Friday, December 7, 2012

Making a Great Apple Pie..

This morning I woke up with the resolve to try bending over to let the blood circulate to my head and brush my hair and massage my scalp for 5 minutes, (next time before bed so the oils work to condition hair during sleep) then bend over with a hot washcloth and massage my face. My 86? -year old part-French old-time logger friend whom I had dinner with last night said his wife scrubbed the heck out of her face like that each morning, and had no wrinkles when she died in her 70's. Well, apparently I missed the boat, as I have wrinkles.  Genetics and sun and stress might be part of that, but I thought it would be a great experiment. Not to be disrespectful, but I pause, because it could also be that as we are displayed in a casket, the skin has receded smoothly with gravity, and we tend to put our loved ones on a pedestal.  My friend has a great memory, of course while she was living, so it's worth noting and experimenting

Even though I've heard not to tug on your fragile under-eye skin, I wanted to try this carefully as an exfoliation and stimulation exercise. If I end up looking like a bulldog, oh well. Somehow just disciplining my partially-retired self into a routine might be beneficial.  I already feel the circulation in my face. Resolve. Habits. Results. Diversions.

As I gave myself 5 minutes to check my emails and the news --with a timer, to keep myself on track, as I was up like a night owl last night and I have much to do, I found myself wanting to share the article from Jon Rappaport you'll find in the next posting. That led to free associating. When I think of leaving a record and history for my children, and how important it might be for them to know the real 'Mom', or how possibly someone might benefit from my sharing, the fact that I have totally busted my schedule today is all right. If I keep wrecking my schedule, of course, it might lead to an earlier demise, as I put my walk off again.  Exercise now has to be done in the rain, unless I escape to go dancing today. My friend last night reminded me that I should 'circulate' in more ways than one.

The 55 and older mobile court that I live in at present has a doughnuts and coffee gathering at their 'rec' center each Friday morning. The coffee is gruesome, not organic, (I don't need the splash of pesticides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers and insecticides-nor the conscience that for my ignorance and consumer demand, many indigenous children are dying of cancer and birth defects from the aerial and ground spraying of coffee crops-- inhaled and in their ground water) ...and I'm not sure I can afford one more bit of sugar this week (lol).

 I have to find 'Red', the manager's girlfriend later, anyway, to give her the piece of apple pie that I promised her would be in the fridge last night. I had a dinner invitation, and I didn't get home till late, so she didn't find it there. It was just as well, so she could get to bed with that cold she's fighting, without my caramel/apple pie experiment. Sugar before bed is especially hard on the immune system. The 2 garlic and 2 vitamin C capsules I gave her yesterday to take in the morning along with a Grapefruit Seed Extract capsule (one of Nature's antibiotics) with another couple of garlic and c for bedtime hopefully will help her kick her respiratory infection. I guess unsolicited advice about the cigarette smoke and sinus infections that go into the chest --to go along with the pie, might have to be tabled, as we've already gone there as 'sisters'.

Just a note, as I focus back on that apple pie discussion (you'll be glad I did) I had the best prepared piece of Halibut I've ever tasted at Chan's Steakery last night. It was moist, tender, buttery glazed and just lightly seasoned and wonderful! Later my friend and I had a piece of the caramel apple pie variation (that I brought with me) with some whipped cream. It was outstanding. My friend said I could come cook for him any time. ;-}

 Chan's Steakery for those who live in Oregon: (The food is great, and they serve large portions -for those lunch-time leftovers)
10477 Southeast Main Street, Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 653-2709 )*************

I shared pieces of apple pie with about half a dozen friends and neighbors a day or so ago. When I was at a good friend's house last week, I put together a pie in his glass pie plate, from memory. It was the best apple pie I think I've ever eaten. I know, you probably think dementia might be setting in, and I just don't remember the other ones I've eaten, but really, it was an awakening. I have never really cared a lot for apple pie, but made with less sugar, using brown sugar, and just cinnamon for spice, gives you a home made taste you will salivate for. I promise.

I used:
Crust: 2 c. white flour, 1 tsp. salt, 2/3 c. plus a little shortening, it made a flakier crust that I loved. Experiment...-cut in to about pea size and add 1/2 c. cold water. Mix as little as possible, into a ball. Roll out in your circle to fit your pie pan size. 9" or less. The left overs can be made into pinwheels, rolled into a rectangle, with a bit of butter, cinnamon, brown sugar and a drizzle of corn syrup if desired, and baked after the pie, at about 425 to 450 degrees 5-8 min? Watch closely. The sugar makes them burn easily. They'll disappear.

Back to...the Filling:
In a large bowl, mix 1/4 c. flour, 1/4 c. white sugar  and 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. of salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon. Sprinkle the apples(4-5 cups) w/ 1-2 T. lemon juice-freshly squeezed preferably. But, if you don't have the lemon, don't worry. A lime would work, also.
I washed, peeled, cored and cut two varieties of apples I had, quartering each quarter, and halving the slices. I think they were Jonagolds and a few big ...? Macintosh. Personal preference. I like mixing different kinds. About 5-6 cups. Mix and make the crust.

Halve the ball of pastry. (Recipe makes 2 crusts) Roll out pastry, put in pie plate, trim to 1/2" outside plate and fill w/ apples. Dot w/ 2 generous Tbsp's of butter. Cover w/ another rolled out pastry circle, and trim edges to 1/2" or so. Fold and seal, and either flute or press w/ a fork. I put a smiley face or decoration for slits to let the steam out. The seeping, bubbling apple cinnamon liquid will let you know it's done, along w/ the golden brown color of the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 min to brown the top, then 350 for 35-45 min. Keep an eye out. All ovens and altitudes vary.

Caramels quartered (handful) and sprinkled w/ the butter will give a different flavor, of course. Whipping cream or ice cream or med-sharp cheddar cheese melted on top of the plain recipe of apple pie is simply....BELLISSIMO. I use Tillamook cheese as they promise they don't add growth hormones to their product. (Think growth stimulators-cancer cells, early maturation, prostate, etc. ) Taking care of ourselves these days is a full time job itself, but worth avoiding being disabled by cancer or some disease. My friend Roy likes Nancy's Plain or Honey Yogurt on his pie.

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