Every year as farm stands display their first crop of local strawberries, I’m catapulted back in time. The girls were seven years old and my main focus was keeping them entertained during the summer holiday. It didn’t matter what we did because to them everything was an adventure.
One afternoon, I took them strawberry picking over looking the Belleisle Bay. The strawberry fields were on a sloping hill that ran down to the water. As I stood over looking the emerald fields studded with tiny white blossoms and plump red berries, I was overwhelmed by the beauty. My three little girls diligently picking strawberries so that I could make their favorite jam. Two little blonde heads of curls and Sara with her favorite pigtails bent over the rows working away. The sky and water were a blue without clouds which rarely happens in this part of the world. I went back to the car to get my camera. I wanted to capture the magic. When I was in position, I called to the girls, “smile”.
Their three little heads popped up with great big smiles which were smeared from ear to ear with strawberry juice. One for the box, two for them – no wonder they were so focused!
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – Makes 1 – 10 inch pie
Preheat oven 450*F
Strawberry Rhubarb Mixture
1 quart of strawberries, hulled and halved
2 long stalks of rhubarb, cut into 1” pieces
11/4 cup sugar
¼ cup flour
Mix together and place in pastry lined pie plate
Cover with pastry top and crimp edges
Make slits in top – I used my pie bird from Kaitie
Brush with a mixture of 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of cream then sprinkle with sanding sugar
Place in oven and bakes for 15 minutes
Then reduce oven temperature to 350*F and bake an additional 45 minutes
PIE PASTRY source Tenderflake Lard box
makes enough pastry for 2 – nine-inch pies
5 1/2 cups all – purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 lb lard, room temperature first thing that may seem weird
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Sift flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl.
Using a pastry blender, cut lard into flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal
Beat egg in the bottom of a one cup measure
Add the vinegar then fill the cup up to full mark with cold water
Add water mixture to the flour and stir with a fork until the dough clings together
Knead lightly for 6 or 7 turns
Divide pastry into 4 equal parts…wrap any pastry that you are not using in plastic and freeze.
Flour a clean surface and roll the pastry out so that the circle is slightly wider than your pie plate.
Place a portion of pastry on the floured surface and press it lightly to form a circle. Place your rolling-pin in the centre of the circle and roll to the outside edge. Then roll in the opposite direction. Rotate the dough to allow you to do this in all directions until you have a circle. Add more flour if the pastry is sticking.
THE LOVE: Make sure that you are applying even pressure on your rolling-pin so that your pastry is able to bake evenly!
Roll the pastry loosely around your rolling-pin and place in pie plate
one year ago: we began in Venice
two years ago: lemon drowned cod
Happy Canada Day Weekend and thanks for reading.