I Made A Pie

From scratch.  First time ever.  No help from Pillsbury or the Dough Boy.  A real pie crust.  See it there?

It had a pretty lattice top.

Took forever to bake.

Made vanilla ice cream too.  That’s the easy part.

It was sooooo good!


Published in: on December 1, 2010 at 7:13 am  Comments (1)  
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Autumn Kitchen And A Recipe

Playing with my few pieces of thrifted brown transferware and vintage mustard crocks on a little shelf in our kitchen,

And small brown bottles on the window sill.


If it’s Autumn, it’s time to bake and that means scones.  Haven’t made these since last Spring so I actually had to look up my recipe.  I’d made them so often I knew it.  Now I’ll share it with you.  It originally came from allrecipes.com but I’ve made a few changes that have worked well for me.


Cranberry Scones

Makes 8


1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

5 tablespoons white sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2/3 cup whole milk

1/2 cup dried cranberries


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease baking sheet or line with baking parchment.

2.  Sift flour and baking powder into a medium bowl.  Rub butter and sugar into flour to form a fine crumble.  Make a well in the center, and add milk and dried cranberries.  With floured hands, knead gently together.  Dough should be sticky.

3.  On a generously floured surface, roll out dough to 3/4 inch thickness. Use a juice glass (dipped in flour so the scones release easily) to stamp out rounded scones.  Transfer to the baking sheet.  If there is a lot of flour on the tops, use your fingers to lightly brush it away.  Sprinkle tops with a pinch of sugar.

4.  Bake in preheated oven until risen and lightly golden on top, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Remove to a rack to cool.



If there are any left over, store in an air-tight container.  I hope you enjoy these!

Published in: on October 13, 2010 at 6:10 am  Comments (3)  
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Real Cornmeal


Above is the 3 pound bag of stone ground cornmeal we bought at the Sycamore Threshing Show in August.  (Behind the bag, on our kitchen wall is a framed poster from a Dale Chihuly show.  I know, not the best picture, kind of confusing.)  We have also bought their whole wheat flour but this trip, this is what I wanted.  It is so much better than those little 59 cent boxes that I’ve always bought at the grocery store, though they can be convenient.



The first thing I made was the Cheddar Corn Spoon Bread from Everyday Food Fresh Flavor Fast.   Mmmmm. . .not so good.  Don’t know why except that my brother-in-law used to make this and his was so good and I was hoping this would taste like his, but it just didn’t taste like anything, really.  It’s a food memory thing I guess, associated with the person who made it and the family gathering he always made it for, and the fact that he was a great cook, and it was a good recipe.


Then last week, I followed the recipe attached to the bag and made the best corn bread.  And really there was not that much more involved than with the boxed version.  It was dense and cakey just the way I like it.  There was none of that too sweet, gritty, dry feeling in my mouth that I get from the boxed version.  Do you know what I mean?  Does anyone else get that weird feeling on the roof of their mouth when eating boxed corn bread or is it just me?


So now I have quite a list of recipes to try.  Do you have any favorites to share?

Published in: on October 7, 2010 at 9:22 am  Comments (1)  
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Homemade Potato Chips

I know what you’re thinking,  “But they’re only $1.99 a bag at the store.”  Yes, true, but these are so good and easy and actually pretty fun to make.  I used the potatoes we dug at the farm a couple weekends ago.  And I kind of made up my own recipe so there is plenty of room for play and improvement.  These are oven baked so there is no vat of hot oil on your stove and thus, no greasy mess to clean up.  But the basic idea is this:

First you slice the potatoes really thin.  A mandoline works perfectly for this.

Put your sharp cutting tool away and let the kids get involved.  Let them give your cookie sheets a thin coating of olive oil, not too much though, just enough to coat the side of the chip that is against it.  A pastry brush works really well for this.  Then give the “up” side a quick brush too and a sprinkle of seasoning.  I used seasoned salt, just a kid-sized pinch will do.

Place the sheet in a 400 degree oven.  And watch them.  There can be a lot of variables here such as the type of pan (aluminum, dark nonstick which I used), how thinly the potatoes are sliced, how hot your oven actually gets, etc.  So just keep an eye on these.

It doesn’t take that long but you don’t want them to get too dark.

Cool them on a plate lined with paper towel and eat.  I’ve never had any left over, but if you do, I imagine they could probably be stored in an airtight container for a day or two.  So good!

Enjoy!  And let me know if you try this.

Published in: on September 29, 2010 at 5:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Late Summer Harvest

A day spent at my in-laws home in the country seeing what is nearly ready to be picked.  These apples will be used when we make cider.

Grapes so pretty on the vine with the sunlight glowing through.

Gourds for decorating.  Later in the fall we stomp on the few dried unpicked gourds that hid amongst the vines, releasing the seeds so more grow next year.

And of course there are the edibles, ready right now.

But where are the potatoes we dug?  Somehow I forgot to photograph them.  They were the reason we ventured into the garden in the first place on this day and discovered everything else that was ready for harvest.

This is about as local as it gets.  And how delicious is a freshly dug potato, buttery and not at all chalky.  We ate ours mashed with a little buttermilk and another batch diced and sauteed in a little butter.  Again, no photo.  But when I make potato chips, I’ll be sure to show you.  They are sooooo good.

Published in: on September 9, 2010 at 6:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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My Favorite Blues

Scrolled through photos this week and pulled together some pretty pictures just because.  Though blue is not my favorite color, these are some blues I do so love.

A teeny robin’s egg hatched and discovered in our garden.

This summertime sky.  I am sure you’ve seen it too.

My collection of small vintage bowls.

And my very favorite blue of all.  Fresh, frozen and eaten like candy, or baked in a pie, it doesn’t matter, blueberries are the perfect shade of blue.

Have a lovely day!

Published in: on August 5, 2010 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Friday’s Dinner

Pork chops, Jicama Slaw (from Everyday Food),  Armenian rice pilaf, bread, sun tea and fresh flowers.

Published in: on July 24, 2010 at 9:42 am  Leave a Comment  
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Easter Ham

OK, this is late and it wasn’t our Easter ham.  Jewel-Osco had a deal with a coupon for $8.00 off a ham and we bought a $10.00 ham.  Out of pocket, 2 bucks !!!

I  ( Paula’s husband) was on vacation Easter/Spring Break week and I put this ham on the grill on the Wednesday before Easter.  Also, for the first time I mad split pea soup with the ham bone.

Published in: on April 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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After !!

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm  Comments (2)  
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This is a photo of the staggering amount of canning my mother-in-law does, every year.  Most of what you see is cider pressed from their own apples through a 100 year old press.  Making cider in the fall is one of my favorite family activities, especially when warm cinnamon rolls follow and we can sit around the fire pit and taste test.

Here you see 24 gallons of cider, in quart jars.   My mother-in-law also cans tomatoes for sauce (20 quarts) and salsa, and makes the most delicious peach jam.  No peaches this year due to a very late spring freeze and all those beautiful buds never formed.  New Year’s morning we had peach french toast and warm cider to drink.

Good stuff indeed.

Published in: on January 7, 2010 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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