Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
It is Concord Grape season and we are in the heart of grape growing country. There was even a Grape Jamboree Festival here this weekend that we attended. On the way home, we stopped at one of my favorite nurseries and picked up 15 or so pounds of Concord Grapes. You can only find Concord Grapes in September and October, so I tend to go over board since I love them so. I generally won't buy them in the supermarket because they are so darn expensive but there is nothing like freshly grown and harvested Concord Grapes (and Concord Grape pies, YUM!) Buying 15 pounds is a little crazy however unless you can call in the troops to help you *process* them. Before I actually purchased my yumminess, I called my mom to ask her if she could help me and if I could freeze the goods. (you can freeze grapes after you cook them and remove their seeds) So here is how we do that and my favorite Concord Grape pie recipe (originally published in Better Homes and Garden Cookbook) If you can find fresh concord grapes and feel so inclined to undertake such a labor intensive recipe, I highly recommend it. [note: I haven't baked our pies yet because I'm still cooking and freezing the grapes for future use. I'll update this post with those pictures when I do:o)]
Step One: Measure out the grapes. If you are doing a large quantity measure out the amount of grapes you will need for your recipe and store them unwashed in plastic ziploc bags until you are ready to cook them. We got 6 batches of grapes out of one large, very heavy basket of grapes. I was able to cook and freeze two batches and have 4 more to finish today. I use deeper dish pie plates so I measured out 5 cup portions and adjust my recipe.
Step Five: Reintroduce the grape skins into the cooled grape pulp. The skins add flavor and color to the finished pie. It is at this point you can either make your pie or freeze the cooked grapes for future use. We put the cooked grapes into quart-sized ziplocs, force out the excess air and then put those inside plastic freezer boxes. I'm not too sure how long they will keep but I do know that the finished pies are so yummy you may use up your reserves before you have to worry about it!:o)
Concord Grape Pie
- 1 recipe Pastry for Single-Crust Pie
- 1 1/2 pounds Concord grapes (about 4 cups)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine
Prepare and roll out pastry. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry; trim and crimp edge as desired. Set aside.
(shown above) Remove skins from grapes by gently pressing each grape between your fingers. The skins will slip off easily. Set skins aside. In a large saucepan bring grape pulp to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Sieve the pulp to remove the seeds. Add the grape skins to the pulp.
In a large mixing bowl stir together the 3/4 cup sugar, the 1/3 cup flour, and salt. Stir in the grape mixture, melted butter or margarine, and lemon juice. Pour mixture into the pastry-lined pie plate. To prevent overbrowning, cover the edge of the pie with foil. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together the 1/2 cup flour and the 1/2 cup sugar. Cut in the 1/4 cup butter or margarine until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Remove foil from pie. Sprinkle crumb mixture over pie. Bake about 25 minutes more or until topping is golden. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 servings.
- Servings Per Recipe 8 servings
- Total Fat (g)18,
- Saturated Fat (g)4,
- Cholesterol (mg)23,
- Sodium (mg)223,
- Carbohydrate (g)61,
- Fiber (g)2,
- Protein (g)4,
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Thursday, September 23, 2010
In the past couple of weeks, all the energy I had going into my latest works has shifted to fall cleaning. Since I loathe cleaning, I heavy duty clean, purge and rearrange about twice a year (sometimes 3 times depending on my mood;o) Now, this doesn't mean I don't clean here and there throughout the year, I do on a semi-regular basis, but the entire house is never as clean as it is after my fall or spring cleaning is finished. I take down and wash the drapes(and shower curtain) and vacuum under all the furniture. Pull up all the floor rugs, wash them and mop all the tiled surfaces. Clean all the cupboards and rearrange everything so I can find it.(there must be a little troll running around this house who just puts things wherever they can find an open place) Dust and wipe down all the furniture, clean baseboards and all flat surfaces. And so on and so on. Needless to say, doing all this in short succession doesn't leave much time to create. Thus the reason I only do the heavy duty stuff 2 or 3 times a year and spot clean when needed. I'm almost finished with the insanity which means I will soon be painting and creating (oh! how I long to escape to my happy place once more.)
In the meantime, here are some new photos from my garden. We are still waiting impatiently for the cosmos to bloom! (But the marigolds are blooming) and my little one's latest creation. We go to a little ceramics place here every year and he makes me an ornament for the Christmas tree and gets to paint a piece of his choice (this year a race car!)
While I think of it, does anyone know if you can bring Gerbera daisies in for the winter?
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I have been on a roll, creatively speaking, and since the energy usually doesn't flow this freely, I've been taking full advantage of it while it does. I also have a table full of pieces that need to be sculpted. As soon as I finish them or run out of paper clay, whichever comes first, I will start painting. Then, after those are all finished and listed, I have to make a display tree for my upcoming shows and start working on my elf ornaments. An elf's work is never done :o)
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
We had a chance to go out and play this past Saturday. The weather was my favorite: slightly chilly, gray and windy. Sorry, the only thing I like more might be a good snow. The 90 degree weather we've had all spring and summer long has stayed well past it's welcome with me.
These photos were taken at Penitentiary Glen and Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio. The barred owl is a permanent resident of the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center at Penitentiary Glen. His name is Hunter and he came in with a broken leg. They later found he had severe cataracts and so he remains a resident today(selfishly, I am glad he has a safe home because I just love him!)