I’ve decided that quilts are the common denominator of summer and fall, and since we are Day Two into fall (pause for exuberant interpretive dance), I figured what better way to celebrate this invisible seasonal transition in Florida than to haul a cozy quilt down to the beach. Comfy and warm and cozy and also bright and colorful and free. Both seasons represented well.
Seems equivalent fractions now, but just wait until we add a few more pumpkins to our doorstep and some mulling spices to our cider and some tights to our legs.
Cozy up. We’re Enjoying…
A few more pics from last week’s Chicago trip:
The Conveyer Belt
FYI: Letting your kids get their own suitcase off the conveyer belt? I might as well have given her the keys to my car and 50 bucks for a fun night.
John Lennon visits The Bean.
Birds in the Park.
At which point I think it necessary to admit that I’ve only recently discovered that Mary Poppins was not singing, “Feed the Birds, TOPPINS a bag,” but tuppence. Because tuppence, unlike toppins, is actually a real word.
Hide and Seek
Counting to 10 with Grace. Someone’s peeking.
The American Girl Cafe.
The girls had never been to an American Girl store which is basically like an entire city of dolls. The lunch was just precious–little high chairs for the dolls and tiny cups and saucers served right along with the big ones for the humans.
I’ve been making this cherry pie for years with my mom. It’s a verbal recipe we share and any time either of us makes it, we call to go over the recipe (I think we pretend we don’t remember). I’m sharing it here but it won’t keep me from calling her next time I make it. And the next time. Because that’s what this cherry pie is.
Call Your Mother Cherry Pie
This recipe is for a single crust. Double this for a top and bottom crust. I’ve actually been tripling it lately to have plenty enough dough to work with for some good crust fluting on the edge. I roll out any leftover dough, sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on it and bake for an extra treat.
1 c. flour
1/2 c. Crisco
1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cans tart cherries in water (keep all the water from one can and drain about half from the other)
(Fresh tart cherries are great but seasonal. I use 2 cans of Oregon tart cherries–not dark–in water)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tbsp. flour
Preheat oven to 425°. Mix your filling first and set aside. For the crust, add the flour, Crisco and salt into a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry blender, press the Crisco into the flour mixture until it makes pea-size pieces. Slowly add the milk and fold into the rest of the crust.
Don’t overwork it. If it’s too moist, sprinkle in a little more flour. When dough is well mixed, take out half (for bottom crust), form into a ball and place on floured surface (don’t be shy with the flour). To do this exactly like my mom, at this point you take the edge of your hand and karate chop the dough ball lightly a few times across to get it ready for rolling. Using a rolling pin, roll from the middle of the dough out, turning as you can so that the dough keeps a circular shape as it flattens. Sprinkle more flour if the rolling pin sticks. Continue to roll until your dough is flattened and will fit a 9-inch pie pan. To easily transfer it to the pan, slip a thin metal spatula underneath it, folding the dough circle in half and then into quarters. Transfer to pie pan and unfold. Pour your filling into the bottom crust and add a few pads of butter on top before you add the top crust. Roll out the second half of the dough mix as you did the bottom crust and transfer to top of pie. Trim off edges and pinch together the top and bottom crust with flutes. Cut some vent designs (I make a little feather) and using a pastry brush, brush a little milk on the top of pie crust and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for ten minutes on 425° and then drop heat to 375° for 40-45 more minutes, until your crust is as brown as you’d like. Let pie cool for 15-20 minutes.