books

A Year of Picnics


 

The Essential Book of Homesteading


 

QUENCH

 

HANDMADE GATHERINGS

 

A YEAR OF PIES!

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: HOME DAIRY

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING BEES

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: CANNING & PRESERVING

 

HOMEMADE LIVING: KEEPING CHICKENS


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apples

Pie In the Sky

north-carolina-apple-pienorth-carolina-apple-pie-3 pie12
I try not to have favorites. I really do. Putting that qualifier-“favorite”-on anything puts undo pressure on both myself and on the object of my attention. Favorite songs, favorite movies, favorite restaurants; it’s all just a seriously slippery slope from adulation to expectation. That said, I really do think apples are my favorite fruit. I can’t help it. If my family had a coat of arms, I think apples would be on them.

To that end, I thought I’d share with you a few of my apple pie recipes from A Year Of Pies. Featured on two websites, the North Carolina periodical Our State and the Canadian blog The Art of Doing Stuff, don’t be surprised if you find yourself professing hyperbolic fruit preferences yourself.

*Chai Spice Apple Pie

*Brandy & Spice Apple Hand Pies

And for those of you looking to step up your pie dough-making skills, check out this post I did on crafting perfect pie dough on Design Sponge several years ago.

What about you? Have a beloved apple recipe? I’d love to hear about it!

Smells Like Autumn

When the weather cools, I find myself wanting the scents of the season to envelop me. From the smell of leaf piles burning, to the ambrosial scent of a basket of fresh apples, once the mercury dips, I’m ready to pull on a cardigan and start baking gingerbread, apple pie, and hot, mulled cider.

That little apple you see above is riddled with whole cloves, a project I’m working on for my new book. By the way, said book now has a working title I can share with you-HANDMADE GATHERINGS: Recipes and Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations, Communal Potlucks, and Collaborative Parties. It’ll be out in Spring 2014, from Roost. SO exciting!

But back to that apple. It’s a pomander, an easy way of imbuing your home with the smell of cloves and fruit during the autumn and winter months, when the aroma of cloves is where it’s at. And they couldn’t be easier to make.

You simply get an apple (you can also do this with citrus fruits, which I do every winter, when fresh citrus comes into the markets), get a whole mess of cloves, and stud the fruit with it. If you riddle the entire fruit, it’ll last longer. If you have neither the inclination nor the patience (mine took 23 minutes, start to finish), you can also simply make a design, or your initials, or an image in the apple.

That’s it. Done. Scents of the season, in your home, in minutes. Sounds (and smells) good to me!