Today was a baking day. We were out of dessert, so I decided to rectify the situation. We never did get pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving since we didn’t have a big family gathering this year. So I baked this pie right before dinner.
The oven was already on so I whipped up a batch of brownies from scratch and put those in to bake at the same time. Turns out, it’s a good thing I did. The pie wasn’t cool enough to have after supper. We had the brownies with ice cream instead.
Our stove had been on its last legs for a while and finally died right before Thanksgiving. In this wonderful (sometimes!) age of being able to order things on-line, I was able to have another one here within a couple days without ever leaving the safety of home. And free delivery! I did have to adjust the temperature on the oven. It seemed to run a little low, but all is fine now.
Today I made the first pie in the new oven. I wanted to make a shoo fly pie and for some reason I got a recipe from Pinterest rather than using my usual one. In the mood for something different I guess. The recipe I went with is quite different. The crust has flour, butter, egg yolk, olive oil, and white wine. Yes, you read that right, white wine. And in addition to the molasses, the filling has black coffee.
While the pie is good, I think I prefer my old standby recipe, clipped from the newspaper years ago.
This is the time of year for all things garden related.
Yesterday, I de-thistled our asparagus bed. Once the spears are up, you can’t rototill the bed. And it was full of thistles. So, I dug them up with my hand trowel so they won’t go to seed and infest the rest of the garden. They aren’t very difficult as weeding goes, but there were a lot of them. Resulting in a blister on my palm, even whilst wearing gardening gloves. Oh well. I harvested a batch of asparagus this afternoon that we ate with dinner.
Today hubby ran the rototiller in the rest of the vegetable garden in preparation for spring planting. Our seeds finally arrived in the mail today! There was a backlog at all the seed suppliers. Everyone is wanting to plant a garden while they are home avoiding the coronavirus. We put in our first row for the year, containing turnips, icicle radishes, and a variety mix of beets. We will plant more vegetables over the next few days.
I also harvested some of our rhubarb today. It wasn’t enough for a pie, so I added some blueberries from the freezer and made a blueberry-rhubarb custard pie. I always use a butter pie crust. No Crisco for this girl. Blueberries were what I had available so I altered a recipe I found for rhubarb custard pie. It turned out just fine. In fact, it as downright tasty. I look at baking as an art form, so I always feel free to make whatever adjustments suit my fancy.
The year 2020 got off to a good culinary start. With our traditional pork and sauerkraut that I made for everyone else, we had raisin walnut cinnamon bread that I made this morning. It was delicious with some butter but I couldn’t help but think what amazing French toast it would make. I love making bread. The dough is so soft and smooth when I knead it. It is therapeutic.
My mother in law spent the afternoon with us and joined us for the New Year’s meal. She brought an amazing coconut cream pie that she made this morning. It was also delicious!
We are fortunate to have a family of good cooks who appreciate cooking and baking for the art they can be!
What do you do for your wonderful mother in law’s birthday cake when she is a pie person?
You search Pinterest until you find a pie recipe fitting for the occasion. Then you drive to the farm market to get the good peaches before going to the grocery store to get the other ingredients needed. You make the peach custard pie with crumb topping.
You add a decorative rose made of pie dough.
And then the hardest part, you make sure not to eat any before her big day!
Peaches are in season! We got half a peck at the Farm Market nearby this morning. So this evening I made pie. Pie prepared with fresh fruit is a whole different experience than having a store bought pie.
Honey Rocks are also in season! They are a large muskmelon. They are slightly different than a cantaloupe, they are, well …, muskier. And they have visible ribs. Delicious!
A few weeks ago I picked enough black raspberries from our bushes to bake a pie.
And a few weeks before that I harvested service berries from our bushes and made a pie.
See a theme here? Living in the country does have numerous benefits!
I seem to find opportunities to build the strength of patience all around me lately. I think this might mean that I am cranky and impatient. Never the less this gives me the chance to work on this virtue.
Our family was very fortunate this year to have the largest crop of cherries that has grown in the almost 12 years that we have lived here. You can see them in the basket. We think that they are Queen Anne cherries or a similar variety. They are heirloom and organic. Not to mention delicious. It took three of us 20-30 minutes to pick this many cherries. Now I must have the patience to seed all of these cherries and make them into a pie. At least this has its own rewards!
It also took a certain amount of patience to pick all the berries for this service berry pie. As I stood in the puddles of rain water from our continual storms as of late, I was swarmed by mosquitos. I knew if I wanted the pie that this was my only chance. The berries are only on the trees for a short time before the birds eat them all. This took patience, and swatting, to finish the job. The prize was worth it. It was the first time we had enough service berries to bake a pie. It tasted like a cross between cherries and plums and another unidentifiable but heavenly flavor.
I had a chance to exhibit patience last evening as well. On a therapy dog visit to the care facility as we sat and conversed with our friends there was one lady who was telling tidbits from her life. She shared with us the fact that she had a dog named Trixie who was like a member of her family. She shared this great revelation with us about 10 times. To be honest it didn’t take much patience for me to listen to her repeat the tale. It made her so happy. And we never ran out of things to talk about or had that awkward silence. She could always tell me about Trixie again. I would want someone to show me the same kindness.
(Picture of two past foster dogs, Gracie and Selah, now in a loving home.)
And when I got home last evening I called a lady that I was told needed some rescue help with her dogs. It turned out that she did not think she needed help from rescue. She had found help in the form of two young people to assist her with day to day dog care. I pray she is right. But I listened to her tell me about their bloodlines starting 30 years back. And various animals she had rescued over the years. Not to mention information about her fantastic memory and other information about her family. This was all well and good. That lady sounded lonely and was in need of an ear to bend and to share her troubles. It gave me time to practice my skills of patience. And keep a good rapport and the lines of communication open on the chance that there is ever a day when those dogs do need us.
So the easier times of having patience to do unimportant things like pick fruit to make a pie, are training for things of consequence like improving lives. Lives of dogs and lives of people. Rescue work is multi-faceted.