Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sky High Blue Pie

I love blueberries. Yes I do. I love blue pie, how 'bout you?

Every summer, we pick blueberries at a farm not too far from us.
Bybee Farms is located at the base of Mt. Si. Some years, the weather is perfect, the view of the mountain awesome, (we've seen mountain goats there!), the picking abundant.

This year, it was rainy. But the picking was great! (And so was the price- $1.95 a pound.)

 We picked about 25 pounds, freezing most of them. (Wash, sort, and drain. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Place (level!) in the freezer until just firm. Use a wide spatula to loosen berries from pan. Bag in freezer-safe containers, labeled and sealed.)

But we don't freeze them all. Must make a blue pie with some! 8 CUPS to be exact. 
For ONE pie. 

 Yum is all I can say. Yum.

And if we'd picked a day later….

Sky High Blue Pie 

Pie Crust:
2 2/3 cup sifted flour – (measured by sifting into cup)
1/2  cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
5-7 Tbs. water
Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle, optional
8 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (adjust depending on fruit's sweetness)

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees Sift flour into bowl.  Add salt and sugar.  Mix with fork.  Cut in shortening with pastry cutter or two butter knives until mixture resembles coarse corn meal.  Sprinkle water over flour mixture.  Stir until dough forms into a ball.
Divide dough in half.
Roll out one ball of dough on generously floured pastry cloth.  When rolled out into big enough circle, fold dough in half to put it into pie plate. Cut edges of dough around the rim of the pie plate.
Combine flour and sugar. Toss with fruit and lemon juice. Fill lower crust, mounding fruit.

Roll out top crust.  Place over of filling.  Cut around edges, leaving about an inch.  Fold under bottom pie crust.  Flute edges. Brush lightly with melted butter, and prick top of crust with fork or small knife to vent. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Cover crimped edge with foil or pastry rim.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove rim and bake another 20-25 minutes until crust is lightly golden and filling is bubbling. Cool and enjoy!

(The crust is adapted from my son-in-law's recipe- thanks, Jed!)

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Patterns and Plastic

I've been hoarding  saving plastic lids for a while now, thinking I'd have my Art Clubs make some mosaics with them. It didn't take me as long as you might think to collect these. And that's scary. Plastic is everywhere isn't it?

Here is some info from the EPA website:

  • 32 million tons of plastic waste were generated in 2012, representing 12.7 percent of total MSW.
  • In 2012, the United States generated almost 14 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, about 11 million tons as durable goods such as appliances, and almost 7 million tons as nondurable goods, such as plates and cups.
  • Only 9 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2012 was recovered for recycling.

I'm an ardent recycler, but our area takes the containers but won't take lids. Still, I don't have room to store all the lids I would need to make this work with my 120+ students, so I made three panels myself to act as placeholders on my Art Club bulletin boards at my 3 schools. Once I have student work to put up, I'll have three panels to store. Anyone need some lid art? :D

 The cardboard is from packaging I scavenged from one school- it's from the boxes tagboard comes in. (And boy, does that school go through the tagboard!) It's the same cardboard we use for our freestyle paintings…)
 I spray painted it black with leftovers from a light fixture redo, and the glue (The Ultimate! by Crafter's Pick) was in my stash too. So practically free from start to finish.

(At first, I played with writing the word art, but decided I liked the rows and organic designs better.)

 The cool green and orange rings are from old Target pharmacy bottles. (The rings are now attached to the bottles, too bad!) The darker green caps are from carrot juice. (We used the bottles for paper mache people…must post those soon!) The white rings are from tape rolls- I go through a lot of double-sided tape to mount student artwork.

Each panel measures 28 1/2"x 22 1/2". I didn't count how many caps. :D

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Afghan Awesomeness

 I make quilts. I even keep a few of them. So what am I doing buying an afghan?

 But I couldn't help myself.  All that color. All that pattern.  I talked myself out of buying it, but when it was still at the thrift store (Value Village) a few days later, I had to have it. I paid $5 for it, which is half price. It was a steal even at full price if you ask me.

It was in brand new condition. Like someone made it and then thought, "What was I thinking?"

It was a bit stiff, but once I threw it in the wash and pulled it from the dryer, it was perfectly soft and cuddly.

Someone went to a lot of work making this. And then changed their mind? Maybe they just loved making it and gave it away so they could make someone else happy. And that would be me. :D

Make it a wonderful day!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

Leftovers for a Second Quilt

This one was finished last fall. It's made from the leftovers of the quilt I made for Jared.  You can see Jared's quilt HERE

For Jared's quilt, I sewed together lots of 2 1/2 inch- strips to then cut them to make 36-patch blocks. But I wasn't using a pattern, and Jared's quilt just got too big. So I wound up with lots of leftovers. Enough for another quilt.

This quilt went together quickly from the scraps and without much of a plan. Okay, no plan really.

58 x70 inches

The backing is fabric from Ikea. Inexpensive, but with a graphic feel that I think works well with the grays and charcoals on the front. I pieced the back, using up more of the leftovers. (Hard to see the dark gray fabric on the right side!) The binding is also scrappy.

Terry did the long arm quilting, straight lines edge to edge- far enough apart to keep the quilt soft.

It's almost time for the leaves to start falling again. And that means this quilt will be put to good use on the cooler nights headed our way.  Today's rainy weather feels like fall's already here.

PS. I started this blog with a quilt made from quilt leftovers….hmm, I think I see a pattern here…..

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cowboy Quilt

I've been busy with so much this summer, but I've had time to finish up a few quilts that have been sitting in the closest WAY too long! This one is made from a thrifted cowboy fabric, a few homespuns, and a couple of other stash fabrics.

The top has been finished for a few years. And I had the backing ready, along with the binding. Thank you to Terry for the long-arm quilting.

I made it with the plan of donating it, so now to find it a good home….

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quickest Peach Cookie Crisp

 Anyone who knows me well has heard me tell about my Nana's Peach Cobbler. It's the best- a deep dish pie really, with only the top crust. She made it in a small dishpan, the fruit-to-piecrust ratio seriously favoring the fruit. It was my favorite dessert growing up.  I've posted my version of her "recipe" HERE.

I've had conversations with friends over the years about what constitutes a cobbler, a crisp, or a crumble. Generally, cobbler is sweet-biscuit topped. A crisp has a coarse topping that include oats, while a crumble is oat-free. My Nana's didn't really fit any of the definitions, with her single pie crust topping.  But she called it a cobbler, and so that's what I call it too.

A few nights ago, I was in the mood for peach cobbler, but didn't want to take the time to make it.
So I came up with a quick version of a crisp using what I had on hand. No, it wasn't just like Nana used to make. But it was pretty delicious. And quick enough to satisfy my late-night sweet tooth without staying up till two.

Quickest Peach Cookie Crisp (Serves 2) 

2 large, ripe, juicy, organic peaches
2 large, soft, oatmeal-raisin cookies
3 Tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Peel and slice peaches into 2 microwavable bowls. Crumble one oatmeal cookie over each peach. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Gently stir brown sugar into sour cream. Spoon a dollop onto the warm cobbler and enjoy.

Make it a Wonderful Day!

Sunday, August 17, 2014