Saturday, December 13, 2014

Baking Pies from Heaven with my Mom -- Take 3 -- ;)

It has been a year filled with amazing joy and devastating sadness. Our darling grandbaby Hank was born on February 17th ;), and we lost my Mom on February 28th ;(

I know that to everything thing there is a time and purpose under Heaven, but that doesn't mean it's gonna be easy. *sigh*

Right now as I am typing, I'm listening to Alabama's Christmas Album ... before that we've been listening to John Denver's Christmas Album, White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, Nat King Cole's Christmas Album, and started with one of my all-time faves The Beach Boys Christmas Album ... a gift from my darling hubby in 1975 ;)

Soooo ... during the last year, I've signed off of Facebook and Twitter because it was just tooo hard to keep up during the grieving process. There are days when I just cry because I'm missing my Mom sooo. The hardest part is that I just wished she'd made the choice to be happy in the last 15 years, but know that she missed my Dad so much that she just couldn't get past that loss.

Soooo ... I'm going to try not to be bitter and embrace the amazing gifts in my life. There are sooo many. ;) We have three amazing children, all grown now, and a fabulous son-in-law and two darling grandbabies who never cease to make me smile and groan at the same time because it's getting harder to sit Indian-style on the floor where they seem to want to spend most of their time. It was a lot easier when I was younger! LOL!

Anyway, getting back to the point of this blog post, the day before Thanksgiving I was going to bake my usual pie crust when I found my mom's pie crust recipe that I thought I'd lost ... actually, I guess I misplaced it for the last 25 years ... Jeez, right?!? 

Don't you just love the peach-colored 3x5 card I typed it up on? I didn't have an electric typewriter back then, hence the strike-over on the 3/4 c ;)

It was definitely a sign that it was meant that I would bake pies with my Mom this year. I cried the entire time I mixed the ingredients and filled those precious pie shells with Blueberry filling, Apple, Buttermilk, and Pecan Pie. It really felt as if she was in the kitchen with me, so I talked to her like I always do ... OK, just roll with it I talk to my Dad, grandparents, and other relatives all the time ... they're up in Heaven too ;) 

Every year, I take orders for pie, this year it was sadness because no one wanted a Cherry pie or my Sweet Potato Praline pie ;(  But the bright side is that I have a can of Yams in the pantry and Christmas isn't that far away. Pie is one of those special treats that just seems to fit any occasion. IMHO ;)

Josh asked for Blueberry ... and for the first time since forever, I didn't make a happy face on the fruit pies this year. Maybe next year when our darling grandbabies will be here for Thanksgiving.

Phil asked for Apple ... FYI, that's cinnamon sugar on top of the pie ;)

Dave asked for Pecan ... which is actually Buttered Pecan Pie ;) The trick is to roast the Pecans before adding them to the filling. Makes for a very decadent pie with the dark brown sugar.

And I had one more crust to fill when inspiration hit ... I had fresh buttermilk ... Buttermilk pie it is ;) FYI I'm not a big fan of meringue, so I usually leave it off. The recipe I used this year was from the Mennonite cookbook Gram gave my Mom for Christmas in 1978. It was lighter than my other recipe but still yummy.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, so as we talked I realized that the recipe was for 3 pies. With making 2-crust pies, I needed to make up 2 batches of crust. Not a problem--but my pie plate sizes are all over the place as I've inherited one or two, and purchased the others over the years. I'm always losing pie plates, but my darling hubby reminded me not that long ago, that I used one of them in the cracked birdbath. Our birds don't always like standing on the rocks in the stream and pond we've created, so I do keep both birdbaths filled with water. Not an easy thing to do because all it takes is a few Robins, Blue Jays, or one of the other larger birds that visit us taking a bath and the water ends up on the plants around them. Kindof a win/win all around, the plants get watered, the happy birds get to take a bath, and I get my exercise refilling the birdbaths. ;)

The pie shells were full, but kindof shy crust-wise because I was using larger pie dishes and trying to stretch the crusts to fit. Next time, I'm going to have to do the math and divide Mom's recipe into thirds, so I can figure out how much to add to make it a 4-crust pie recipe ;)  The good news is that my guys told me that pie tasted different, but really good this year ;)

Growing up my Mom would bake 4 apple pies at a time, but she never did the 2-crust pies, she usually did a crumb topping or no topping, and store them in the oven ... we'd eat them for breakfast ... Yep, Apple Pie, it's what's for breakfast! My sister dropped off our Mom's antique Apple-peeler-corer a few weeks ago, but I haven't had a chance to clean it up and use it. Lord the good times we had watching Dad crank that sucker up and fill up a bowl with apples ready to be baked into pies. The slices were nice and thin and perfect for baking.

Pie ... it's what's for breakfast!!! 

This year, I had a hard time getting into the spirit of decorating, but our darling daughter and grandbabies saved the day and decorated the tree for us! Just one problem, one of the strings of white lights wasn't working, so they decided to use the red LED lights so it looked like a candy cane ... really? OK ... it's definitely festive ... and  the funniest part is that our daughter laughed and pointed out that the top  of the tree wasn't decorated because she couldn't reach that high! I'm not changing it ... leaving it this way is what happy memories are made of, because every time I look up I'll think of the fun time we had with her darling boys decorating. ;)

Family! It's the glue!!!

And although my muse went on hiatus after my Mom died, I have been able to edit, so I freshened up my Medieval Romance trilogy now that I have the rights back, and on the advice of the FAB Sahara Kelly of P and N Graphics, I gave the trilogy a Celtic name to go with the beautiful covers she created for the trilogy: Mo Ghrá Mo Chroí Go Deo Series (My love, my heart, forever). All three books are available right now in e-book, but I'm waiting on the print proof for book 3, A Scot's Honor, so that's not available in print yet, just the first two books ;)

Aren't they gorgeous? I love how she created the covers as tapestries and incorporated my Purcell ancestors motto: Aut Vincam, Aut Periam (I will either conquer or perish!) and the Runes from the first book ;)


PS: I'm reading Nora's BLOOD MAGICK -- Book 3 of the Cousins O'Dwyer trilogy -- and loving it ;)

Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!!!!


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