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Weekend Update: 4 July

La Quinta, California: Everything from our Conestoga wagon has been returned to its rightful spot. Laundry finished. A trip to the grocer completed. We are back! Also back to our usual exercise routines, and DT is very happy to be reunited with his bicycle.

Saturday appetizers.

In the treats from Gina's garden were about ten nice Yukon Gold potatoes... which was a good thing when I came upon this recipe Saturday morning.

Obviously, a much smaller version was prepared for us. I used 4 small potatoes and turkey bacon, but otherwise followed the directions. Thumbs up!

Things are happening out in the "orchard" section of our property. Still do not know the name of the orange-flowered plant, but it fell over in a wind storm many months ago. The gardeners hacked-it back to nothing, but it is now seven feet tall and bursting with blossoms. The dimpled orb on the right will hopefully one day be an orange. It is now the size of a chicken egg. Even in this heat (triple digits daily), the roses are blooming like mad.

Our 4th of July was quite subdued. We did have a little surprise after returning from our morning exercise - it rained! Well, it sprinkled, but it sprinkled for a good 30 minutes, the drops practically sizzling as they hit the pavement and instantly disappear. The "color" (pansies) have been removed from the flower beds and will not return until October.

There was no plan for a dessert on the 4th of July, but after reading America Forgot How to Make Pie Crust in the Washington Post, I was all-like don't-you-tell-me-I-can't-make-a-pie-crust!

Two people can't (well, shouldn't) eat an entire pie, so I made one crust to use in my usual free-form tart thingy. Cherry. All butter. All organic.

Until my next update, I remain, your "saving America, one pie at a time" correspondent.

6 thoughts

  1. Loved your comment after reading that Washington Post article ~~ ” Can America Save Its National Dish?” I felt the same way! Here in my little rural Maine town, fine pies are made daily and enjoyed by family and friends. At our farm, we enjoyed a strawberry/rhubarb pie and a S’mores pie for the holiday desserts.
    As the sign over my kitchen table says: “Pie Fixes Everything”
    I enjoy your blog and have had great success with many of your recipes. Thanks for that!!

  2. Hi Terry, happy belated 4th! How did you make the filling for your cherry tart? I’ve also made tarts using the folded pie crust method, but never cherry, and have a new cherry pitter I’m anxious to use. I could look recipes up, but thought I’d check with a pro first. 🙂 Thanks in advance!

    1. For this particular pie, I used less than two cups of fresh cherries (pitted with my little staple-gun-thingy), 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 Tablespoon sugar, a pinch of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon raspberry liquor. Let it all macerate for an hour or so. I used an egg wash on the lower crust and on the top crust after the tart was filled – and sprinkled more sugar on top. 350 degrees for 50 minutes. (Crust was made in a food processor: one stick unsalted butter, 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt, a little more than 1 cup all-purpose flour and enough ice water to keep it all together.)

      1. Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it out. I also have the staple-gun-thingy too.

  3. Your “mystery plant” appears to be one of three species of bird of paradise (Caesalpinia) grown in the Southwest, red (C. pulcherrima), yellow (C. gilliesii), and Mexican (C. mexicana).
    They are one of my favorites here in the desert.

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