This is the sixth year I've hosted a "pie-luck" for National Pie Day and I don't have much new to say. Pie is awesome. You can do so many different things with it: sweet pies, savory pies; tarts and quiches; empanadas and shepherd's pies; fruit and ganache and meringue. There's a reason I call Pie Day the most delicious day of the year. I love that my knitting friends bring such an amazing variety of pie and that we get to sit and eat and knit. I love that Ms. Maggie surprised us all by coming down from Orono. I love that I get to try something new and complex (in this year's case, a brown-butter lemon zest and cranberry tart) that puts all that Great British Bake-Off watching to good use. But mostly I love that there's no happier combination than good food and good friends.
For the fifth year in a row, my knitting friend and I gathered at Casa Cleaver to celebrate National Pie Day with lots and lots of pie.
Due to the seemingly never-ending snow and some scheduling conflicts, our group was slightly smaller than usual, but we still managed to have 11 kinds of pie represented. There was a spicy meat pie, lentil shepherds pie, empanadas, cauliflower quiche, chocolate tart with hazelnut crust, nutella/banana, raspberry ribbon, ginger pear, lemon meringue, cherry and blackberry.
Much pie was eaten, much tea was drank, and much knitting was done. We also managed to cover all 70 toes present with hand-knit socks.
I intended to make my traditional cherry cup-pies, but due the lack of tasty ingredients in unbaked pie-dough, my baking assistant started losing interest and I went for simple(r), by making a regular pie and using a heart cookie cutter for the top crust, which would make a great valentine's day dessert, methinks.
I also tried out a new recipe that I've been dreaming of for a while, inspired by my much-beloved Katie Cakes from Chicago. While I'd like to try one at least one more iteration before I'd call it final (adding a bit of cinnamon and clove to berries), it was pretty delicious, so I thought I'd share it here.
Blackberry Pie with Lemon Streusel:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup shortening or unsalted butter
- up to 1/2 cup of cold water
- 4 cups blackberries (boysenberries would work great too), fresh or thawed frozen berries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 stick melted butter
- zest of one lemon
Pre-heat Oven to 350 Degrees F.
Mix together flour and salt for crust. Using knives or a pastry cutter, cut in shortening until mixture resembles course meal. Add cold water a small amount at a time, until dough holds together. Separate into two equal-sized balls. Flatten balls into discs and wrap separately in plastic wrap and place in fridge for about 30 minutes, or at a minimum, while filling and streusel is prepared.
Mix together filling ingredidents and set aside.
Mix together streusel ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Roll out chilled dough for bottom of pan. Insert pie filling. Roll out dough for top of pan, making a lattice structure is recommended.
Sprinkle streusel on top. It seems like a lot of streusel, but I'd recommend using it all as the pie expands slightly while baking.
Put in oven and bake for 1 hour, or until pie bubbles. Briefly broil top to brown if needed.
Last week was National Pie Day, so this past Sunday my knitting group gathered for our annual Pie Day celebration, but far more importantly, we invited a few more folks over and held a baby shower for Ms. Maggie.
Maggie's expecting twins in the early spring, so we took the opportunity to shower her with pie, love, and handmade baby things!
As is now my typical baby gift, I made two sets of envelope tees from Growing Up Sew Liberated, tag blankies from Simple Sewing for Baby and Made by Rae's Basic Newborn Pants. All versions of things that we used/use often with Little Miss Cleaver and all of which, I seem to have forgotten to photograph, except for that glimpse of green corduroy above.
We ate pie, played match the baby photo to the party guest (harder than you'd think), opened gifts, ate more pie, and stenciled bibs and onesies.
Can I talk a minute about stenciling clothes? Why have I never done this before?! So fun.
I found a perfect Handmade Charlotte Woodland stencil collection and we used Tulip Soft Fabric Paint at Michaels. I'll have to get a report back on how they hold up to washing, but having the stencils took the pressure off of a) coming up with ideas and b) having the skills to pull it off, that free-hand drawing would require. I kinda want to stencil everything now.
As per usual, the food was delicious and the versatility of pie continues to impress. There was veggie quiche, apple/cheddar/leek tart, mixed berry pie, cranberry custard, chocolate caramel, chocolate pecan caramel, as well as an array of other lovely snacks and hors d'oeuvres.
Pie Day may be one of my favorite days of the year (especially in the midst of a cold January), but it's even more fun when you get to celebrate a dear friend. Now to wait a few months for the little guys' arrival!
We got our live tree at just the perfect time this year. Picked it up Saturday morning without incident, including my first attempt at strapping it to a car (thanks bungee cords!) and set it up just in time to head to the third almost-annual ornament swap with my knitting group. I made the needle-felted winter scene and took home the snowman head, which went perfectly with my non-breakable/no-hooks-needed theme for this year's tree. Once again, I was super impressed with all the ornament makings (though I still can't get my brain around how the pom-pom ones work). Our timing was also perfect since we got about a foot of snow the next day. We did make a first attempt at sledding with Little Miss C, and while the snow was tasty, the cold and snowsuit and the dog in her face was all a little too much and big tears were shed about .05 seconds after that last shot was taken. Good thing there's a cozy warm house and pretty lighted tree to return to.
Come Friday, Little Miss Cleaver (LMC or Miss C.) will be a month old (well, four weeks). It's hard to believe a) that it's been a month already and b) that's she's only been in our lives a month. The nights are long and the days are short and we couldn't be happier.
I've managed to get in a little sewing, and Miss C. went to her first knit night last week and got tons of cuddles and mom got to use two hands at once. I spend a lot of time just looking at her and thinking how beautiful she is and how amazing it is that she's ours.
I love being a mom to this little wigglebottom.
Sot it's been several weeks since Rhinebeck but I've finally got my act together to put pen to paper (as it were). The trip as a whole was a bit of mixed bag because of some hotel troubles, but the Festival itself, along with the excellent company, made it an overall win in my book.
We headed out early Friday morning to take a detour to Northampton and WEBS, and everyone managed to pick up copious amounts of yarn - even me! I got enough yarn to make myself a Wispy Cardigan, a Porom Hat, and a bag of worsted weight tweed for a Mr. Cleaver sweater. At Rhinebeck itself, I limited myself to two skeins of FoxFire Cormo/Alpaca which will likely end up as these. When I will have time to knit all these things I don't know, but a girl can dream right?
In our hotel room we entertained ourselves by reading the "naughty bits" of romance novels out loud and chowing down on snacks.
On the first day of the festival, we all got a good laugh when Bristol got recognized as the Winnowing designer about five seconds after we got into the long line at the front gate. After that there was more shopping (I got a Jennie the Potter bowl and a sheepskin), some apple cider doughnuts, and chatting with friends and fellow designers we saw along the way. After we tuckered out at the Festival, we headed to Poughkeepsie and saw the Walkway over the Hudson. While just three of us walked the whole length and back (which admittedly was probably more walking than I should have done after walking all day), the views were definitely worth.
On the second day of the Festival I took a "drafting methods" spinning class, along with Maggie and Bristol from Beth Smith, It was my first spinning class and I found it highly enjoyable and educational and would recommend Beth as a teacher. After our class, the whole gang got together to photograph our matching sheep heids, before hitting up a few more booths and heading home, suitcases full of yarn.
Our original idea was to tie it to an important Marie Antoinette date of some kind, but it got moved around a bit and the first (annual?) Let Them Eat Cake Day was celebrated this past Sunday.
We had meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato "frosting," crab cakes, corn bread cake with chili sauce, pink lemonade cake, lemon blueberry cake, blueberry pound cake, pumpkin whoopie cake, and leftover graduation sheet cake.
After gorging ourselves on a round of savory cakes and a round of sweet cakes, we traipsed outside to a) slip into a food coma or b) burn off some sugar high with a game of croquet.
Maggie demonstrates the proper food coma form.
Afterward we pulled out our Tupperware and divvied up the copious leftovers, and let's just say I'll be celebrating Cake day all week!
I fell in love with this pattern for three reasons:
- I can cut it out and sew it up in day, and I'm not a quick sewer;
- It looks nice enough to wear to work;
- It is soooo comfy!
It's also fairly easy to adapt. For this version I added some more substantial button loops (thanks to Mags and Bristol for help with the placement) and I've got fabric lined up for a longer version with some pintucks planned.
The fabric in this one is slightly stiffer than the last one, which gives it a crisper shape, and I'm in love with the Anna Maria Horner print.
- Top: School House Tunic, made by me
- Skirt: made by me
- Tights: Target
- Shoes: Clarks
- Robot Bracelet: by Hobomoon on esty
I can't wait until I have time to sew a third version. Do you have a favorite go-to pattern?
In America, the National Pie Council (what, your country doesn't have one of those?) declared January 23rd National Pie Day. Being as we for some strange reason don't get this as a day off, I had to do my celebrating yesterday in my now-traditional fashion, with a pie-luck!
I made a batch of cherry cup-pies and a chocolate/raspberry pie that I neglected to photograph.
(Note to all bakers out there, when making a recipe for the first time, read the whole recipes before the morning you attempt to make it. I neglected to do this and caught myself running out of time when I realized that my raspberry pie took FOUR HOURS to make due to refrigerating time for the different parts.)
I think I need to make cup-pies more often, they're adorable and take only a tiny bit more work than a regular pie.
As usual we had a range of savory, sweet, and tart pies. A pie-luck requires at least three rounds to the table and generous amounts of tupperware for the leftovers.
We also got in a fair amount of knitting and Aimee, Chris, and Maggie split up several balls of Jamieson and Smith yarn for our sheep heid knit-a-long. (I'm spinning mine).
So for those interested, here's a run-down of the pies (if I forgot any my apologies!):
- Red Lentil & root vegetable pot pie
- Goat cheese and leek egg pie/quiche
- Pizza Pie
- Apple Cranberry
- Cranberry Pear Shortbread
- Cranberry Sage
- Cherry Cup-pies
- Chocolate Raspberry
- Apricot Cheese
- Chocolate Satin
With all the leftovers I ended up with - I'll be celebrating pie all week!!
and mostly 3) everyone's ornaments are different and wonderful. I've managed to pull Lynn's ornaments for the past two years and they have places of honor in home, but I'd be equally happy to have taken any of these home.
As for me, I needlefelted this holiday beaver, complete with stylin' holly accessory. I'm pretty proud of the little dude.
And I may have made a few more ornaments since then, but you'll have to wait a bit longer to see those. :)