Tuesday, August 5, 2008

it's beginning to look a lot like...

ugh. still sick. anyway...

I'd love to show you the rest of this, but as this blog is actually intended to keep my friends and family up to date on my goings-on, there's a good chance that the recipient might see it. (I have saved a full-size picture in a "yule 2008" file, so I can post it after the holidays.)

Yes, it's August and I'm getting down to the business of Yule gifts. I've all but resigned myself to the fact that there isn't any time to get a proper new Halloween costume together. Although, there may still be time for that. I seem to be going along at a pretty good clip the last few days or so, so who knows what I might accomplish this month?

I'm so in love with the reverse applique technique that I just want to use it on everything. More! More! More! It's so terribly simple, quick, and relaxing, don't you think? I think I may actually use it on the cushion covers I need to make for my couch pillows. If you aren't familiar with the reverse applique technique that put Project Alabama (now Alabama Chanin) on the map (along with their commitment to preserving a piece of American cultural heritage, recycled materials, and unique business model), you can learn more about it by checking out Natalie Chanin's book, The Alabama Stitch Book, or you can get all of the same instructions on her website. I actually learned it from the website, but then purchased the book all the same. Couldn't resist. I've lusted after those T-shirt corsets since middle school. One of these days I really need to get around to making one, now that I've the pattern and all.

And, as promised, pie pics:

This one took about a day in the fridge to properly set - I was actually surprised it set at all (and quite happy that it did). I can attest that it is as good runny as it is firm.

The filling is about three-quarters red huckleberries (a native plant and relative of another excellent American crop, the blueberry), and about one quarter wild mountain blackberries (not to be confused with the evergreen berries that run rampant alongside our freeways, in our yards...ack, everywhere!!). No, these little suckers have tiny berries and do take a while to pick. We eyeballed how many berries it would take to fill our pie plate, and added about 1/4 c. sugar, a Tbl or so of lemon juice (in the plastic squeeze bottle) and maybe 2 generous Tbl. of flour. Toss all of this together (obviously) before pouring the berry filling into the crust.

This was also one of my bests pie crusts to date. I didn't actually use a recipe for either, but let me recap what's in this. The crust was 14 Tbl salte butter (I know, I know, shockingly bad...) and 2 c. flour cut together with a pastry blender (and my fingers, which I always prefer). I added ice water, about 1-2 tsp at a time, until the dough came together. I divided the dough into two balls, and rolled one out for the base, added the filling, and rolled the other out for the top. I trimmed the crust and made the fluted edge with my fingers, and added some cut outs. We brushed the top with a lightly beaten egg and baked for about 45 min at 375 F.

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