Christmas 2015

pie.sliceThis year for our Christmas Day meal, I decided to make a blueberry pie.  It’s good to shake things up a bit, especially on holidays, I think.  Some of my family would disagree and say this is a terrible idea – why mess with a a good thing, especially on holidays?!  It is due to this sentiment that I left my Challah recipe alone this year.

blueberry.pieI was using a combination of a couple recipes – a terrible habit of mine when I am in the kitchen.  I ended up with a delightful, though a bit on the juicy side of a pie.  My youngest – a huge pie fan – almost perfected his ability to say the word pie due to his love of the blueberries in this pie.

I used my dad’s crust recipe with gin this time – I was out of vodka.  And the basic blueberry filling from my Martha Stewart pie wheel.  See below for both recipes.  I would add thickener in the form of tapioca or corn starch for future reference.  I topped it off with real whipped cream.  I accidentally bought a carton of heavy whipping cream instead of the kids’ milk, so I have been creatively putting it to use.

walkIt snowed on Christmas Eve day and so I enjoyed a wintery walk with my eldest child.  She is a budding scientist and makes keen observations that make her mama proud.  Here she is gingerly touching the thin crust of ice at the very edge of the pond.  She told me after doing this that she, “would hold on to my hand while we were near the water’s edge.”

familyWe enjoyed quality family time with cousins and grandparents.  Poor Q, Christmas is a lot of work when you aren’t yet 2.  Though it’s a lot of work when you are my age, too.

IMG_8487Here he is earlier in the day, a little calmer and still barefoot.

IMG_8492My daughter’s writing is exploding now.  She decorated my present herself, asking for spelling help with all her favorite characters.  If she hadn’t made me open it, I would have just left it wrapped like this forever.

batmans

Santa visited my two little Batmen with some surprises, and some surprises for me – they are actually sharing in this picture!  My youngest little ham now slits his eyes when he smiles – not sure if he is trying to be funny or if this is how he thinks one is supposed to smile.

frostOn Christmas Day the foggy morning weather made everything a frosty white that surprisingly lasted all day.  It was absolutely beautiful and I found myself stopping and staring out my in-laws windows frequently during the day.

giftsWe opened gifts .  The chaos of this picture is perfect.

salt.fish

The men did most of the cooking.  Eric is working on assisting my brother-in-law with his salted fish recipe.  The fish are covered in a salt and egg white mixture and then baked.  The salt crust is then peeled off and a perfectly cooked fish is left inside.  This was paired with a saffron risotto, challah, a salad, and yule log cake and pie for dessert.

all the grandkidsWe certainly missed Grandma this year, this image was taken last year at Christmas.  She would have turned 91 on Christmas Day – how lucky I have been to celebrate her birthday and Christmas, together, for so many years.  So, with the exception of losing loved ones, each year Christmas just gets better.  I am so grateful for my life, my family, my health, my friends, and the way I get to spend my time.  Here’s to 2016!

Dad’s Double Pie Crust

  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons vodka
  1. Sift together flour and salt; cut in butter with pastry blender until pieces are the size of small peas.  (For extra tender pastry, cut in half the shortening till like cornmeal. Cut in remaining till like small peas).
  2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon water over part of the mixture.  Gently toss with fork; push to side of bowl.  Repeat, alternating water and vodka till all is moistened.  Form into 2 balls.
  3. Flatten on lightly floured surface by pressing with edge of hand 3 times across in both directions.  Roll from center to edge, till about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Trim lower crust even with rim of pie plate.  Cut slits in top crust.  Lift pastry by rolling it over rolling pin; then unroll loosely over well-filled pie.  Trim 1/2 inch beyond edge.  Tuck top crust into under edge of lower crust.  Flute edge of pastry as desired.

Blueberry Pie FillingMartha Stewart Pie Wheel, (click here for your own printable version)

Combine in a large bowl: 3 pints of blueberries, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 chopped up tablespoons of butter.

Bake at 425° for 20 minutes with a Pie Crust Shield or aluminum foil on edges to protect crust edges.  Reduce to 350°, remove foil or shield, cook for 30-40 minutes more or till golden and filling is bubbling.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Christmas 2015

  1. Pingback: Creamy Wild Rice & Parsnip Soup | a life like art

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