E2 is really enjoying her brother being away at school during the day. She also has moments where she would probably enjoy it if her little brother would go away, too, but he's a little young for college just yet.
In preparation for some company tonight, we were baking and cooking fiends yesterday. Helping in the kitchen is perhaps her favourite activity in the whole world. Aside from maybe driving her brothers crazy.
My aunt offered us a plethora of blackberries from her property this year. Being good and frugal (cheap?) like we are, we accepted. I have no idea what to do with blackberries, really. But given the shortage of cherries in our area this year, I figured maybe I could make them stand in. And stand in they have
This is my version of blackberry pie. Please ignore the small drip. I should have taken a photo from the other side and then you would have never known. But here I am, warts, pie drips and all
Elyza also made a pie:
What, we left the house unaccompanied by children? Is that possible? A story for another day.
Here is the recipe my family uses for pie crust. It is unique in the it uses milk instead of water. And that it makes about 600 lbs of pie crust. And that we have no idea who Margaret is. Rumour has it she was a neighbour, but only my grandmother might know and that is a three house conversation I am just not prepared to have today
Margaret's Pie Crust
5 cups all purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 lb lard (chilled is best, cut into small pieces)
1 T salt
1 egg beaten
1 T white vinegar
enough milk to make one cup
Start with only 4 cups of the flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. I am lazy and put it in my stand mixer. Gradually add the cut up pieces of lard. You can use vegetable shortening if you must, I won't tell. But I think the lard gives it a better texture. Slowly pour in the milk mixture. Then add as much of the last cup of flour as needed to make the dough the right consistency. That is, moist, stuck together, but not sticky. Be careful not to overmix. That is the death of pie crust.
Chill before using. It will keep up to two weeks in the fridge if you keep it in a tightly sealed bag or container. Let it sit on the counter ten minutes or so before attempting to roll out on a well floured surface.
This is E2's take on the whole experience: