Holiday Helpers: Join us in making the holidays bright for local kids!

Spice of Blythe: To bake or not to bake?

You can't have a holiday party without pie, right?  So the question is: to bake or not to bake?

If I'm hosting, the answer's easy - I'll take care of the turkey and the sides, but someone else can do the baking.  That could mean buying one from the store or just having one of my guests bring one.

But if you decide to bake your own - or if the baking falls to you - here's some advice.

Always use all-purpose flour, and cut in whole unsalted butter.  Keep your ingredients and bowl cold, to keep gluten from forming.

And another trick?  Add an egg yolk to add some protein and give your pie a nice shine.

Or just go a different route altogether.  Hello, puff pastry!  Use the stuff as a pie crust, or a topping, or just invent your own dish completely.  It's way easier than making dough from scratch.  And easy is the name of the game!

Which brings us to this week's Spice of Blythe.  Just like you don't want to overwork your dough, you don't want to overwork yourself either.  Choose the right shortcut for you, and focus on the important part of the holidays.