Friday, May 27, 2011

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

This past week, I found some rhubarb in Whole Foods, and Jeannine asked that I make a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I did, and it was a big hit! So much so that Jeannine wanted me to make another one for a school event. I posted a picture of the pie on my Facebook page, and I don't think I've ever recieved that many comments on any other post. Here is a picture of the half-eaten pie. It actually doesn't look very appetizing here. They couldn't wait for it to cool to eat it, so much of the remaining warm fruit ended up running out from under the crust.
I was so amazed that so many people had never heard of rhubarb or had never tasted it. I know when I moved to Alabama, I had a very hard time finding it fresh. It must be one of those things that needs the cooler weather of the north to grow.

Here is the recipe for the strawberry-rhubarb pie. For those of you who are not familiar with rhubarb, it looks like stalks of celery, only they are red. It is very tart and not something you would eat raw. Because of the tartness, it is usually combined with another fruit. The only thing I’ve combined it with is strawberries, but you could use blueberries or cherries.

1 ¼ c. sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 c. flour
2 c. strawberries, cut in chunks
2 c. rhubarb, cut in 1” pieces
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sugar
Mix sugar, salt, and flour; set aside. Stir together strawberries and rhubarb. Place half of fruit on bottom of unbaked pastry; sprinkle half of dry ingredients. Place other half of fruit and sprinkle rest of dry ingredients. Cut butter into slices and place over top of fruit. Top with pastry, brush with milk, sprinkle with 1 Tbsp sugar. Cut holes to vent. Bake at 425 for 40-50 minutes.

Pastry for a 2-crust pie
Mix 1 ½ c. flour with 1 tsp salt. Cut in ½ c. Crisco. Sprinkle with 4 Tbsp cold water and mix.

Hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Days in South Carolina

Well, the day at the strawberry patch was quite fun and yielded some very delicious fruit. I found my favorite strawberry cake with strawberry frosting on the internet - just like the recipe I remember baking before from the recipe I had at home. Yum! It was SO good!!!

I've been spending my days and nights sewing, sewing, sewing. Jeannine and I make a good team. I like to do the boring sewing of the Busy B Bags, and she like to do the creative work of appliqueing and embellishing. We pretty well got caught up with the orders she had, so yesterday she began pulling fabric from her drawers and put together mock-ups for 21 bags. Around supper time, I started cutting them out and finished by about 10:00. Here are some of the pictures of the mock-ups.
A I said that is just some of the bags. This afternoon, I sewed all the shells together, and when Jeannine comes back from her college friend's birthday party tomorrow, she will have her work all cut out for her.

A very cute and quaint consignment shop (which also sells new things) here has agreed to sell her bags in her shop. Jeannine is very excited about that!

Jeannine chose this very brightly colored fabric and an Amy Butler bag pattern. She doesn't "do" patterns, so I agreed to make it. Now you have to understand that I do NOT cuss - I don't even use slang, but this critter-of-a-bag nearly brought me to it!!
I know. The bag looks very simple. Well, there was this one step where the lining was being attached to the outer part at the side openings that nearly did me in. My eyes were watering and itching; I was sweating and had to remove my jacket. Up to that point, Jeannine was taking pictures of the steps, but when I got to that point and said, "This bag is a one-and-done!" she stopped the pictures and decided that wouldn't be one she would try on her own afterall. We ended up laughing and felt plum giddy as the late hours approached. I called it quits for the night. I did go back the next day and finish it. Now she totes it everywhere, luuuuuvs it, and gets great compliments on it!! I'm happy for her.

This afternoon I finally got to work on a little bit of handwork I brought with me. I think I'll get back to it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Been Doing Some Sewing

Before coming to Jeannine's, I sewed up some bags for her. I put the bag shells and the straps together, and then she does the customized applique and embellishments on them. Here are some of the shells.
This afternoon Jeannine finished this bag for an lady who ordered through her Etsy site. She ordered it for herself and specified the deminsions. Jeannine wasn't so sure of the size, but I suppose the lady had something specific in mind. After I took the picture, she added a few more embellishments.
Yesterday was picture day at the girls' dance studio. Below is Maya, 5.
Sofia is 3.
Today we went down town to Falls River park.
Tomorrow we'll be going with Maya on a field trip picking strawberries. Yum!

First Days of Retirement

It really doesn't seem like I'm retired yet. I often go visit my daughter, Jeannine, in SC between semesters. That's where I am right now, so it just feels like I'm on vacation. I even dreamed last night I was back to school. ARGH!

We spent the weekend in the mountains of North Carolina with Jeannine, Charles and the girls.

We rented a cabin on the Nantahala River.

It was relaxing watching those in kayaks and rubber rafts bouncing over the rapids of the river.

Guy did a little fly fishing, but no luck catching anything.
The girls got new bicycles and are learning to ride the trails.
Me? I just enjoyed watching everyone else do their thing.
We went into a little town, Bryson, Sunday morning on our way home to get some coffee. I took a picture of this stairway because I thought it was so interesting.
The girls met a little friend, Charlie, outside the coffee shop.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Today was my last day at work. I've been so excited for this day to come and then, when I got there, it was kind of sad. :( I worked all last week to clean out my bookselves, my files, and my desk. Yesterday I loaded all my boxes in the car, so I could just enjoy today. A few lonely notebooks left to take out.

We had our final faculty meeting of the semester (more final for some of us than others!). Then they had a retirement luncheon. The nursing director of our campus, Suzann Dupree, came the same day I did, and we shared an office for a time. She also retired today.
For years I've made a quilt whenever a faculty member retired. So I couldn't let this one pass. I surprised Suzann with this.
I had started a project some time ago writing little sayings on fabric thinking someday I might use them. I took some of them along with some squares that faculty members wrote on, and put them together with orange and blue because Suzann is a MAJOR Auburn fan. (Thought it would have been better to work in crimson and white, myself!) But she was thrilled with it.
Here's the label.
The food was great, and the fellowship was even better. When it was all over, my last task was to turn in all my keys. After that, I went from office to office for the hugs and the tears. *sniff* Then I gathered by purse and walked out for the last time. Oh, yes, I'll go back to visit now and then, but it will never be the same. They will go one with their lives, and now I begin a new chapter in mine.
This is Richard along with Suzann and I. He was my "next door neighbor." I'll miss him a lot. He teaches med-surg students while I taught the same group of students maternity nursing. We had some fun times coordinating that clinical schedule!! Suzann's grandson was at the luncheon today and when Richard walked in he said, "Oh, look! There's Santa Claus!! :)
Here's Diann with us. She has been waiting a long time for me to retire so she could teach maternity nursing. Well, you got her now!! :)
Two more very special people. The one saying, "Cheese!" is Gena. I helped her in the physical assessment labs for several semesters. Anita is another med-surg instructor and a lovely lady (even if she is an Auburn fan, too!).

Going to spend some time with the grandkids over the next few days. Now I'll have more time to keep this thing up. So much has happened over the last week in our state. Will have to speak to that later.