Friday, September 22, 2006


Every year I look forward to the first apples of autumn, usually Paula Reds and Macintosh. These first apples are sour and hard, but within a few days begin to soften and become my favorites.
Tony loves fresh apple pie, so when the new apples appear in September, I like to make a pie. For my health conscious readers, I apologize, fully knowing that apple pie is an unhealthy food! Nevertheless, it is a treat, and sometimes we need to treat ourselves.

My favorite pie crust recipe came from my friend Sue who is no longer with us and sadly missed in our group of friends. This is a great recipe because it’s very easy to make and rolls out quickly. The recipe makes two pies; I prefer to make more than one pie at a time because it's pretty messy work.

Please see in the top picture all the pies I’ve made today. There is one large and two small apple pies plus a pie crust. The larger pie was baked today and you can see the results in the bottom picture. The small pies were packed in the freezer to bake for Tony another day. The pie crust was frozen with plans to bring out on October 5, Cathy’s birthday, to fill with bananas and cream, Cathy’s favorite pie.

Here’s the pie crust recipe:

Sue’s Pie Crust

4 cups flour

1 Tbsp. Sugar

2 tsp. Salt

1 ¾ c. vegetable shortening such as Crisco

2 Tbsp. White vinegar

1 egg

½ cup water

Combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in shortening. Combine water, vinegar, and egg. Beat with fork. Pour into flour mixture. (Will be sticky) Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Rolls out easily. Makes two 2 crust pies or 5 single crust pies. Can freeze 2 months or refrigerate 2 weeks. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator 2 hours.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

T Shirt Obsessed
This T shirt quilt was an ongoing project during the summer, just completed Thursday evening, and presented to my friend Dee for her birthday. Dee had saved t shirts for years; they represent her daughter Jazmine's activities as a child. Dee has been my very good friend for about 18 years (can it really be that long?) and exercise partner. We have spent hundreds of hours together talking, walking, running, and jogging. In the early years we were running , entering races, and completing a half marathon in 1987. For a running partner compatible schedules are important; Dee and I are both teachers, so we could usually meet maybe 2 or 3 times a week after school or on Saturday mornings. More recently our pace has slowed and in retirement, sometimes our schedules are even more challenging to figure out, but we still get together, now walking fast and not running so much, but the pace of our conversation is as fast as ever.

The T shirt quilt:
Forty two t shirts were used. I cut 11 inch squares from the front of each, then backed them with iron on interfacing in order to give the t shirt material more substance. Since the interfacing comes 22 inches wide, it was easy to decide on using 11 inch squares. I put all the squares down on my clean basement tile, arranging them in an agreeable color combination. Then I sewed them together to make the 6 by 7 square grid. Light blue flannel was used for the backing and bias binding with polyester batting in the center. Quilting was done by machine, mainly stitch in the ditch on the seam lines joining the t shirt squares.
The end result is a soft and comforting quilt filled with memories of Jazmine's activities during her school days.

Also on the t shirt front,
I happened upon this video and became obsessed with t shirt folding. I am not a naturally neat and tidy person, but now I can fold my t shirts in a flash and it's actually fun! Try it!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Family time

Last weekend was our annual family get-together. Every September we plan to have all our family, most living in Michigan but also Chicago to New York, meet for a barbeque lunch and conversation. This year Spain was also included because Marta's mother, Consuelo, was visiting here in Michigan. We’re always hopeful everyone can come because memories are shared, the year’s progress is noted, and new babies are greeted. For the last couple of years there’s been a new baby to admire every time, symbolizing the hopes for the future in their innocence and perfection. Please see the whole group posed in front of the house. Tom set his camera on a tripod, then ran to be included in the photo. Next are my wonderful grandchildren Scarlett and Gabriel, playing together. The third picture contains our newest family member, parents Chris and Tricia, with their new baby Rori.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Labor Day

Monday we returned home from Cathy and Sasha's house, stopping at Steve and Marta’s on the way. Marta and Gabriel, together with Marta’s mother, Consuelo, had arrived from Spain on Saturday. We were very happy to see them again since it had been several weeks that they were away. Gabriel looks taller and more mature to us, and he was speaking completely in Spanish. In the pictures you can see us at Cracker Barrel where we all went for lunch. After our visit, we continued on our way, arriving home by evening.
It was a lovely weekend, especially because we spent time with both our grandchildren.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Our Weekend
Thursday morning we headed out, driving to Cathy and Sasha's house in Crystal Lake, Illinois. arriving by late afternoon. We were greeted by our granddaughter, Scarlett, who is 16 months old and a busy girl, walking, talking, and playing. Now Scarlett remembers us and loves to see us too.
Friday and Saturday we spent our time with Scarlett, shopping, taking a walk in the neighborhood, walking in the park, and going out for lunch. Scarlett has had a little cold so she's had a runny nose, sometimes coughed, and was easily tired, but we enjoyed many things together. As a grandmother, one of the things I enjoy most is to sit in the rocking chair and rock my grandchild to sleep.
Sunday we all went to the Japanese market, Mitsuwa, for lunch and a little shopping. Mitsuwa has a wonderful grocery, bakery, and food court; I especially enjoy their ramen lunch. It is always a busy place and I began to look for Jackson friends, thinking someone might be visiting the market this holiday weekend. Sure enough, Yuka, Masa and their baby Fuka were there. Next we headed for the Brookfield Zoo, about an hour's drive from Cathy and Sasha's house. It is a wonderful place to go, and I recommend it especially for families with children. It was Scarlett's first visit to a zoo so she was very surprised at her first glimpse of a hippo. Scarlett held tightly to her mom and looked at the animals with amazement. A zoo is a place that you absolutely must enjoy with a child because you can share their wonder at the animals.
It was a wonderful weekend and not over yet because today we will stop at Steve and Marta's house to see Gabriel for the first time in about two months since he and his mother have been in Spain for the summer.