Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Means Pie

I was going to make a blueberry pie, but some of the younger members of this household have been eating the blueberries. So today's endeavor is blueberry peach pie, which isn't a bad substitution.  Also, all the peaches from the farm seemed to turn ripe overnight, so blueberry peach pie just fits the bill all around.

I used the same method for making my gluten free pie crust that I did here, with one change. I didn't have plain tapioca flour (either that, or it is hiding in the back of my freezer and I wasn't in the mood to shovel everything out of the way to look for it). I did, however, have some Jules brand flour mix, which is mostly modified tapioca. So I used that, and then just a teensy bit less xanthan gum because the Jules brand is already all xanthaned up.

MMMMMMM, peaches and blueberries. A marriage made in heaven.

 One change I made from my blueberry pie recipe, other than the peach substitution, was the addition of some fresh vanilla bean. Oh, how I love those tiny black granules of goodness!  I cut a 2 inch section from a bean that I had and split it down the middle. Then I used my knife to scrape out all that vanilla deliciousness, and I rubbed it with my fingers into the sugar for the pie so it would spread evenly.

 Don't let that scraped out vanilla pod go to waste. I have a special container for vanilla sugar, which is filled with leftover pods and sugar. That way, if I run out of vanilla beans and I would like some delicious vanilla flavor in my baked goods, I just use the vanilla sugar. My grandma used to do that, and each time I reach for the jar of vanilla sugar I think about her.

Easy-peasy roll out method -- roll out the dough onto parchment paper. Try to roll it out a couple inches larger than your pie plate.

Flip the parchment paper over onto the pie dish, then peel off the dough.

 Pretty up the edges! Okay, it's not Martha Stewart pretty, but it is somewhat ripply.

 Pour in all that delicious filling!  Can you see the extra dough on the side? I cut out heart shapes. Those go on top because this pie is made with LOVE, baby.

Ready to go into the oven.

Abra cadabra, ready to eat.  YUM!  The boys in the household all like to smother their pie with whipped cream, but I'm a purist. Just give me a big piece of pie, and make it hot.  That's the taste of summer.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lazy Summer

Quiet in the house; loud in the street. Nora & Dominic are sleeping (or awake in their rooms, but staying very quiet) while the paving crew resurfaces the neighborhood streets. If the kids are asleep, I envy them their ability to sleep through the noise.

Matt & Daniel are off to work, and I am enjoying the calmness of the morning. The rest before requirements, the haven before the have-to-dos. I groused about not having a vacation this summer, but in an effort to focus on the positive, I am re-thinking that complaint.  The stolen hour or two with nothing to do but read -- that's a vacation.  The day spent knitting and watching shows on netflix -- that's a vacation.  Glorious moments spent writing, like a drink in the desert.

Upstairs, a door opens.  Footsteps.  Here come the have-to-dos, the responsibilities wrapped in hugs and smiles. Those long limbed, summer toasted children of mine are starting their morning.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oh my aching back!

I pulled out my lower back putting a case of water into the car. I was in a rush -- the fence guys were coming to demolish/reinstall a fence so our new puppy can stay safely in the back yard. It was one of those 100 degree days, and I wanted to have bottles of water on ice for the guys doing the work.

On top of that (or beneath it) my left leg has been tingling. I'm guessing I've got something pressing on my sciatic nerve, and it is annoying as hell. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow morning to get it checked out. Meanwhile, I'm moaning and groaning about the back pain & leg tingling. Daniel sympathized, and said that he gets those tingling feelings when his blood sugar is high.

Yuck -- an awful thing to go through for high blood sugar or any other reason. This is a feeling I *don't* enjoy sharing with my son!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I know it's boring to talk about the weather, but...

Dang! It's hot! Someone said the heat index got to 107 today. Okay, not as hot as the normal summer day in Dhahran, so many years ago, but still... not far off. I had difficulty distinguishing between 110 and 120 degrees, anyway.

Thank goodness the pool felt cool.

I saw an ad from minimed the other day -- they make a new infusion set dressing. I wonder if anyone has tried it, and whether it helps keep the set in place on hot, sticky days. It is here. We've used medical tape across the set, but that doesn't always work. I wonder if that is something I should get for Daniel before he goes off to college.

In addition to all the regular stuff -- sheets, towels, pillows, fan, etc., I plan on putting together a medicine box. Sort of a mini version of our upstairs linen closet, where I store all the dayquil, nyquil, advil, and other --ils. I remember getting sick when I was in college, and dragging myself out of bed to the little school store that carried everything from tampax to orange juice. I stared at all the medicine boxes, trying to figure out what it was that we had at home that I would usually take... I think I just bought orange juice.

Taking Daniel to the endo tomorrow. Fingers crossed for a good A1c! He is also participating in a study about older teens/young adults with diabetes who are starting to take on the responsibility of their own care. Should be interesting.

We are also saying goodbye to our usual endo, Dr. P, who has been so wonderful. She is moving to a different office, much farther away. I hope the next endo is as nice, and as thorough.

Then... one more day until GRADUATION!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Writing is Hard

I love writing. I don't have much time to do it. Lately I've been going back to my "paper blog," or as I used to call it, my journal. A few minutes at night, a few thoughts on the page, and sleep comes more easily. I also have been thinking alot about writing on line, privacy issues, and what I should or should not say. After a public, online tussle with a relative, I stopped posting so much on Facebook. I disconnected my blog (I think) from my Facebook page. Really, it's not worth getting into online arguments, it's like shouting ugliness in the streets. It goes against my beliefs, and my attempts at right action and right thought.

But there are some things that are nice to put out there into the world. Good thoughts, happy ones. Sending them out like lovely, sparkling fireworks for anyone to enjoy, if they wish. Here's one: my baby is graduating high school. My big, hairy, irreverent, funny, kind, man baby. He is going to go out into the world to do his own thing, to learn to be an adult, to care for his body and mind, to make a place to call his own. I am happy. I am grieving. I am insanely proud.

I wish him Godspeed, good friends, love, and luck. Serendipity. Health. The excitement of discovery. A guardian angel. The swagger of self confidence. Gentle eyes with which to see the world.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Working on the Resolutions

Laugh more. Stress less. Write more, and flow. Crank down the criticism. Make time for games. And hair cuts (today's felt good). Let go of worry. Maintain a sense of humor. Just keep rowing.

Remember the wonderful things I've learned through yoga: to be still in the moment, to pay attention, to breathe.

Kindle flames of friendship, and let the warmth suffuse my life.

Enjoy the process of moving through life, changing from one day to the next, making connections, making statements, creating worlds of thought. Look people in the eye, find the light in everyone.

Cherish my children every day. How quickly they grow and move on!

Remember who I am.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

White Chicken Chili

I had friends coming over for a meal, and wanted to make Giada De Laurentis' recipe for white chicken chili. The recipe calls for ground chicken and of course when I was looking for ground chicken, I couldn't find it anywhere. But hey, no problem -- I had, hiding in my pantry, the meat grinding attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer. Time to put that piece of kitchenware to use! I bought a combination of boneless chicken breasts & thighs.

It was easy to put the attachment onto the mixer, and soon I was grinding with ease! I called Dominic over to check it out, knowing how he loves cooking and all things mechanical. He started helping to push the meat through the chute.

"This is pretty cool!" he said.

"Yes," I replied. "I haven't done this in a long time. Not since I was a kid."

"Why did you do this when you were a kid?" he asked.

"I used to make chopped liver with my mom," I said. We used to grind up the cooked liver and onions and some other stuff. But I don't do that anymore."

"Why not?" he asked.

"I don't eat liver anymore," I answered.

He looked at me, and asked, "Because you stopped being a cannibal?"

Then I explained that it was cow liver, not human liver, that we used to cook, and somehow he thought that was even more disgusting.