Five things

We had our big Thanksgiving dinner last night so we’ve been pretty low-key today. The menfolk have been watching Bob Vila’s Home Again on the Interwebs (can you believe it’s 25 years old?), the kiddos playing with Lego, and me baking all the things. How was your day? Five things

Apple cranberry raisin pie

It felt great to get back in the kitchen yesterday after a few days away at Blissdom, the social media conference held last weekend in Mississauga, Ontario. I’ve been feeling a bit out of sorts since I returned, kicking myself for not introducing myself to more people (‘tho I’m so happy I met the ones I did — I’m looking at you, Aneta, Helene, Renee, Jessica, Cathy, Catherine, Jo-Anne and Rachel) and wondering where I fit in.

But the kitchen, the kitchen is definitely my element. Doing something creative with my hands, making something tangible my family will (usually) enjoy and staging and photographing the process and/or the final product fills me up and gives me time to think things through (or not think, which is also nice). It’s my happy place. My zone. A light in the dark. (I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for years.)

Not that everything turns out. No, I have my share of flops. But this apple cranberry raisin pie is a sure bet, people! No fail! Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend or next month or not at all, it’s perfect to put on your table for Fall.

apple cranberry raisin pie

A great big thank you to Catherine, who shared the recipe with me. She’s had it for years but can’t place it. Our compliments to the baker, whoever you are!

Apple cranberry raisin pie

What’s your zone, your happy place?

Apple cranberry raisin pie

Makes one 9-inch pie

Ingredients

Dough for two 9-inch pie crusts (I used Tenderflake pie shells)

5 tart apples

1 cup cranberries

1/2 cup raisins

Grated rind from one lemon

1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup)

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a pie pan with half the dough.

Stir the sugar, salt, and flour together in a large bowl.

Add the cranberries, raisins, and lemon rind.

Peel, core, and slice the apples and toss them in the sugar mixture. (I like apple peels so I left those on.)

Pile the filling into the lined pie pan and dot with butter.

Roll out the top crust and drape it over the pie. (I sliced one of the crusts into long strips to do a lattice pattern.)

Crimp the edges together and cut several small vents in the top.

Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes or until the apples are tender when pierced with a skewer and the crust is browned.

Five things

Okay, so we cannot talk about this week without mentioning the weather. Suddenly it’s Fall! And suddenly so c-c-c-cold. We are this close (um, that’s really close) to turning on the heat.

Converse

I love my Converse, but I wouldn’t mind a few more warmer days for flip flops, you know?

Benny and pumpkin

Yes Halloween’s still a month and a half away but I couldn’t help myself — I bought a pumpkin. It’s festive!

apples

First apples of the season this week from a neighbour’s tree. I turned most of them into applesauce in the crockpot.

Nordicware-pocket-pie-press

… and saved a few to make more wee pies with my Nordic Ware pocket pie press. It’s the same one I used for the Concord grape pies (now on Foodgawker too!)

DIY mallet collie 2

And my DIY puzzle piece hooks are up on So Fawned. I don’t know why I didn’t make them ages ago. Our coats and backpacks are so much more organized now that we’ve got these hanging up at our back door.

Hope you’ve got a good week ahead, everybody!

Five things

We had our share of adventures last week, starting with the kids’ first trip to a strawberry farm. We went with a friend and her seven-year-old daughter one warm, breezy evening.

strawberry picking james

The girls picked much faster than my guy, who’d show me each strawberry as he picked it and ask “Is this a good one, Mommy?” before putting it in his basket. It took us about an hour to pick three 4-litre baskets, as I wanted plenty of berries to make jam.

Three baskets

I’m not entirely impressed with the strawberries. They look and feel ripe, but a good lot of them are on the sour side.

jams

But as it turns out, they make a fine jam. I tried three recipes on Saturday: a quick strawberry jam from Sweet Potato Chronicles (they wrote one of my favourite cookbooks, How to Feed a Family), a strawberry, chia seed and honey jam (I swapped the rhubarb for more strawberries) from Thankful Expressions, and a traditional strawberry jam with pectin from Bernardin. All of them are delicious in their own way, with the chia seed jam the less sweet of the three. The first two come together in less than 30 minutes and keep in the fridge for about three weeks, while the third, more traditional jam is a little more tedious with the boiling of the filled jars, but those keep for about a year. And I’ve got plenty of berries left, so I may make a few more jars this week.

pom poms 3

The summer surprise garland has been a huge hit. Each day after the supper the kids argue about who gets to open a bag and then we do the activity on the note inside. We’ve painted pictures with some new paintbrush pens, made pom poms following an easy tutorial in the summer issue of EMMA Magazine, gone out for ice cream, stayed up late and done the limbo in the living room. And more surprises to come!

cherry pie

One afternoon I tried this easy cherry pie recipe. And I do mean easy — I used a ready-made crust and frozen, pitted cherries. You could say it was more “home assembled” than “homemade” ‘tho you do have to cook down the cherries. Next time I’d cut the sugar down to a half cup and add a couple of more tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken it up. What’s your favourite kind of pie?

finished pillow

And my second DIY for So Fawned is online today! Will you take a peek at my personalized pillows? Better yet, give them a try!