Archive for the ‘pie recipes’ Category

In my kitchen there’s a chalkboard that says, “I’ve never met a pie I didn’t like.” Ever since birth (i.e., 23 years ago), I’ve been on an eternal quest for pie (who, me?).

So it should come as no surprise that whenever a good pie book jumps out of the oven, I like to be first in line. :)

Today, with the help of three furry pastry chefs, we’re peeking under the crust and sampling some of the goodness in The Good-Pie Party,  a delectable new picture book officially hitting shelves today by Liz Garton Scanlon and Kady MacDonald Denton.

Liz and Kady have cooked up a gentle, reassuring story about making the best of a sad situation and celebrating the lasting bonds of friendship.


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“You must always be awaggle with love.” ~ D.H. Lawrence

Nibble on a jam sandwich (dare to disturb the universe).

~ With advance apologies to Tea S. Eliot, Elizabeth Barrett Brewing and William Shakespour.


1. To tart or not to tart, that is the question.

Reasons for not making fruit tarts:

  • Pesky little tart pans
  • Stirring vanilla cream in nippy kitchen
  • Finicky pastry dough
  • Locate pretty fruit in the dead of winter? Oh, come on.

Reasons for making fruit tarts:

  • Len loves them. Cornelius loves them. I love them. What person in their right mind doesn’t love them?
  • It’s Valentine’s Day.
  • Beloved blog readers might be impressed that an adorable a self-sacrificing writer stood in an icy kitchen for hours some minutes stirring, stirring the vanilla cream and whipping finicky pastry dough into shape after walking flying to Chile to pick fresh berries.
  • Good excuse to buy a new tartlet baking set.

The baking set comes with a 12-well non-stick tartlet pan, a dough cutter and a tamper.

Handsome assistant demonstrates use of tamper.

In the room the women come and go,
Talking of rolling pie dough.

*   *   *


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Lucy holding Bossy’s Feltworks apples and pumpkins (photo by Mandy Troxel)

Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. Everywhere pumpkins! Hooray!

Okay Okay. I KNOW I’ve been a tad indecisive lately, asking you to call me Melon Head, then Apple Dumpling, and last week, Apple Pudding.

And not for a second would I presume to be as adorable as little bossy lady Lucy up there who without a doubt personifies the term of endearment, “Pumpkin,” like no one else.


I am now a Pumpkin Girl, having braved the chilly winds and hoodie-cladded throngs of wriggly, hyper-adenoidal munchkins with their parental units who led the charge at Cox Pumpkin Farm this past weekend.




Oh, so brave! Are you impressed by the sacrifice? All just for you, natch.

Today we celebrate the joy that is pumpkinness with an iconic poem and some pumpkin pie. Are you wearing your orange bib? I notice you have on your Halloween mask again. That’s good too.



Often shared at Thanksgiving, this is an interesting poem because of Whittier’s reference to pumpkin carving in his boyhood, which suggests the practice predated widespread Irish immigration to the U.S. in the 1840’s (hat tip to American Scrapbook for that tidbit).

As you probably know, the Irish had the most influence on the celebration of Halloween (they used to carve out turnips to light the way on their midnight Autumn ramblings). In America they simply substituted pumpkins since they were so plentiful.

Whittier’s tribute to the pumpkin first appeared in the Boston Chronotype in 1846, and I must say I do like his mention of pumpkin pie!

Dig in:


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Not too long ago, I asked you to call me “Melon Head.” Would you mind changing that to “Apple Dumpling”?


Of all the foodie terms of endearment — Pumpkin, Sweetie Pie, Babycakes, Cookie, Honeybun — I think “Apple Dumpling” suits me best right about now.

Fall (my favorite season) doesn’t officially begin until Sunday, but that familiar chill is already in the air. Hooray for apple season, deep blue skies, warm cider with cinnamon sticks, stunning rustic foliage, and friendly pumpkins on porches! I am basically *ahem* a little apple-shaped, can be sweet or tart, and would like nothing better than to wrap myself in a buttery, flaky blanket of dough. Did you know this past Tuesday the 17th was National Apple Dumpling Day? :)


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Please help yourself to some homemade Blueberry Slump.

Happy Independence Day!

Funny, I hadn’t planned on slump — but this sometimes happens when your husband’s no slouch.

The other day, I jotted down a grocery list for Len. Nothing out of the ordinary:

  • bananas
  • blueberries
  • 2 vine-ripened tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • 2 mangoes

I usually don’t specify an amount for the blueberries cause it’s always the same — a pint basket for my morning cereal.

Sure, my penmanship is nothing to brag about.


I got oodles and oodles of blueberries. A big bag, nay, an avalanche of blueberries. He couldn’t understand why I’d want “6” blueberries. So he bought 6 quarts.

Maybe he thought I was planning to bake 6 giant pies for 6 starving yeti?!

Me: !!!?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*&*#@(#!!!!

He showed me the list. I’d written “blueberries,” plain as day. So what if the “b” was slightly separated from the rest of the word? I’m one of those people who writes in “print-script.” I never connect all my letters in strict cursive form. He knows this. Yet he still thought my “b” was a “6.”

6 lueberries

Me: 6 lueberries? 6 lueberries?!

Oy. (Might I add that the stem on my “b” was straight up, not curved to the right?)

He was looking more yeti-like with each passing second.

Only one thing to do: make blueberry pancakes and blueberry muffins and blueberry bread and blueberry slump.

No, I’m not complaining. After all, he did fill the order. When it comes to grocery shopping, Len’s no slouch. Good thing it wasn’t watermelons. :D

* * *


(makes b 6 servings)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Blueberry Mixture

  • 3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg


  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • Half and half, cream, or vanilla ice cream, as desired

1. Combine blueberry mixture ingredients in 1-1/2 quart casserole. Cover and bake in hot oven (400 degrees F) for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir well.

2. While berries are heating, prepare crust. Sift together flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add milk and stir only enough to moisten dry ingredients. Drop by small spoonfuls onto blueberry mixture, covering fruit completely. Drizzle butter over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

3. Return to hot oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until topping is cooked and browned. Serve warm with half and half, cream, or vanilla ice cream.

4. After you’ve had your fill, hug your resident yeti and practice your penmanship.

(Adapted from The Old Fashioned Cookbook by Jan McBride Carlton, Weathervane Books, 1975.)

Ribbet collage

* * *

Time to sign off for my annual summer blog break. I plan to read, write, dawdle, eat, rest, tidy up, think, walk, organize, explore, landscape, play the piano, and (gasp!) migrate all my data from my ancient PC desktop to a new iMac (any tips?).

Have a bang-up 4th of July — partying, parading, and picnicking!!

And enjoy your summer. See you in August! :)


Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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