Monday, May 28, 2012

Upper Crust

It's been hot...really hot.  102 degrees yesterday and 98 degrees today.  Despite watering the yard twice a day, the plants are drooping pretty heavily by late afternoon. 

When it's that hot outside, the inside of your house seems to be a little warmer, too, despite constant air conditioning.  There's been a lot of spontaneous naps:

And a lot of the usual naps.

Despite the heat, most things in the garden are thriving.  Big white swatches of feverfew opened up this week.

My nasturtiums are finally opening up.

Just one so far, but more pods are opening up.  The leaves are wonderful - like miniature lily pads.

My tiger lilies are open - so pretty!

My new zinnias are blooming.  They're 'Envy' - a green variety.  Love!!

The hot weather makes me think of one thing, besides gardening:  pie.  I got a new book from the library that really inspired me:

Yes, that's Sandra Bullock's sister!  Perfect timing.  Pie just says summer!

What I really wanted to do was try to make a lattice-topped pie.  I've never done it before and have felt pretty intimidated by it, but I watched a few youtube videos and felt more prepared.

I made up my basic pie crust, which is a Smitten Kitchen recipe:  all-butter pie crust 

After refrigerating it for 30 minutes, I rolled one half out and used a pizza cutter to carefully cut out a circle.

Take a ruler and make little cuts every three-quarter inch.

Follow the lines and cut all the way down, slicing the circle into strips.

When you start laying slices on your pie, be sure to use every other strip.  This ensures that you have enough long pieces to cover the widest part of the pie.

Cover your whole pie with slices.

Now you'll start the weaving...which is much easier than you'd think!  Lay a short piece on top of the end of your pie.  One strip goes over, the next goes under, the next goes over.

The next strip, do the exact opposite.  You'll catch the rhythm quickly and be done in no time!

This recipe, of course, makes extra crust, and I was on a lattice roll.  So I took my little 3 x 6 inch oven-safe dish to make a miniature pie.

After baking...YUM.

The other pie looked pretty good, too.

Ah, summer!

One of the casualties of summer is my knitting.  I've been much too busy to get any real knitting done, and truthfully, I haven't done much knitting this year, period.  Just a general knitting funk.  I did finish a little fox that took quite a while, since there was so much weaving in to do!  I prefer to knit in the round with colorwork, so this was a real challenge.

He was pretty cute when I finished, though!

I also finished a Star Trek cross-stitch for Todd's birthday.  Of course, it was Spock!

I have some gift projects to get done, though, so I need to refocus my attention!

Hope you try something adventurous in the kitchen soon.  Have a great week!


  1. What an amazing, adorable fox! I'm so impressed that you knitted him! Lovely garden too! And I also adore pie. I'm pie crust phobic though. Maybe someday I'll conquer that phobia as I have lately overcome my yeast fears.

  2. Oh, it's not as bad as it seems. Just a few ingredients, too. Click on the link and read the Smitten Kitchen tutorial...that's how I got through my first crust!

  3. Love the little fox.

    What do you do for ants - peonies seem to attract them and I garden organically?

    The pies look yummilicious

  4. I wouldn't worry about those ants! They're attracted to the peony nectar. They don't hurt the peonies one bit. If you want to get rid of the ants (if you want to cut a bouquet for the house), just cut your peonies and give them a good shake to knock off any remaining ants. They usually take off once the peony buds open, anyway. Good luck!