Saturday, August 30, 2014

If I can do this...

Anyone can do this!

Blueberry Pie

I know. My crimp needs a little work. But I'm showing *some* promise.

I have a lot of favorite things. Gin and tonic in the summertime. Manhattans in the wintertime. Martinis anytime. Hmmm...

Nevermind that pattern. An enduring most favorite thing for as long as I can remember is blueberry pie. I haven't been making blueberry pies for a long time. I finally read the ingredients on supermarket pie dough packages and they all have trans fat. Most puff pastry dough does too.

So last year I made a pie crust. Whole wheat. First pie crust ever! It was actually pretty good. But I made a *huge* mess. Mostly because the top popped off my food processor. You can imagine. So I was discouraged. Being desperate for a pie however made me give it another go.

And I done good.
Nice Flaky Crust

Here's what I used for one crust:
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 7 tbs (cold) butter, cut into small cubes
  • ice water
I put the dry ingredients in a food processor and whirred them while I dropped in the cold butter cubes. When the butter was broken up and "grainy" I added ice water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough balled around the blade. It took about 4 tablespoons and while it didn't really ball very well I could tell it was done.

I put that in a plastic bag and refrigerated it for about 10 minutes. Then I rolled it out with a wine bottle between a couple of pieces of waxed paper. I think parchment paper would have worked better.

I did a standard berry filling. 32 ounces of frozen wild Maine blueberries with a pinch of cinnamon, a splash of lemon juice, a couple tablespoons of honey and 3 tablespoons of tapioca starch. I dotted some butter around the top of it after I filled the pie.

Put the pie in a 425 °F oven for 10 minutes, reduce the oven to 350 and it's done in 35 to 40 minutes .

I was really thrilled with this pie crust.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quintessential Summer Afternoon

I was out running early in the evening the other day. I ran past this field. They were out bailing the 2nd cut hay.

Putting up hay. 20 August

It was a warm, dry, breezy day. The hay smelled so good. The light was perfect. I had to go back and get my camera. Just the most perfect summer day.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Awesome Bug

I came home one afternoon to find this on my back door. At first glance I thought it actually was a leaf stuck to the door. But on closer's a moth! If this guy was on a tree branch I'd never in a million years see him. Or her.

Looks like a leaf! 28 July

Well, thanks to the miracle of Google I find it's a Pandorus Sphinx moth. I was amazed. And I got to learn all about the Pandora Sphinx.

During shedding season I leave all my horse hair outside in piles. Here's why.

I found this nest while I was trimming thorn bushes one afternoon. The silvery lining there? That's tail hair! The birds use all different kinds of horse hair in their nests. The Baltimore Oriole's nest is the most interesting. We have Baltimore Orioles all over the property. The entire nest is often made completely from horse hair. They hang their distinctive pouch nests from tail hair and line the nest with progressively softer hair. Every year we find a couple of nests blown down in the fall.
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