I can’t believe it’s been so long. Since my last post we have moved, my husband has finally been scheduled for his hip replacement surgery (with both knees later to come) and my employment has changed.
The move was an AWESOME decision! We love our apartment! As I’m typing this I can look up and see the tops of the trees beginning to change color. The view is perfect…and we are literally beside the Thames River and all the trails. The balcony, which we call the deck or out front, is our chill zone. We put up our “Pot Heads”, the kayak lights, the cardinals etc., everything we had at the trailer is up and functioning. The muskoka chairs are perfect to relax in. And…the west facing view from the eighth floor is pretty. So…that was a good life choice. (Also underground parking and an elevator…just saying.)
My DH is nervously awaiting his hip surgery. His recovery was the main reason we moved…but we are so glad we did. He knows that after his recovery he will be in so much less pain. He’s only 52 (in a few days) but we aren’t exactly small people. We are working at this…but that’s a whole other topic. So loosing the weight will help but it’s osteoarthritis so it’s not the end of it. We’ll just keep plugging along. After he’s been rebuilt I think life will even out.
I am no longer working for the market research company. Nuff said! There are other ways to earn an income at home. I think cold calling isn’t the way. I’ve been working several angles that once I figure out the bugs I’ll share them with you.
So now APPLE PIE! Don’t you love cooking the holiday meals. I know it’s a lot of planning and work but it’s worth the memories. Each time I roll pastry I’m reminded of my Mom and Dad. Mom had to make it perfect in every detail and Dad just plunked, rolled and created. It used to drive Mom nuts..LOL. Dad kept saying, “Quit over handling it.” and Mom would just sigh. LOL. Dad’s pastry was always flaky. He was right.. DON’T OVER HANDLE IT! The purpose of those little bits of cold fat is to melt and create air pockets. Air pockets = flaky pastry. If you handle it too much you warm up those bits and incorporate them into the flower. THUS you have hard NOT FLAKY pastry.
So how do you create a pie shell when the dough keeps falling apart? Easy… just gently patch it together. Put a little water on your finger and ever so gently tap it down. It all works. I don’t know how pastry chefs do it but this is how I do it. Hint: if you want a fancy, pretty top crust make sure you give yourself extra to roll out. That way you should always be able to get one whole piece from the middle. Not professional but it does the job.
Okay…admittedly it’s not a great quality photo but the smile is! In his later years my Dad honed his baking skills and produced pies and breads that we would all clamor for. The textures and flavors were out of this world. He really had the touch.
Among my most treasured possession are Dad’s cookbooks. One in particular is pure gold! He has written notes and added leaflets from companies such as Roger’s Flour (which he swore by).
Dad’s Pecan pie was the best I ever tasted! HANDS DOWN! (My Son and I were found in the kitchen eating frozen slices because we just couldn’t wait LOL!) Why was it so good? He had two secrets:
1) Don’t over handle your pastry. Just combine it, roll it and piece it together if you have to. When you handle it too much you slowly start to incorporate the little bits of lard with the flour. When the lard is left to do it’s job your finished crust is so flaky! Dad always used the recipe from Tenderflake Lard.
2)Toast the pecans. This brings out their flavor! Well worth the effort.
How to Toast Pecans:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
Spread pecans evenly over a cookie sheet and place in oven for 10 minutes. Remove the pecans from the oven and stir them, turning them over as you go. Put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes. WATCH THEM! If they start to turn too dark pull them out. Let them cool and add to your recipe.
Dad's Best Ever Pecan Pie
This pie is an improved version from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Of course Dad experimented until it was just right.
Sometimes you just need to do something different. I’ve been cutting (….and cutting and cutting) denim for a king-sized quilt (more on this another day). My hands needed a break so I decided to start some edging for the pillow cases and sheets. Honestly, I was a little excited to start a free pattern called “Wide Economy Edging”at MyPicot.com
The picture above doesn’t do it justice. As it’s a work in progress it’s not blocked. So pretty! The widest part measures about five inches. I’ve never owned or made lace edged sheets and pillow cases. OH the luxury! Hopefully the large lace will accent the denim and create a cozy vintage feel.
I have no idea who made the crochet cotton or even what size it is. Sorry… it’s a few balls from my Mom’s old stash. Whatever you use, just play around with crochet hooks until you have the gauge you want. I highly recommend following the link to the .pdf file for the diagram. The written instructions are very hard to follow if you are a newbie crocheter. I have crocheted for years and had to frog and redo many sections until it looked right. I emailed the site for permission to reproduce the pattern to share with you. Once I hear back I will post it with my changes.