Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

It is pie season and I love to bake pies.  My friends like to receive them.  I've been baking pies almost every day.
 A little advanced preparation makes baking a pie very simple.  I take a day and make a lot of pie dough. I place it in jumbo sized zip lock bags and roll it out.

 I stack them and put them in the freezer.  When I am ready to make a pie, I remove two and place them in the fridge.  By the time I am done prepping the fruit, they are ready to use.

 When making strawberry/rhubarb pies, I like to add a bit of rhubarb sauce to the filling.  It helps to thicken it.

 I keep it in the refrigerator and add about a cup of it to the fruit.

 The filling consists of about 8 stalks of cubed rhubarb, 1 quart of strawberries quartered, 1/3 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 cup of rhubarb sauce.  If you don't want to add rhubarb sauce, add 1/4 cup more sugar.

 The crusts are a pate brisee so they are a bit sweet.  I like my pies to have a bit of a tart filling with a sweeter crust.  Plus, this type of crust holds up well to a wetter filling.  You can find the recipe by typing pate brisee into my search bar.  Using one of the dough disks, line a pie pan.

Heap in the filling.
 Cover it with another disk of dough and pinch the edges.

 I roll my edges in instead of crimping which usually holds the filling better.

 Brush the top with cream and sprinkle it with vanilla sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for about 1-1/2 hours until golden and the juice looks thick and bubbling.  The time depends on how deep your pie pan is and how true your oven temps are.

 Always bake your pies on cookie sheets.  Depending on how juicy your berries and rhubarb are, you can have pie flooding.  It just makes the crust tastier.  If you soak the sheet with hot water and Dawn, the filling comes right off.  Go bake a pie!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Happy Memorial Day 2015

Happy Memorial Day!  Teddy spent the morning laying on the cool grass before the heat moves in.
 My pies are baked.

 Fresh freeze pops are made.

 The eggs and beets have been pickled.

And I made some Amish mustard eggs.
 The hot dog buns have baked.

 So have the rolls.

 The cole slaw was made yesterday.

 Along with potato salad.

 And macaroni salad.

 I made some hamburger buns too.

Homemade ketchup and we are good to go!  Hope you have a delicious Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Farmer's Markets Are Open

 Yesterday, we headed out early to go to one of our favorite farmer's markets.  All of them are open now in our area.

 This one is located in a 'holler'.  Holler is a colloquialism for hollow, a dip between two mountains.  You find lots of tiny communities in these hollers.

The mountains were literally breathe taking.  We came over some summits and gulped at the beauty. These mountains are gorgeous in the Fall but their Spring beauty magnificent.

This is an Amish farmer's market.

Since it is so early in the season, offerings were limited to plants, flowers, rhubarb and onions.

However, being Amish, there were lots of baked goods and canned items for sale.

There were lots of booths set up inside too and breakfast was served all day long.
This Amish kid was selling donuts.

Now that is a beard.

The Amish and the Englishers share the roads.

Desperate for a fish.  Don't slip!

I love these drives.  Not only is it beautiful in the mountains, you never know what you might see. Like a big tough biker and his teddy bear.  Click for a closer look.

You pass lots of farm machinery this time of year.

A beautiful sheep farm.

Those dots on the hillside are cows.  It was a nice cool sunny day and you could see how happy all the animals were to be out of the barns and grazing.  It's the perfect time of year for them before it gets too hot, which BTW happens tomorrow.
And you never know when you might see one of these.

Friday, May 22, 2015

My Memorial Day Weekend Garden

 I walked around my upper garden early this morning trying to mentally organize all of the cooking I have to do over the next two days.  I had to stop myself to enjoy how everything is looking right now.

 I love this time of year in the garden.  Everything is planted and orderly.  Perennials are mostly all opened. Soon it will turn into a jungle so it is nice to appreciate it now.

 My cistern is running, click for a closer look.

 One of my mirror chains hanging in the oakleaf hydrangeas.  When the sun hits these chains it is so beautiful.

 The second planting of lettuces is just coming up.

 Sunflowers, cilantro, blueberries, bay leaf and an olive tree that is loaded with olives.

 I still have not decided what to do with my mostly dead maple (thanks doofus neighbor) so I am growing Brown Eyed Susan vines up it this summer.

 This is the greenhouse I bought recently.  I haven't done much with it yet because I am going to paint it to match my house.  I am dreading it but my main house is going to be painted this summer and Teddy is not going to be happy about workmen crawling all over it.


 Basil and tomatoes.  These have to be covered tonight because we are going to have a frost.  We've had a few nice cool days and it really reminds me of Memorial Days from years ago.  I always loved waking up on chilly Memorial Days, decorating my bike and riding it in the parade in the small town I grew up in.  My dad would dress up in his fireman's uniform and march with all the other firemen.  I would be so proud when I saw them all.


 The big planter in the middle of my path.

 One of the cherub planters.

 Perennials in the raised bed planter.

 Climbing hydrangeas.

 These are the Salem Witch daylilies.  They will bloom on the 4th of July.

 The other raised bed planter.  Both of these used to hold my maples which had to come out because their roots were splitting the rocks.

This weekend marks the unofficial start to Summer and is bringing me closer to my countdown to Fall.