.  

This is but one of many true old-fashioned recipes that I’ll likely share with you from time to time.  I can imagine the look on the face of your local butcher when asking for suet with which to make pie crust.  Or if you dare, what will the look on the faces of your Thanksgiving guests be after having delightfully eaten your pie crust and you announce to them that it’s suet crust? Bon Appetit!

Joe Chodur

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