Not Too Late Veggie Pie

sauteThis has been one of those crazy weeks where it feels like no one in our house has really rested for a single minute. Between work, school, church, and other activities, we have gone full speed ahead. Because of this, we’ve eaten out a few times, and we’ve also had several “fend for yourself” evenings. People have been living off of cereal, Nutella on bread, and other things one can fix in a hurry.

Today, as we cleared the dust and surveyed the situation in our fridge, I found some forgotten items that I just couldn’t stand to waste. Frankly, that’s how many of the meals I make get started–just using what I have. I found grapes and strawberries, three peppers, half a bag of spinach leaves, and a couple of small hunks of cheese. The peppers in particular needed to be used RIGHT NOW, so I decided to make a Veggie Pie.

peppersbeforespinachThere was a time when I just threw stuff away. I just got annoyed that I waited too long–too late–to make something good of what we bought. It was frustrating to spend money on stuff and waste it. Now, I try to scan the pantry and fridge once a week or so to see what’s there. Usually, a little creativity makes the most of any ingredient I may find.

peppersToday, I chopped up two of the three peppers (one really was a bit too late–sorry, red pepper) and sautéed them with some butter, onion, and spinach leaves.I think they cooked for about 10 minutes on the stove top. Cooking them a bit before they go in the pie keeps them from being too bitey and lets out some of the moisture that could make the pie squishy.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and lined the pie crust with a sunny circle of orange and yellow peppers. Then I added the spinach with onion. Next, I added pieces of two kinds of cheese: cheddar and Asiago. All that was left was to make the “stuff” that holds the pie together.

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That “stuff” was three eggs, 1/2 cup of milk (you can use 1/2 and 1/2 or whatever you have), and two teaspoons of dried basil. The pie baked for 40 minutes or so on the bottom rack–when you make eggy pies, cooking them on the bottom rack really helps the crust get done.

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Connecticut today, and I was so happy filling the crust with those sunny peppers and the satisfaction of using stuff up. On top of the peppers, I loved “using up” today with things I loved: kids playing outside, sitting in the sun, catching up with someone on the phone, laundry, and pie.

It wasn’t too late for the stuff in my fridge, and for that, I’m grateful. Don’t get me wrong–sometimes, we all miss out on opportunities. There are things we just can’t go back and use, or do, or say.

But it’s not too late for today. Use it up! Make the very most of every tasty moment.

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Snow Day Pot Pie

There was no school today in our town. Or in a bunch of towns on the east coast, frankly. A heck of a storm has got everyone snowed in or iced in. We’re looking at about 7 or 8 inches of snow, and more “wintry mix” is on the way tonight. A real bonus for us was that we learned of our snow day last night–no setting the alarm clock. Luxury!

My husband often works from home, so I was grateful that he was safe here with us, even if he had to work. The kids were thrilled to sleep late, work on Valentines, play computer games and watch TV. I was happy for time to catch up on laundry, wear my pajamas (which I’m still wearing, by the way), and cook a little.

I had a bunch of chicken tenderloins in the fridge that I needed to cook, so I cooked them all in a skillet and used them for two different meals. I put some chicken chili in the crock pot for tomorrow, and for tonight’s dinner, I made Chicken Pot Pie.

The “stuff” or filling of the pie includes cream of chicken soup, sour cream, frozen mixed veggies, chicken pieces, and basil. For me, though, the topping was the fun part.

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When I was growing up, my Mom used to make Pork Chop Pie, which was a wonderful, hearty dish that included pork chops, veggies, and cream- of- whatever- was – in -the- cabinet- soup. Say what you want about canned soup, but it tastes great, and you can make a million different things with it. My siblings and I probably would’ve croaked if that stuff wasn’t invented. Anyway, my favorite part of the Pork Chop Pie was the tiny biscuits Mom used to put on top for a crust. I’m pretty sure they were made with Bisquick, which is what I used to make mine today, but I also know without a doubt that Mom could make biscuits out of flour and practically nothing else. The woman has skills, people.

So today I used the last of the Bisquick to make my own tiny biscuits. They met my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed my pie with a glass of Riesling and the fond memories of my Mom’s delicious cooking, and how we all (7 OF US) enjoyed it around a small wooden table made by my Dad. I remembered how, being the youngest, I always had to sit way in the corner between the wall and the table in our kitchen on Leslie Lane in Richmond, VA. This meant that if I had to get up (which wasn’t really allowed), I had to crawl under the table past people’s knees and work my way out. Another fond biscuit memory from that table was this:

chixpotpieWe often had bread with our meals–rolls, biscuits, cornbread. Many times we had those canned biscuits that Mom smacked on the counter to get them open. There were 10 biscuits in there, and there were 7 people in our family. This meant that SOME people, who shall remain nameless, would open one eye during the blessing to try and snatch one of the extras. I never had any luck, being the youngest, so now I’m a bit biscuit-greedy, I’m afraid. Oh well.

It has been a great snow day. My belly was warmed by those tiny biscuits, and my heart was warmed by the memories they brought. I got an extra dose of cheer from our neighbors, who came to help us (and others) as we shoveled our driveway and walk to make room for more snow.

supperI find it comforting that the happy things I remember from my childhood were not grandiose or expensive. They were as simple as tiny biscuits and a handmade table. It’s encouraging to me as a parent. Tiny things make a difference to kids, and to grown-ups. Tiny things can make big memories.

What tiny thing has brought you joy?

 

Before You Know It

Hello, Strangers! It feels that way kind of–not writing about pies in a long time. Tonight, though, it was this pie plate that brought me back:

emtpyburgerpie

 

It’s the empty dish after a yummy supper of Cheeseburger Pie. It’s an easy old recipe that’s been on the back of the Bisquick box for years. Here’s what you do:

Brown a pound of ground beef (I guess you could use ground turkey if you do that) with some chopped onion.

Spray a 9 inch pie plate with non-stick spray. Dump the cooked meat in there.

Add cheddar cheese–or whatever cheese. I used a cup of white cheddar.

Mix together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup Bisquick, some salt, and a cup of milk. Dump it on top of the meat and cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

It works every time and everyone in my family ate it.

What really got me tonight was the empty plate.

As I was putting it in the dishwasher, I thought, “Well, shoot. I could’ve taken a picture of that pie. Or a slice. Or something. Should I have written something? Oh well–gone too fast.”

It was too late.

The chance was gone.

So I photographed the empty plate and sat right down, convicted by the lesson it taught me.

Just this afternoon, I was telling someone I know–someone who was a little discouraged–that they should look at this day as a gift. Even if it’s not what you planned, it’s still a gift. And I was saying it to myself, too, because before you know it, the plate’s already empty. The chance is gone. The day is over.

I want to ask myself each day, “What did I do to show appreciation for this day?”

And how many days have I forgotten to be thankful because I was annoyed or irritated or busy or grumpy or complaining or something else that just didn’t matter? Too many.

Everybody says it’s so important to plan things in life. And I guess it is, but remember the old saying,

Life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans.

So if you, like me, are saying to yourself, “Everything will be great when….”

When I get the job

When we get the house

When we go on that trip

When they graduate

When we pay that off

When I finish this work

If you’re saying some of that stuff, be warned. Today will be gone before you know it.

So instead, make different plans.

Plan to notice all the stuff you’ve been missing. Plan to really taste the pie and say, “MMMMMM” way too loud. Plan to remember exactly what someone’s laugh sounds like. Plan to sit closer to people you’ve been sitting far from. Plan to say thank you. Plan to look people in the eyes long enough to see what color their eyes are. Plan to boost someone’s self-esteem. Plan to look out the window and keep looking till you see birds and squirrels. Plan to hold hands with someone. Ask someone to tell you a story you’ve already heard, but you know they love to tell it. Plan to hug someone long enough to feel their heartbeat. Plan to sing. Plan to live in the RIGHT NOW.

Because it’s a gift. This day. This moment. It’ll be gone before you know it!

 

 

Lucky Seven Pie

Whoops, it’s October–almost the end, too. Life has been swirling and twirling, round and round like leaves in the wind, so fast that I barely noticed how much time had gone by.

Tonight, I’m typing this as my dear husband is on the way back from the grocery store. Even though I remembered to get pie crusts, I forgot to buy disposable pie pans, so he went out to get some for me. I’ve got three pies to get into the oven tonight. Tomorrow is the Fall Festival at our son’s elementary school, and I volunteered to bring THREE apple pies for the pie contest–what I thought was a pie-EATING contest. They’ll need lots of pies, right?

It wasn’t until I got a friendly and overly surprised email from a parent volunteer that I realized my error.

Dear Mrs. Harrison,

Wow! I’ve never had anyone volunteer to place THREE pies in the pie contest. Wow! Usually, at our school, each contestant only enters one pie. Would it be all right with you if we put the other two in the Bake Sale?

Thanks so much and I can’t wait to taste your pie.

Signed,

Parent Volunteer Who Now Thinks You Are A Crazy, Egotistical, Pie Contest Attention Hog

 

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OK, so maybe she didn’t word it EXACTLY like that, but I sure felt like a doofus. So I wrote a polite recovery email and promptly forgot about my commitment–until tonight. So now I bake.

Two of the pies (the lesser, Bake Sale pies) are made with a mix of apples I had around–some golden delicious, some granny smith, and a few of these pretty little organic apples I got at a local farmer’s market.

choptI peeled and chopped, peeled and chopped, peeled and chopped. It’s interesting to me–once I’ve peeled 8 or 10 apples, the peeling becomes a bit of a game.organicpeelI try to peel off the entire peel without breaking it. Peeling round and round and round, very methodically, making sure that the blade never meets anything except the peel. No finger pies. 🙂 Because I’ve had A LOT of practice peeling apples, I have pretty good success at my game. Lots of twirly, swirly spirals of apple peels. Inevitably though, one eventually breaks. Sometimes it’s just the strength of the peel. Sometimes it’s just my fault. It’s all part of what must be done to get to the good part.

Either way, the apples got peeled. For the third pie, I figured I should try a little something different. It is a contest, after all. I used all organic apples and only six other ingredients, which brings me to the name of the contest pie:

Lucky Seven Pie

There are some pretty regular ingredients in there; apples, sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice, and flour. And then there’s this one:

sevencrownWell, creativity counts, right?

We’re not required to give the recipe, and we’re new to this town, so people are just gonna have to wonder what those seven ingredients are. Gotta keep things interesting. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be LUCKY enough to win. 🙂

Meanwhile, life goes on.

fallsevpie

And we are twirling round and round, methodically peeling back the layers, trying to keep things from breaking and then starting over when they do. We try to avoid getting hurt. Round and round. It’s what must be done to get to the good part.

 

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.

 

forksealhandpies

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. 

paperpie

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.

 

sunlightapples

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.

marriedapples

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?

bakedhandpies

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

appleD
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.

bluewindow

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. 🙂

 

 

 

Reboot Peach Pie

peachpiestartI don’t know how much experience you have with computers, but sometimes, they just won’t do the things you command them to do. Even though they are machines, we talk to them, yell at them, bang on them, huff at them, ask them questions, until finally, when it seems that nothing more can be done,

We reboot.

Restart. Turn it off and turn it on again. Start over. Try another way. Keep trying. Ask for help. Wait just a minute. Calm down. Get perspective. It’s going to be all right.

During the past month, my family has been in the process of a long-distance move. We are thankful to be here at last, and everyone is adjusting to our new place, but I’m not gonna lie to you; some parts of it have been hard. Just like my computer sometimes does, “the move” did some stuff that just wasn’t what we planned or expected.

I was pitifully predictable. I am notoriously bad at transitions and changes, and my dear husband tolerated me while I huffed and puffed, asked questions, pouted and complained. Sorry, dear. Eventually, I did what a person has to do when life does not go exactly as planned.

Reboot.

I restarted. I cleaned stuff up, tried another way, calmed down, got perspective. It really is going to be all right. To prove it to myself, I tackled this day with a detailed to-do list. I’m not kidding when I tell you that “Drink Coffee” was on my list. Sometimes, you just have to check stuff off to prove that you can.

About halfway down my list was “Make a Peach Pie.” So I did. Our neighborhood market had some great-smelling peaches a couple of days ago, and if you know anything about peaches, you know that they don’t last long, so I really needed to hurry up and use the ones I bought. I enjoyed chatting with my mom on the phone while I peeled peaches, and it took about 8 medium peaches for a pie’s worth of filling.

I mixed the peaches with sugar, salt, cinnamon, and some flour. I’ve learned the hard way, if you leave out the flour (or corn starch, if that’s what you have), that filling’s never gonna get thick enough. I had a good laugh at myself as I attempted to put cinnamon into the bowl in front of the fan. Um….not a good idea. Anyway, once I got it all mixed up and into a pie shell, I baked it for about 55 minutes at 375 degrees.forkypeachpie

While that cooled,my family had homemade vegetable soup, baked potatoes, and cheddar garlic biscuits. We were so full we had to wait just a bit. But not too long…

peachalamodeI was especially glad for my husband to enjoy his pie. Peach Pie is one of his favorites and, not so coincidentally, the very first pie I made on the first day of my fortyandtwentyblackbirds adventure. A lot has happened since then.

A lot of pies, a lot of people, and a lot of other stuff has filled life–crust bubbling over–with blessings and challenges and joys and struggles and laughter and tears and days and years.

I for one am grateful that each year, each month, each week–really each day, we are given a chance to reboot. I’m thankful for the chance today, and I’ll take it.

“There is only one day left, always starting over: it is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.”

                                   –Jean-Paul Sartre

 

Father’s Day Appleberry Pie

So we made it to Connecticut! It was a long drive, but we stopped a lot and tried to have a little fun along the way. Today marks one whole week of living “up north” and, I add much less enthusiastically, my SIXTEENTH night sleeping on an air mattress. I might add that we still only have one chair, because our storage pods have not yet arrived from Georgia. So as long as I’m standing (that air mattress ruins my Sunday afternoon nap tradition), I figured I’d bake a pie.

Besides, it’s Father’s Day, so I love any chance I get to say “Thanks!” to the best dad around–my sweet husband.IMG_2944I’m so grateful for the wonderful Dad he is to our kids. They love him so much, and so do I!

Seeing how I only have one(1) pan and one(1) bowl, both of which I bought out of desperation, my pie materials were limited, however; I was able to whip up an Appleberry Pie.

berryappleI peeled and chopped one red delicious apple, one granny smith apple  and added a little under a pint of strawberries. I used the measuring cups I was born with (hands) to add some flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. There was also a bit of lemon juice in there, to keep the apples from browning. I dumped it all into a pie crust in an aluminum pie pan. Normally, I prefer glass pie plates, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Next, I set my new(to me) oven for 375 degrees and hoped that 45 minutes was the same here as it is in Georgia. Time would tell. One thing’s for sure, the house smells great, and I opened to two windows in my kitchen to tease the neighbors. 🙂

 

dadpieThe pie turned out tasty-looking, and it turns out that this oven takes another 10 minutes, but it’s worth the wait. It will wait here until after supper tonight. There’s a half-gallon of vanilla ice cream in the freezer just waiting to make friends with this Appleberry Pie. Definitely something to look forward to–like getting furniture.

We’ve had a good time getting to know our new town, and we’ve been LOVING the cooler weather. Stay tuned for more pie news from “way up north.”  Happy Father’s Day!

 

The Last Pie of Honey Creek Road

In less than 48 hours, we’ll be on our way. We’re moving almost 1,000 miles away.  Our stuff is all packed up–well, almost, and our house looks a little like this:

emptyhouse

 

This is the inside of a doll house that my dad built for me when I was about 5. It is a replica of the house where I grew up: 1818 Leslie Lane, in Richmond, Virginia. I’ve always loved the details of the house–the matchstick windows, the hand-carved brick on the outside, the yellow-ish seventies carpet that ran throughout the house. Even the little closet under the stairs is a tiny copy of the one where my sisters picked on me and shoved me in there with the vacuum cleaner once. No hard feelings, guys..really 🙂

When I lived on Leslie Lane, it was hard to imagine living anywhere else, and I didn’t until I went away to college. I had a couple of other apartments after college in Virginia, one housemate in Georgia, and I was even lucky enough to live with my in-laws while my then-fiance finished up his final year of college.

After we got married, we lived in a tiny apartment in the basement of someone’s home. Some “ONE” doesn’t really describe it so well–the people had EIGHT children. It was noisy pretty much all the time, and it seemed there was always someone breathing on the other side of the door connecting to our place. But it was home, because I was with the one I loved the most.

After about 8 months, we bought a little house in Powder Springs, Georgia. We were blessed to live around the corner from a dear friend of mine, and we had some great neighbors. At that house, our sweet daughter joined the family, and my Dad planted a maple tree in the front yard on her first birthday. There were more of us to love–and it was home.

A few years later, we moved to Conyers, Georgia–next door to my husband’s parents. It is here that we’ve lived for the last 12 years. Here is where we celebrated birthdays together with our children’s friends. Here is where our precious son joined our family–all the way from Guatemala. There were hard times, too. Here is where a dear friend gave us a maple tree–just like the one my Dad had planted years before–that we planted in our backyard after he died. We can see it from the kitchen window, and one day, it may cast a shadow on the playhouse he built for our kids–and on the swing set my father-in-law built.

Here is where a turkey knocked with his beak on the glass of our front door–he thought his reflection was going to steal his girlfriend. Here is where our kids learned to ride bikes, use pogo sticks and skateboards, listen to coyotes at night, and to be very still when watching deer and birds.

Here is where my son lost his first tooth, and where my daughter told me about her first boyfriend. In this home we have sung and laughed and prayed and danced and clapped and cried and grieved and rejoiced together.

Here is where I taught myself to make pie. Here is where I have made several HUNDRED pies in the last couple of years–each one a delicious contribution to somebody’s life–mostly mine. 🙂

And today, I made The Last Pie of Honey Creek Road. It was nothing elaborate, because we’ve packed up so much stuff that I had to go buy a whisk and a bowl. I had a graham cracker crust in the pantry, along with the other random ingredients we’ve been snacking on for the past week. In the bottom of it, I dumped some white chocolate chips and attempted to melt them for a few minutes in the oven.

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toastychipsThey did not exactly melt, but instead took on the look of toasted marshmallows. Hmmmm….we’ll see how that goes. Anyway, I let it all cool for a few minutes and then added chocolate pudding mixed with Cool Whip. Do not ask me how much of anything I added, since the measuring cups have been packed for days.

I added that yummy pudding stuff on there and then decorated the top with a few white chocolate chips and the last of the Cool Whip squeezed from my favorite pastry tool: a zipper baggie. So here was the result:

honeycreekpieI just ate a slice of it, sitting alone in my office upstairs. The slice was messy and disorganized, but it tasted great. Much like our life here, it was full of love and flavor, and I don’t have a single regret about how it turned out.

Yes, here is where we have lived, and after Saturday, we’ll live somewhere else, but we will be together. We will laugh and love and dance and pray and celebrate and cry and sing and work and play–together.

And wherever we are together, we are home.

See you soon, pie lovers, and I sure hope Yankees like to eat pie!

Rainy Day Pies

Today has been one of the best rainy days in a while. My kids are on spring break, and since my paying  job is in education, I am too. My mom is here visiting from Virginia for a few days, so she was here to enjoy this day with us. The temperature only reached about 45 degrees today, and it rained ALL day, so it was perfect for staying indoors.

The day started with a fire in the fireplace and lots of peace and quiet. My children stayed up way too late last night, so they slept in for a long time, and it was nice to sit with mom and enjoy some coffee in the quiet. Hours later–as we sat happily in the same chairs–we were flipping through magazines and cookbooks and talking about recipes. Mom happened upon a recipe in Where Women Cook, a gorgeous publication to which I subscribe, for Vicky’s Tomato Pie.

Look here to see their beautiful website:   http://wherewomencook.com/

I took a quick inventory and realized we had all the ingredients. It’s a delicious combination of tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes cut in thirds because I didn’t have any big ones), onions, basil, and cheeses cooked up in a pie shell.

I started out with a regular store-bought crust, but in my excitement, I forgot all the rules about pre-baking pie crust. If you stick a “naked” crust in the oven without any pie beans or pie weights, you’re not gonna get a fillable pie crust. See photos below. 🙂

I laughed for a moment and hatched another plan. I took another crust out of the fridge, found another pie plate, and set the “faulty” crust aside to cool. The second time around, I remembered to add foil and pie beans, and the crust baked beautifully for 12 minutes. Then I added all the yummy stuff.
crustside

 

 

 

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First were tomatoes. Like I said above, I didn’t have any big ones, so I used little grape tomatoes, which worked just fine. After that, a layer of chopped onions. I’m not a very good chopper, but I really like onions, so I didn’t care how big they were.

tomatoesindishonionsontopAfter the onions, I added this incredible mixture of shredded cheddar, mozzarella, and mayonnaise with some dried basil (Vicky uses real basil leaves, which is probably better, but I didn’t have any). That yummy, cheesy stuff goes on top of the veggies. On top of that (as if there wasn’t already enough awesomeness) goes parmesan cheese. Then into the oven to bake for about 50 minutes.tomatopieOut came this fantastic, brown-topped Tomato Pie. It sliced beautifully, and we each had TWO slices. So delicious! Hats off to Vicky. Your pie rocks! 
slicetomato
While we were eating the Tomato Pie, I  popped my backup plan into the oven. I had some fresh blackberries in the fridge. I added a little sugar, heaped them on top of that faulty crust, and put it back into the oven for 20 minutes. The result was Crust-fallen Blackberry Tart, one of the most delicious accidents to come out of my kitchen in a while. 
blackberrytart
All in all, this lazy, rainy day was a success. 2 pies later, I’m hoping for more rain soon!