Holidays, 2015

Holidays, 2015
A Winter Scene - red door, a dusting of snow, and a vintage bicycle

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Well-Loved Cold Rainy Day and what comes out of the OVEN on those days!

When Colorado gives you a cold rainy day, make Strawberry Rhubarb Pie!

It's always interesting to see how summer finally comes to can be absolutely BLAZING hot and then we remember 'back when' it was cold and long for a bit of chilly weather....but summer comes slowly.  Last June, it rained and was quite chilly almost every single day.  I have to say that I have NEVER seen Colorado look so green before.  Rain is scarce here.  It's a high desert and the dry harsh climate is tough on the growing season.  Still, I try every year to make 'my oasis' an oasis of sorts.  I've fought the winds; I've fought the hail.  I have mounds of boxes in the garage just for that run out and place over unsuspecting plants. Last Mother's Day weekend was absolutely gorgeous and the gardening shops were full of gardeners anxious to get their hands dirty.  I, however, have finally learned NOT to plant the most delicate of species until at LEAST mid-May.  And so...this past Monday, I was NOT surprised to hear the weather forecast for the week. 70's on Monday, but then HIGH WIND WARNING and a huge drop in temperatures.  Night time temps dipped below freezing and it snowed yesterday for a bit.  Some of the higher elevations got LOTS of snow and our mountains, visible to our west, are blanketed in white right now.  Areas in Denver got accumulations of 3-4 inches in some spots and my oldest daughter has commanded snow to 'go away....I'm done' on Facebook.  She is at 7300 feet, so get the worst of it other than actually living in the mountain towns of Aspen, Vail or even Estes Park. Because I 'wasn't surprised,' I had gone outside and cut stalks of Spring rhubarb and had acquired luscious California strawberries from Whole Foods.  I was prepared to bake!  My youngest daughter had asked me over the weekend if I would do some baking for an event she is having on Friday, so I got all of the necessary items I would need to stay in on the cold and rainy days and bake to my heart's content!  First, however, I had to prepare the plants outside that have NOT been planted yet so that the bitter cold didn't ruin them. I wasn't about to leave them alone!
Temperature: 37 degrees F

I had to get out the blankies and bags for the tender plants

And wrap up the new hanging pots of plants I made over last weekend    
 After gathering about 8 stalks of rhubarb, I snipped the leaves and cut them in small pieces.  Then I washed and hulled the strawberries and let them 'set' a bit to leach some of the moisture from them.
All for the compost!

The fresh rhubarb with sugar

My lovely strawberries....all ready for nibbling while I make the pies

I tried this instead of my instant tapioca that I typically use with my fruit pies and I'm actually NOT going to use it again; I did not like the outcome as well.

I made a lattice crust with some 'hearts' which I'll discuss in a minute

My crust protector and in it went into the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes

I made TWO pies...this one I did with leaves instead of hearts

This is HOT out of the can almost see it bubbling right in the picture!

 I mentioned earlier that my youngest daughter had asked me to bake.  She is in the school of Veterinary Medicine and last night (Wednesday, 5/11) after taking her last test as a JUNIOR, she officially became a SENIOR!  I cannot tell you her joy because she has wanted to be a vet since a little girl and she has done this totally on her own.....I will speak more on this in another post.  But against all odds, she has made it and I am thrilled to bake something for this accomplishment.  Well, since this year's seniors are graduating on Friday, they put the new senior to work immediately doing 'rounds' in the hospital.  She is starting in the CARDIAC unit...hence, the 'hearts.'  I made the heart pie for her and her husband to celebrate with this evening and the cookies are for her to take to a luncheon on Friday...the new seniors are getting together to celebrate.
I picked up my favorite seedless raspberry jam

I love the simplicity of the ingredients and 'no seeds'

And I made a big batch of linzer heart cookies with freshly ground almonds in the batter

I think they are going to love them!

I still have eggs left, however......hmmmmmm, what to bake now? It's still cold and rainy!!
Thank you so much for reading and following along with me.......I'm an inn-keeper, teashop owner, bakery shop wanna-be......and as my dear friend Nancy recently said, "You need someone to pay you!"  Yes, I do!


  1. I'm beginning to thinkn that your B&B dreams are more of an obsession that might require a Bette Ford setting. There you are B&B-less and to compensate are tucking in your plants with blankies. I didn't look closely enough but am afraid you also left a mint on their imaginary pillows.

    Those Pies! I say your true calling is not hostelry but to start a religion based on yourself, the messiah of pie. Nowhere on earth are there more soul-stirringly beautiful pies than yours. I can only imagine communion of pie. Linzer cookies are my fave and I could eat all of those right now. While praying for more! FAB!

  2. Oh Joann, your strawberry rhubarb pies look absolutely beautiful! The pictures are gorgeous, and I can almost smell the pies from here!! I have been wanting to bake an apple pie for months now and still haven't got around to it. Your post has definitely inspired me. BTW, I have the exact same crust protector as you do. What a handy little thing, that is!
    I also wanted to say Congratulations on your daughter's accomplishment! A Vet School senior! Wow! You must be such a proud Mommy! The Linzer cookies look beautiful as well. You are a very gifted baker. I love seeing all your creations. Thank you for sharing all the good news and wonderful desserts! Happy Weekend! xoxo

  3. Oh, you are THE pie baker!! My, they look so beautiful and I bet very delicious!! I tried to post yesterday but the blogger was having issues and I couldn't. Congratulations to your daughter on becoming a senior!! What a lot of work!! Pretty exciting thing, becoming a doctor! I always enjoy your lovely posts, Joann! Thank you for another great one! Hugs, Sherry xx


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