Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blackberry-Apple Pie With Tapioca

Picking Apples

Picking Apples by Frederick Morgan

These are photos I took today, of my process of making this pie.

Even though the ground looks very dry, those bushes on the edge of the farm road are full of fruit.

Eaten right off the bush, they taste just right. There really is no need to make a pie. Just eat them plain, or add cream.

The apples, however, are very sour, so,  mixed with the berries, they make a perfect pie.

Apple-Blackberry Pie With Tapioca

(Tapioca is a natural product made from a fruit called tapioca, from South America, and it serves well to thicken pies which tend to have a lot of juice in them. It can be purchased by the box at the grocery store.)

3 c. fresh or frozen blackberries

3 tbsp. quick cooking tapioca

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. butter

1 c. sliced apples

1 1/4 c. sugar

Combine blackberries and apples and place in a 9-inch pie pan lined with pastry shell. Combine sugar, tapioca, and cinnamon; stir well. Sprinkle sugar mixture over blackberries and apples. Dot with butter.

Cover with top crust. Cut several slits near center and seal edges. Bake at 350 degrees about one hour.

Sugar Substitutes: Use your preference regarding sweeteners: honey, frozen concentrate apple or white grape juice, beet sugar, date sugar, etc. Any fruit or berries that have been heated, will become less sweet and will need to be sweetened.

NOTE: Place foil or cookie sheet under pie while cooking should juices cook out.

This is how I prepare the filling: I first peel and slice the apples thinly and put them in a saucepan with a little water. Then I add sweetener such as honey or date sugar or whatever I have. I cook the apples until they are tender, and then I mix the berries and tapioca (which helps thicken the pie filling) right into that apple mixture and pour the whole thing into the prepared pie crust. I do not cook the berries, but only add them when the apples are tender.  You can get all kinds of pie crust recipes online and pick the one that works best for you.

 I quadrupled the recipe, as you can see, using a huge casserole dish.

Blackberries make a nice tea, too. Just put a few in the tea pot and add boiling water. Mash the berries with a spoon,

and pour through a strainer. Add honey to sweeten.

The apples from the tree taste good with the black berries. Around here, blackberry bushes are a nuisance, as they creep up around the foundations of the house, or come up everywhere that you don't want them. They are so common, and people are always trying to get rid of them, and yet, a small container of fresh blackberries in a store is very, very expensive!

Children Picking Blackberries

Children Picking Blackberries by Miles Foster

Picking Blackberries

Picking Blackberries by William McGeorge

Berry Pickers

Berry Pickers

Friday, August 13, 2010


Woman Calls a Harvester Home to Lunch

I haven't forgotten everyone, and hope to be back writing soon, as well as future hand sewing activities, including a kitchen holder for plastic bags, that curtain and matching table cloth I have been planning on showing, and some other items.

The county fairs are on now, and I would like to remind all country folk that if you are living on country land or own land in the country, you are qualified to enter items in the fair. There are hundreds of categories and you can often make up your own. If you are able, you can work on items all during the year and then submit them into all the categories you want: sewing, knitting, art, crafts, re-cycling, etc. Hand made necklaces are popular this year, as well as scrap book pages, and I saw some crafts made from natural ingredients such as wheat and corn.  There are always quilts and clothing and baking, too. If you are a rural family, there are many possibilities at the fair for earning money through cash prizes and even sales of your work. You could plan all year to make one entry a month, and then enter it all at fair time. Best of all, you do not have to sit in a booth or at a table and guard anything. It is all taken care of at the fair.  I entered my woodsy fake cake that I showed here a few months ago, which was made from curly birch bark and pine cones. I dont think it will take a prize but I wanted to enter something.

Harvest is on here, and I have some interesting things to show you soon, about our country sky-scrapers.

Some pictures from Victoria Magazine, August 1988:

This is a layout they did of a historic place in Savannah, Georgia, in Dixie.

I like the backgrounds and settings of the drawings, where the artist puts the home in a setting full of trees, and a lot of sky.

A place in England, possibly where the writer, Beatrix Potter lived.

This is an easy way to make popsickles for children, using berry juices with apple juice, or whatever kind you have. Stick spoons in canning jars and put them on a plate, then set them in the freezer. When ready, take the spoon and twist it slightly and it will remove easily from the jar. As the ice softens, it can be put back in the glass and eaten with a spoon, like a sorbet.

This is Susan Rios' latest painting on ebay. Check out her site for more.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Beginner Hand Sewing: Simple-to-Make Pin Cushion

I am now making a few things for sewing equipment, such as pincushions, needle cases, scissor case and thread container.  This pin cushion is much easier than the one in the previous post.

The check fabric is commonly called gingham, and some types are the same on the back as on the front, so you will not need to worry about the right or wrong side of the fabric. However, if you get the cotton check,  the wrong side will be more faded and you will need to remember to sew it with the right sides facing each other, before turning it inside out.

Using two pieces of fabric, arrange it as straightly as you can together.  Place a piece of cardboard,  cut from a cereal box or anything you have,(approximately 4 x 4 inches) on the fabric, matching the edges to the lines of the check print, and draw away from the edge of the cardboard about a half an inch or an inch, following the lines on the check. Click on for a closer view.

Cut out on that line you drew that is a half inch larger than your piece of cardboard. You can make a square or a rectangle, any size you want, from your cardboard.

Once you have cut that out, trace around the actual cardboard piece with your pencil as you see, above.

It should look something like this. Remember you have two layers of fabric.

Beginning at one end of the piece, sew one fourth inch away from the drawn line. It does not have to be exactly that much, but you cannot sew on the line, because it will make it too small to insert the cardboard. 

Sew three sides, leaving one end open for stuffing.

 Turn the piece inside out and carefully push out the corners with your scissors.

Now insert your cardboard. This is necessary to keep the pins and needles from going clear through the pin cushion and hurting your hands or damaging a table or surface where it put.

Stuff it firmly, with as much stuffing as will fit and still be able to close the opening.

Push the stuffing into the corners with your scissors.

Fold over the ends to the inside, one fourth inch, and pin. 

If you find that there is not enough fabric on that open end to fold over, you might have to pull out the cardboard and trim it a little.  Put it back inside the cushion, fold over the hem, and pin it. Stitch with a regular running stitch, or an over-cast stitch.

When it is finished, manipulate it with your hands to even out the filling.

You can also use a pin cushion to secure your buttons while you are sewing.

If you have any scraps of trim, you can use it on something like this. Just stitch in and out of the spaces on fancy trim like this, and secure the ends by making several stitches in the same place.  You might need some clear tape to prevent unravelling on some trims, but the needle will go right through it easily.

Sew a little satin rose on it for decoration, and put on some pins and buttons that match the cloth.  You can make your own satin ribbon roses, but that might have to be  a later post.

This pincushion is not very thick or deep, which is really best, since you can lose your needles in some larger pincushions.


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