Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 5, 2014

Quiet, Rainy 4th

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 9:31 am
Tags: , , ,

As I think it was for most of the east coast, the 4th of July (Day 15 of my 66 days), was a rainy day. Something about rain seems to bring a sense of calmness. We moved around the house quietly and kept things low key. It was also a perfect day to bring back a recipe I hadn’t made for several years: mixed berry pie.

4th of July pie

It is not easy to get the “perfect” timing for all the berries being their freshest and most local! Strawberries are the first to arrive here -usually around Father’s Day and petering out around the 4th of July. My raspberries usually start to get going at the beginning of July. Local blueberries seem to appear mid-July. I decided to go for this pie yesterday because I had what might be my last batch of local strawberries and the blueberries were from New Jersey – not so very far geographically! Plus this pie just happens to be red, white and blue!

Slice of pie
Yum!

July 5, 2011

Mixed Berry Pie

Filed under: Recipes — Karma @ 10:29 am
Tags: , , , ,

Fresh raspberries

Remember all the strawberries Sarah and I picked last week?  The raspberries in my backyard have been ripening too.  Sarah goes outside faithfully each day and picks about this amount of berries at a time.  I started to wonder about what I could make with them.  Serendipitously, I received an email from Fine Cooking Magazine with a wonderful looking pie recipe and, on Twitter, I started noticing the hashtag #pieday popping up with some of the folks I follow.  Turns out it is also an event on Facebook. Today, July 5th, is #pieday.   I made this lovely recipe on Saturday, with a small adjustment. 

Click here to see Fine Cooking’s recipe.  The weather has been warm and wonderful (pretty much) here for the last few days.  I really wanted to make this pie, but I really didn’t want to roll out pie crust.  The rest of the recipe seemed simple and straightforward, so I looked for a short cut.  I noticed it was calling for a shortbread pastry recipe for the crust.  I thought, what about a shortbread cookie recipe?  I was thinking about a nice, easy, crumb recipe that you just press into the pie pan.  I found that here.  This worked fine BUT it was more buttery than I expected and it didn’t fill the whole pie pan.  Because of the butter content, it sort of melted down the side of the pan and formed a big cookie at the bottom of the pie plate…
cookie pie crust

…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Next, the fresh raspberries are sprinkled on top of the baked crust:
filling the pie crust

Blueberries get cooked with sugar and cornstarch to form a deep purple goo:

 hot berry pie filling

…and the strawberries are tossed in at the end.  Pour the hot berry goo on top of the raspberries in the pie crust:
pie filling

and refrigerate for 4 hours.  Final step is topping with whipped cream (yes, I whipped my own this time Scott) and sprinkling with berries:
finished pie

It was delicious and a perfect red, white and blue, Fourth of July weekend treat.

June 26, 2010

Berries Abound…and not

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:37 am
Tags: , ,

P6262538

There!  Those beauties got your attention, didn’t they? 😉

This is a story of another love/hate relationship (my camera, my hydrangeas..etc)  in my life.  Well, hate may be a bit too strong of a word, but it sounds better than love/strong dislike.  I love berries.  I can’t think of a berry I don’t like as I sit here typing.  Years ago, my husband came home from Home Depot or Lowe’s or some manly place like that with a very innocent looking little 6-pack of raspberry plants.  Hubby not being much of a fruit-eater, I was pleased he wanted to make this addition to my backyard garden.  I had already planted some seedless concord grape vines on the side of our house, and there was some space left between the grapes and our deck where I thought the raspberries would fit nicely.  I don’t think we got many berries that first year, but the plants did nicely and continued to grow each year.  Now this is what they look like:
P6192461

That innocent little 6-pack has turned into a ginormous, roving, monster of a berry beast!  Those are my grapevines in the background of the shot, climbing the house.  The raspberries have invaded the grapes’ space, my lawn ( I run over small shoots each time I mow) and my deck:
P6242533
P6242534

Each year I cut them back, but each year they keep coming!  Their invasive nature is the “strong dislike” part of this story, but every year, I forgive them because I get this:
P6242521

Aren’t they beautiful?  Like everything else this year, the raspberries are early, robust and bountiful.  Back in the beginning of the month, I took this shot:
P6052357

I was very excited about what was coming.  I normally don’t pick raspberries until July.  For at least the past week or so, my daughter has been picking a bowlful like this on a daily basis:
P6262536
P6262537

(I included the shot with “Blue’s Clues” on the bowl because I think its kinda funny.  My daughters are teenagers now, but we still have this bowl from one of their favorite shows when they were little.)

And now for the “not” part of the story.  Two years ago my sister gave me some strawberry plants from her huge patch, which also began with an innocent little 6-pack brought home from the store by her husband ( I think – correct me if I’m wrong, Jennifer).  The patch has come to be known as “Larry’s Berries” over the years.  But I digress.  With my vegetable garden taking up all the space to one side of my deck and raspberries and grapes on the other, I needed a place for the strawberries.  I didn’t want to add them to the end of my veggie garden because Larry’s Berries have ended up taking up a prodigious amount of space in Jennifer’s garden.  The space near the back of my house and deck is the sunniest in my yard, so I wished to reserve it for my veggies.  The next sunniest space is where our above ground pool is
Sparkley pool

..so I decided to create a small space to the side of it to create what I was sure would be my very own bountiful strawberry patch
Strawberry fields forever?

The plants grew pretty well.  This is  our third year with the plants and it was looking good this spring, with lots of blossoms and tiny berries:
P5232284

This area is a bit further away from the house, closer to the wooded area of the yard.  Last year, the few berries we got were eaten by critters, I’m thinking chipmunks, despite the bird netting we protected them with.  We tried a new strategy with the netting this year, but didn’t have enough to cover the whole patch because it had indeed grown in size.  Hubby promised to get me some more and finish covering it over while I was at work.  Well, things happen, and the netting was never fully put in place.  I’m not sure this netting would have even saved our little patch.  Critters can be fairly industrious and this is what we ended up with for strawberries this year:
P6192462

I’m thinking maybe I should find a new place for my strawberry patch next year!

Oh well, I’ll enjoy my raspberries for as long as we can pick them.  Because of their delicate nature, raspberries don’t seem to keep long enough for me to gather enough to cook something wonderful from them.  I just have to eat them! Bummer, huh?