I Wanna Hold Your Hand Pie

Well, pie lovers, I’m reporting to you from one of the most beautiful days of a Connecticut summer–high of 80, low of 55, sunny and breezy. Yes, please, I’ll take 20 or 30 more days just like this one. In other sunny news, the last pie I baked–blueberry–was devoured straight from the dish, according to our neighbors. They brought back the plate with these beautiful and delicious tomatoes. How kind!

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The smell of them brought back the best memories of my Dad, who grew tomatoes that were the very best. I’m thankful this neighbor’s gardening skills are a close second.

I’m making my way down our street with neighborly pie-ness, so I chose the young couple diagonally across the street as the next pie winners. They’re very friendly, and they’re often out walking one of their two dogs. The exciting news in their home–they just got married! They’re only a few days back from their honeymoon in Hawaii. Now that I’m almost done being jealous of that, I plan to take them a tasty little congratulations present. 🙂

I was excited to start on this particular pie-venture, because I tried something new:

hand pies.

 

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When I sold pies at the Farmer’s Market in Georgia, there were several times when folks requested hand pies, but I just never got around to it. Today was the day. I used store-bought crust cut into circles with my new biscuit cutter. My husband requested cherry, so that’s what filled each little pie.

piefillingIt’s a delicate task to determine how much filling should go into each pie. It’s a lot less than you may think. When I sealed each pie around the edges with the tines of a fork, some of the filling was already trying to escape. Even more snuck out as they baked. Interestingly, the pies only took a few minutes less than a whole pie–about 35 minutes at 375 degrees.

While I was working in the kitchen, my awesome teenager created something really cool. It’s a piece of Paper Pie. I’m gonna use it as a bookmark. 

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I love the hand-painted crust and the fantastic detail on the fruit. Love that kid. Can’t wait to try my bookmark in the book I’m reading.

 

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Anyway, I decided to also try some apple pies.

Even though I have plenty of apples around–granny smith and red delicious both–I really only needed ONE apple to make three little pies. I’m tellin’ ya, they just don’t hold a lot of filling. I love this photo of the two apples side by side. Some bakers don’t like to mix varieties of fruit in pies–I am the opposite. I think mixing things up keeps life (and pies) interesting.

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Take marriage, for example. People are different–like these apples–but underneath the “peels,” they are just alike enough. No matter what the outside of folks looks like, they are similar enough inside to make something delicious together–IF you add a few things: sweetness, effort, time, and sometimes–a little heat.

And isn’t love delicious?

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tinyflowerpieI think so. Seventeen years ago, my husband and I were making the final preparations for our wedding day–August 24. We were different from one another, to be sure, but we were in love then, and we are now. Seventeen years worth of sweetness, effort, time–and sometimes a little heat–has made for a delicious marriage. I wouldn’t change a single thing.

 

So to our newlywed neighbors, we wish you sweetness and joy and just the right amount of everything in the recipe of your marriage.

 

 

Most especially, we wish you so much love that it sneaks out the sides.

Congratulations!piegift

 

Berry Good Neighbors

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friendswithappleWe were so thankful this week to get a visit from some Georgia friends who happened to be in the area. What a delight to share dinner, conversation, and this apple pie with them. It was a breath of fresh air to see familiar faces and hug familiar necks! It was indeed good for our souls.

It was especially sweet to bake apple pie for these folks–they were some of my favorite pie fans back in Georgia. They loved apple, pecan, and coconut cream, and there’s a lovely grandmother in their family (not on this trip) who likes to “even up” a pie when no one’s looking. I admire that.

Some people like to keep their pies orderly.

I don’t really know if that description fits me, but I’ve definitely been known to have a second slice of pie. Or one for breakfast. Or just the crust pieces. Or just the filling. Fine, I just love the stuff.

It was great to share pie with old friends, but today, I baked a Blueberry Pie for some new ones. Our friends who visited had been to New York, and they brought us some fresh blueberries from the Adirondacks.  We tasted a few–SO delicious, and the remainder allowed the perfect amount for a neighborly pie.

sugaredbluesTwo doors down, we’ve got some nice neighbors whose son has befriended our son. He’s just one year older, and the two boys have played together many days since we arrived in early June. They’ll go to the same school in about a month, and we’re glad for the friendship. The friend’s parents are nice, too. They have offered help with an air conditioning unit and some useful community information, too.bluelattice

This afternoon, my son and I walked down the street to deliver the pie. When we rang the bell and spoke to the dad of the house, our son’s friend slid–literally–down the hall and declared, “Now, Dad! I want a slice now!” Sure hope they’ll enjoy it.

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Good neighbors make the neighborhood sweeter, for sure.

We’re thankful for ours! We haven’t met many folks yet, but there’s nothing like homemade pie to break the ice. It’s a big neighborhood, so I’ve got lots of baking to do. If you’ve got a neighbor that you love–or even one that needs a little warming up–do something nice for them today.

Be a good neighbor,

and maybe all your neighbors will seem a little sweeter. 🙂