4/25/15

Cats and More

It's been a prep morning so far this morning. I've been getting things ready to go, typing things into my recipe database, tracing, petting...basically catching up on utilitarian kinds of things.

The first order of business is to report back on my experiment with baking a Blueberry-Rhubarb Pie for two yesterday. If you missed yesterday's Baking on Friday post, I was adapting a Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie recipe for Mr. I-Can't-Eat-Strawberry-Seeds. It was essential since pie waits for no one. Start getting picky about your fruit and you'll be left in the proverbial dust where this fan of all things pie is concerned. And I'm happy to report that it was a huge success. Huge, if you consider pie for two to be huge.


When we cut into it last night, I asked Mike if he thought we should each eat half, or if we should start with a quarter. We opted for each starting with a quarter of the pie, and that was plenty. You may recall from yesterday that I had some concerns about how juicy it would be. The thickener was just right. The pie was plenty juicy without pouring out of the crust all over the pie plate when we removed half of it.


It looks like a small piece when you put it in your bowl (or plate), but it was a good amount of pie.


Especially when served with a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream. Yum.


So I'm kind of excited about this because I can use any kind of fruit with this pie crust. It takes about two cups of fruit to fill it. You will need a 6-inch pie plate. Here's the recipe I made up in my adaptation from the book:

                      
Blueberry Rhubarb Pie for Two
heavily adapted from Desserts for Two

Servings: 2-4     

For Double Crust Pie Crust:

1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Table Salt
5 Tablespoons Cold Unsalted Butter -- diced
1/2 Teaspoon Cider Vinegar
4 Tablespoons  Ice Water -- may add up to 1 more tablespoon
1 Lightly Bean Egg White

For filling:

3 Stalks Fresh Rhubarb -- diced (to equal 1 cup)
1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries (thawed, if frozen)
2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Orange Zest
3 Tablespoons  Cornstarch

Prepare crust: In a medium- bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add diced butter and work it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or with your fingertips. It will be ready when the butter is evenly distributed and flecked throughout the flour mixture. 

Next, mix the vinegar with 4 tablespoons of ice water, and sprinkle it over the flour and butter mixture. Stir with a fork until the dough comes together. If necessary, add up to one additional tablespoon of water until the dough comes together without being overly wet. 

Divide dough roughly half (one side will be a little larger). Form into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425°F. (I used my toaster oven.) Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Prepare filling: Combine the diced rhubarb, blueberries, orange zest, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl and set aside.

When ready, remove pie dough from refrigerator. Roll the larger disk on a well-floured surface until it's a few inches larger than your 6-inch pie plate. Place it in the pan for the bottom crust, easing it into the corners without stretching it. Allow excess to hang over the edges.

Roll out the other half of the dough for the top crust. Roll roughly the same size as the pie plate.

Add fruit to bottom crust, then cover with the top crust. Crimp top and bottom crusts together, trimming off any excess. Make a few slits to allow steam to escape.

Brush the entire crust with an egg wash made from one lightly beaten egg white.

Bake for 20 minutes. Open the oven to allow some heat to escape, then turn oven temperature down to 350°F. Continue baking until fruit starts to bubble and ooze out of the ventilation slits, about another 20 minutes. 

Let pie cool completely in the pan before cutting.

This morning, I stitched the April stitchery for My Vintage Kitchen, a free block of the month stitchery from Jenny of Elefantz.


These are very small, and so they can be stitched quickly. With that one finished, I was ready to make up the next block for the Quilting Snowladies. This is block 11 of 12 blocks.


As I was considering where to add the cat, I looked at the last block in the series and realized there is a cat lying on the bed. It's hard to see it in the image on the pattern cover, and so I had to open up the packet and check the drawing just to be sure. Sure enough, a sleeping cat. I've circled it in the image below so that you can see what I saw.


Well...that is a perfect cat for the stitchery I'm doing next, and so I copied the drawing, trimmed out the cat, and added him to the drawing for my tracing. Can you see where I put the cat?


He's positioned in honor of my little night time sleeping buddy, who loves to snuggle under the covers with me at night.

Speaking of cats, Miss Gracie agreed to a photo shoot this morning.


She wants you to see that her furs are starting to grow back, and her wound is almost completely healed over. There is still a little scabby area where the drain was placed, but otherwise, it's looking pretty good.


Her daddy gave her a brushing, and so she's feeling very pretty this morning. I think her scar is a little itchy and some gentle brushing in that area got her purr box running.


We are going to a "celebration of life" for a friend this afternoon, and then we'll go have dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants. We don't eat out often, and so I'm looking forward to that.

Also today I'm hoping to get a start on my next Irish door. This is the one I've selected:


Also, I changed my mind about the last door, and decided to go with this one instead:



I'm going to adapt it a little by shutting the red door. Also, I might change the window a little. There's too much detail in the image for me to reproduce in my block, but I think I can add some of it. The Irish flag would be nice, and maybe a few of the little dogs in their jackets. Just now, I noticed the "Like us on Facebook" sticker in the window. Maybe when I'm finished, I'll post it to their Facebook page and see what they think. These have been fun to plan, and I'm hoping to finish both blocks before the end of the month. After that, I'll be ready to sew them into a quilt.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dana Gaffney said...

Tell Gracie she's always pretty, beautiful in fact. I love the Pet Shop door, that should be fun, any animals in the window would be cute. I'm sure they will be thrilled when you post it to their facebook page. Is that next door a door, or a gate in a doorway? LOL.

barbara woods said...

that pie looks so good

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Gracie Girl - you are a cover girl for sure! I love me a good rhubarb/strawberry pie and a simple blueberry pie - and they need that vanilla ice cream to be complete.

Dasha said...

So nice to hear that Gracie is back to full health, and looking so pretty after her brushing. The last night at the farm, I went and picked some rhubarb from the garden and we had it stewed. Found the recipe on line by Jamie Oliver. It was lip smacking good and pronounced by all as the best stewed rhubarb ever. Must try a pie next.

Quilting Babcia said...

Good to see Gracie looking fit as a fiddle again. I'm so looking forward to seeing your Irish Doors quilt top come together. That's going to be one fabulous quilt.

Carol said...

Gracie is such a beautiful kitty...glad she's feeling better! The pie looks gorgeous and delicious!

Amanda Best said...

I love your snow people and cats embroidery, so cute!

quiltzyx said...

Mmmmmm...PIE!! I'm drooling again, dag nabbit!
I like where you placed the kitty on your next Snowlady block. Perfect.
I'm looking forward to seeing these last 2 Irish door blocks. Are you going to put the "like us on facebook" sticker in the pet shop window??
Oh Miss Gracie, your booboo looks like it is healing up so nicely. And, of course, you are as beautiful as ever!

Brown Family said...

That is a purrfect place for a kitty, under the covers. Gracie's scar is looking good. Glad the fur is growing back!

Junebug613 said...

Miss Gracie is a pretty lady! So happy that her boo boo is healing so well and that her fur is growing back. My cat, Multi, sleeps right where you put the cat in your stitchery. I'm going to have to scroll past all the scrumptious "Desserts for Two" parts of your posts..... We're calorie counting and they are just too tempting!!! Dang it all... LOL We do treat ourselves every couple of weeks, so it's not all bad. I've lost 15lbs since January (and I haven't gone to the gym since February)! Oh, they should be honored that you chose their shop to be in your quilt! Let us know if they comment!