Friday, March 22, 2013

Random Friday (with Recipe)

Here's a roundup of what's happening in this neck of the woods.

1. I have mastered the early Victorian fireplace in our new old house (built 1842). I now know how to open the damper (placed at the TOP of the chiminey and worked by a chain), how to remove the fake brick in the floor that allows ventilation from UNDERNEATH, and how to deal with the modern chimney balloon (see earlier post). We have had our first fire. Yay!

2. Good thing we have the fireplace going, 'cause winter's still here.

This is the "Cartwright" house at the intersection of my street and King St. See the snow lining the road? Yuck!

3. In spite of above snow, there are PURPLE THINGS sprouting from the soil at the base of our limestone foundation at the sunny front of the house. Their appearance is giving me hope.

4. I spent a productive half hour this morning trying out the demo for StitchMastery charting software. I've tried other charting software before and wasn't impressed. Not so with this stuff. It's EXCELLENT. Expensive, but worth it for someone like me. Believe me, making charts by hand is a colossal pain.

5. Swatched with some rich, heathery turquoise Cascade Eco+. You've got to love this yarn--inexpensive, beautiful to look at, soft to wear, and gorgeous to knit. 

As usual, the computer doesn't do justice to the colour, which is #2433 in case you're wondering. Four stitches to the inch on a 5.5 mm. Ignore the gauge on the ball band. It's wrong.

6. Remember my recipe for pastry? It's here. Finally, I'm getting around to giving you something to make with it.

Double Crust Fruit Pie Formula (Does Not Apply to Rhubarb and Other Very Tart Fruits)

This is a general formula for making fruit pies. I learned this from my father and have never used a written recipe.

enough peeled, sliced fruit or berries to mound in the centre of a 9” pie plate
½ c sugar
pinch of cinnamon for apple pie
2 tbsp flour (use ¼ c for very runny fruits like frozen blueberries)
1 recipe for oil pastry
¼ tsp salt (optional)

Mix the sugar and flour together in a large bowl. Add the chopped fruit and mix well to coat it. Let the mixture sit while you make the pastry. The fruit will begin to release its juices. Line the pie plate with half the pastry. Stir the fruit again, and dump it into the crust. Arrange the fruit evenly. Cover with the top crust. Roll the edges of the crust, which are hanging over the rim of the plate, inward to form a border and crimp it with your thumb and fingers to seal and decorate the edge. Prick holes in the top crust to create air vents. Bake at 400F for about 40 min or until golden brown. Allow to cool for about an hour before cutting.

I'll write about rhubarb pie (and other rhubarb things) when we get to rhubarb season (June?) Fruit galettes are a variation I'll touch on another time.

I don't use cornstarch as a pie thickener; I don't like the gelatinous quality it gives.

6. The comments for yesterday's post were great. While I was reading them, I accidentally hit something with the edge of my hand and somehow they all disappeared. I'm pretty sure I can figure out how to get them back. In the meantime, thanks for your encouragement.