My friend, Gladys, and I headed down the road yesterday to a small town that we’ve visited before. I have twitter and Facebook connections with some of the merchants in the small town of Reedley. They had reminded me, through those social media, that it had been many months since I had visited. Gladys and I thought Wednesday would be the perfect day because there is a farmer’s market in the late afternoon.
We first stopped at Mainstreet Cafe and had berry pie and caught up on our lives for the past few weeks. We walked through many of the shops, afterwards, waiting for the farmer’s market to start.
I had been sent a coupon for The Berry Lady so that was my destination. Gladys and I each bought nine pints of blackberries. Beautiful organic fruit.
I put four pints in the freezer, ate one pint, and made a pie with the other four containers.
This is just the best time of the year. Not only do we have all this wonderful fruit, but the light is so beautiful. Our temperatures are cooler than normal, but it is very dry. I’m thankful for each day.
…a pie to deliver to a friend this afternoon. She loves fruit pies. Her husband is recuperating from shingles, and my friend has been housebound, caring for him. If you are 60+ and in good health, you really should ask your doctor about the shingles vaccine. Although pricey (our insurance would not pay for Terry’s) it is worth every penny. Shingles really is a bad disease, especially the older one is if they get a case. I had one on the back of my head two years ago and didn’t know what it was until the doctor diagnosed it after the worse was over. I was younger and very healthy so my immune system threw it off but not without a week of intense pain.
On the day the thermometer hit 108, I decided to draw the drapes, turn on the fan, make iced tea, and sit on the couch, using as little energy as possible. I had a stack of books to read and some notes to write. To make it a little sweeter, I ate one of my latest Zody Red Wagon Pie creations.
Remember, dear Reader, how I am experimenting on producing these little goodies? I used a Whole Foods frozen crust this time and frozen blueberries. This time, however, I microwaved the blueberries with the sugar, cornstarch, and spices for about 2 minutes. That softened them just enough so they began to let go of their juice. That seemed to make a difference in the juiciness of the finished product. The crust was flaky and tasty, but did not hold up well when removing the pie from the muffin tin. Maybe it was too tender.
I will keep experimenting and updating here as I learn more. Stay tuned.
As you know, dear Readers, I like to make pies, but sometimes a whole pie is just too much. So, how about bite-size pies? These are made in a cupcake pan with just a little bit of filling.
I’m still trying to figure out the crust. These were made with Mrs. Smith’s pie crusts from the freezer compartment. There was some waste as one crust only made four pies with a dab of dough left over. Maybe if I had used both crusts I would have had enough for 9 pies.
These pies have a filling made with frozen blueberries. I didn’t allow the berries to thaw before plopping them into the pies so they didn’t pop and get all juicy before the pies were done baking. Next batch will be with fresh fruit to see how that works. I’ll keep you apprised.
The apples are still on the counter…the organic blackberries at Whole Foods called out to me this morning.
So I made a cobbler instead of a pie.
I have these apples sitting on my counter. They are a collection from the past few CSA produce boxes. I think it’s time to make a pie.
The San Francisco Chronicle has an ad in today’s paper for Free Pie Wednesday at Baker’s Square. Big deal! The Baker’s Square in Fresno closed a few months ago, so no pie, free or otherwise. Do you think I could convince Marie Callender’s to honor that offer? Maybe I’ll just have to bake my own pie.
Tonight was the tree lighting ceremony at our school. Perhaps I can write more about that and share some pictures at another time. It’s a lovely evening, much of it takes place outdoors, and it’s right during dinner time. So, when it’s all finished and the lights have come on the big tree, I am cold and hungry. Terry comes along and takes pictures of the participants for the yearbook pages so he’s cold and hungry too.
I had a coupon from the Sunday paper for 20 percent off the total bill at Marie Callenders but I didn’t want a full dinner, just a hot cup of tea and pie. Pie for dinner, yum. Plus, Marie Callenders is on the way home from school. The place was practically empty so I was glad to give it some business. The Bakers Square across the street has closed due to lack of customers. I really don’t want Marie to close up.
Terry ordered banana cream, and I got pecan. I never make pecan because Terry doesn’t like nut pies so I like to order it when it’s available in restaurants. There you have it, more pie.
Today, upon realizing the pumpkin pie was all gone, I decided we needed another pie. Looking around at what I had with which to make one, I found a bunch of apples we have received in our produce boxes the past couple of weeks. No, I know apples don’t come in bunches (I also have some grapes that came in the Thanksgiving week box, now that’s a bunch), but these aren’t apples of one variety, they are a diverse bunch. Sort of like the kids I teach.
I peeled, cored, and pared them; tossed in a bunch (there’s that word again) of sugar and spices and a little butter (everything I make has to have butter) and put it all in a crust from Whole Foods. It’s baking in the oven as I write.
Although cake is my favorite, I find myself making a lot of pies. Probably because I like pie too, and my hubby especially likes pie, and they are easy to make. I was taking a pie to work to share when I would make them but have stopped. The last two pies were hardly touched and I ended up throwing them away. I think I’ve figured out the problem there–no one in our department wants to be seen eating sweets. If someone brings cookies or candy, those disappear almost instantly because people can grab and run. But pie? Pie takes a plate and a fork, and a knife to cut the pie. Too much work and then someone will see you eating it. So now I bake one pie and we eat it here at home or I take a slice to work in my lunch bag. Then everyone looks and says, “yum, pie.”