ordinary… mostly

"We have nothing to offer each other, except a haven." — K. Nafziger



Youngest Daughter’s pumpkin pie

(Yet another pumpkin pie blog…)

A tale of sadness and redemption, of mourning turned to joy…

Youngest Daughter designed a jack o’ lantern from her very own pumpkin this Halloween. Alas, we don’t have a photograph. Before we could enjoy it for any length of time, it rolled out of the back of our van and cracked open on the ground.

YD seemed to keep a stiff upper lip. SuperOrdinary Mommy promised that we’d make a pie from the remnants of the jack o’ lantern, and that seemed to pacify our sad girl. But a little later, I heard a quiet sob coming from her bed: “I’m going to forget what my pumpkin looked like!” I promised to take pictures of pie making process, and she decided to draw a picture of her jack o’ lantern the next day…

YD's jack o' lanternThis is how Youngest Daughter remembers her jack o’ lantern.

What was leftBut this is all that we had left of it.

Cooking down the pumpkinHere is YD’s jack o’ lantern cooking down.

And finally this week, YD and Mommy teamed up on the pie…

YD's pumpkin pieYummy!

Mommy made the crust, and YD did the rest!

Pumpkin pie

1½ cup mashed pumpkin
1 egg
1 cup soy milk
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp molasses
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of clove
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 9″ unbaked pie shell

Combine all ingredients. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle additional cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove over top of pie.

Bake at 450 °F for 15 minutes; then at 350 °F for 45 minutes.

(From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens by Phyllis Pellman Good and Rachel Thomas Pellman. Good Books, Intercourse, PA. 1984)


Weekend recap

Last Thursday, the girls and I left for a weekend at my parents’ house. We returned home this morning. This blog post is simply to say ‘thanks’ for everything that we managed to fit into that time:

The funny thing is that it didn’t really feel that busy. Then again, we had planned to come home yesterday, so I guess we did need some extra hours.

Random fun in the Casselman Valley

Ordinary Spouse is having a mini-reunion at Laurelville with her college roommates. The girls and I are spending the weekend with my parents. We had quite the day in and around Springs, Pennsylvania, yesterday…

The 55th Annual Springs Folk Festival

The Springs Folk Festival invites you to join in the celebration of the arts, skills and labors of our [Casselman Valley] forefathers [and mothers!].

This was the first stop of the day, visiting the area near where my father grew up and my grandparents lived. I spent many days in this community when I was a child.

Springs Cemetery

As we left the festival, we stopped at the Springs Cemetery, which borders the festival grounds. My paternal grandparents are buried there.

Grandma and Grandpa's gravestone
Grandma and Grandpa’s gravestone

Sam Beachy and Sons

From the festival grounds, we drove past the springs for which Springs is named, and then made a short trek to the Sam Beachy and Sons (and granddaughters and great-grandchildren and others?). On one side of the business, there was a whole array of snow blowers waiting for their tune-up in preparation for winter. Our destination was on the other side – apple cider and apple butter making. After Dad purchased two gallons of cider, we got to watch cider production in progress.

Apple cider production
Apple cider production

I’ve sampled lots of cider and apple butter. I still haven’t found any better than they sell in Niverton.

The Casselman

The Casselman Inn is a historic hotel on the National Road in Grantsville, Maryland. I’ve never slept there, but I’ve eaten their food! I bought a mincemeat pie. (Given more time, I probably would have eaten the buckwheat pancakes.)

Penn Alps and the Spruce Forest Artisan Village

We didn’t actually stop here, since many of the artisans were at the festival. But I have to recommend it anyway, since it’s such a cool place.

Hill Top Fruit Market

Visit Candyland! (It’s just a store, but they have lots of bulk candy.)

Page’s Ice Cream

By the end of the day, we had left the Casselman Valley and were back to my parents’ house. And when you’re at my parents’ house you go to Page’s for ice cream, even if it’s a cool night in the middle of October.

That’s the story from yesterday. I apologize to the grandmothers for not having more pictures of their grandchildren.

The season’s first pumpkin pie

Oldest Daughter made a pumpkin pie for us today – the season’s first. It’s half gone…

Pumpkin pie(I’m noticing a blog pie theme.)

Blackberry jam and peach pie

Following up on the last post, these are the “fruits” of Ordinary Spouse’s work with the berries we picked yesterday.

Blackberry jam

Blackberry jam

We nearly finished a whole jar in just one day.

Peach pie

Peach pie with blackberry accents

This is not the same recipe that I provided in the last post. The peach pie has a cream-like filling. Yummy!

Berries one day, pie the next

Blackberries are ripening around Laurelville right now.

Ordinary Spouse picked three quarts yesterday morning and made jam. I picked another quart last evening that OS plans to use in a pie. My parents are stopping by later today to pick up Middle Daughter (who will be with them for the next week). If we can tempt them with pie, maybe they’ll stay a while.

This isn’t our first blackberry pie of the season. When OS made the first pie, I took a bite and was fairly certain it was one of the best fruit pies I’d ever tasted – probably the combination of freshly picked fruit and warmth straight from the oven.

If you have some fresh berries nearby, you might want to try out this recipe from the Simply in Season cookbook:

Prepare a 9″ pastry shell. In the bottom of the crust sprinkle a small amount of the sugar. Mix remaining sugar and tapioca together then add the fruit. Pour into the pie crust. Sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake in preheated oven at 425 °F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 °F and continue baking for 25-30 minutes.

4 C blackberries
½ C sugar
3 T quick tapioca

Crumb topping: Mix together 1 C flour and ½ C sugar. Cut in 3 T butter and 1 T oil to make crumbs.

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