Hi there. It’s been awhile. Life threw us some curveballs last fall and it just now feels like we’re clawing our way up for air. In August, Noel broke his arm and I tried my hand at being a middle school English teacher while a teacher was out on leave. We barely survived juggling all the things we needed to (and keep in mind, Noel was juggling one-handed) and were relieved when the permanent teacher came back. In case you were wondering the verdict of my experiment: I do NOT want to be a middle school teacher. We were so excited for life to go back to normal, but didn’t have a chance to figure out what that meant before we found out my mother-in-law had stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized. (She always wanted it noted that she was a non-smoker.) She left her home in Alaska to come live with us so she could have better treatment options and spend time with her grandkids. She lived with us for four months before cancer ultimately claimed her. Oh, and did I mention my grandpa also died during that time and we were still responsible for keeping our kids alive? Yeah, it was a crazy fall/winter. The good news though is we’re okay. Thanks to our faith and good friends and family we are healing. We are finding peace. Hopefully you can forgive us for our absence.
During the four months my mother-in-law lived with us, our house was a revolving door of visitors. Nurses, therapists, friends, and of course family. Often people would try and lift our burdens by providing us with food. At one point, Noel’s cousin baked us one of the most delicious blueberry pies I have ever eaten. The crust was incredibly tender, especially for an all butter pie crust. I take great pride in my baking skills and was admittedly flummoxed that she had mastered pie crust in a way I still hadn’t. It turns out when she was making her crust, she couldn’t find my all-purpose flour but did find my pastry flour in a cupboard. That was the trick: fancy, dish appropriate flour. Although I’ve come to use cake flour in my cakes and noticed a difference, it foolishly never occurred to me that using pastry flour in a pastry could have an equally desirable effect. I’m here to tell you to stop listening to pie recipes that recommend all-purpose flour and make pie great again, er, I mean greater. Pie was always great. (And so was America . . . ) Happy Pi(e) Day!
Some of our favorite pie recipes:
- Blueberry Pie
- Raspberry Cream Pie
- Chocolate Pudding Pie
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Dutch Oven Triple Berry Hazelnut Crumb Pie
- Crumbly Apple Pie