Thanksgiving 2014 – Pie Crust

Pie Crust

2 1/4 cup flour
pinch of salt
1/8 t chai tea spices
1 cup lard
up to 5 T ice water

  1. mix the dry ingredients by pulsing in a food processor bowl
  2. add the lard and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal
  3. incorporate the water until the mixture just comes together into a ball
  4. flatten between food wrap and chill until needed.

Thanksgiving 2014 – Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie Filling

  • 1 sugar pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  1. cut in half
  2. scoop out seeds and slime
  3. add 1/4 cup brown sugar to each half
  4. wrap in foil
  5. bake at 350 degrees until soft (about two hours)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 t dried ginger
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 t ground cloves
  • 6 beaten eggs

6. Combine the following – I use the food processor

  • Scoop out pumpkin fresh while still hot (pour off and retain liquid) – you’ll need 3 cups
  • mix in cream cheese
  • add in other ingredients

7.  Pour into pie shells and bake at 350 degrees about 50 minutes or until the center in set (barely jiggles)


Thanksgiving 2014 – Apple Pie

Apple Pie Filling:

  • 2 pounds Granny Smith apples (4 medium)
  • 2 pounds Newton Pippen apples (4 medium) 5 medium
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar to finish
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1 medium lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Peel, core and cut the apples the into 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices
  3. Toss the apples with the 3/4 cup of sugar, lemon juice and zest, salt, cinnamon and allspice.
  4. Pour the mixture, along with the juices, into a chilled pie shell, mounding the apples in the center.
  5. Roll out another dough for the top of the pie.
  6. Trimming and tucking this dough underneath so that the folded edge is even with the edge of the pie pan. Crimp the edging or press with fork to seal.
  7. Cut vents in the dough top.
  8. Brush egg white onto top of the crust and sprinkle evenly with the reserved sugar.
  9. Bake at 425 degrees until the top crust is light golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  10. Reduce the oven to 375 degrees  and continue baking until the juices bubble and the crust is a deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes longer.
  11. Transfer the pie to a rack to cool to room temperature.

Finally Back to “Normal”

We’ve finally finish most of the repairs to the house.  We just need to fix the apron on the master bath and pant the hall upstairs.



The pantry has bright new paneling and hooks for coats and hats.  This was pretty easy to install and the hooks are much more sturdy than they were when we had them installed into the sheetrock with wall anchors.

kitchenIn the kitchen and dining room, the wood floors are beautiful, even holding up well with a large, rambunctious yellow matador.  The new stove from the salvage yard is great many thanks to the man that was able to restore the propane orifices. We also installed new faucets for both of the kitchen sinks, painted and found a great hand-forged pot rack on Craigslist.  If you look carefully at the kitchen ceiling, you can see another project to finish – note the dangly light fixture that the sheet-rock guys lost the bracket for.

pantryThis is not the best picture of the pantry, but I do love this antique cupboard we found on Craigslist.  In this room, we also installed the board and batten paneling topped with a beautiful blue paint.  The little black hooks that we ran along the top rail of the paneling are great for everything from butter paddles to feather dusters.

bathI think the guest bathroom is my favorite.  We continued the white paneling from the entry into this room and topped it with the most beautiful blue-green paint.  It was al of the samples of greens and blues that we had tried, mixed together into one bucket.  We added more black hooks and used an antique iron sewing machine base with a vessel sink to replace the old, rickety, white pedestal sink.  We also continued the wood flooring through the entry and into the guest bath, changing the direction of the boards at the sliding barn door that separates the entry from the dining room.

This “forced remodel” as we called it was really stressful on everyone.  It took about 5 months to have everything torn out, mold removed, re-plumbed, rebuilt, repainted and spiffed up.  We lived with tents, blowers, dehumidifiers, dust, debris, furniture in piles and weeks without a kitchen.  We had truly fantastic men and women helping us every step along the way.  Kind and honest and caring people and without them, I think I may have gone mad.  In the end, with their help, we have beautiful new Oregon White Oak floors finished with hard wax-oil, all of the floors and seven rooms have been freshly painted (still have a few to go), we have the softest carpet imaginable in the living room – made from recycled soda bottles, board and batten panelling in the pantry, entry and guest bath, a new (used) stove that preheats every time and all of the burners light, new kitchen faucets that don’t leak and everything seems clean and shiny. Maybe the most important part is that we have wonderful, new PEC plumbing and don’t sit around wondering when the next pipe will burst.