Saturday, November 16, 2013

Okay . . .

it’s getting near the end of my first year as a blogger. (insert applause.)

I started this blog (full disclosure here) to try and get people interested in some island things and nature stuff featured in my series of middle readers. So hopefully they’d want to read them.  And . . .

 to get people used to my voice, and hopefully to like it.
That was the idea, anyway.  And so I have tried very hard to write these blog posts in the same voice as my Summerhood Island series.  While similar to my real voice, I have to admit it is slightly calmer, much less convoluted and much more rational.  It also, believe it or not, makes far fewer digressions than I do when I speak in what I refer to as my uncensored voice.

This has not been as difficult for me as I imagined it might be.  After all, I write in many different voices.  Usually though, those voices come about through other characters.

Here’s the  funny thing-  people are telling me that my blog doesn’t sound like me.  And these are often the people that suggest I might be a trifle off, or ask me to stop singing silly songs to the dogs, or speaking in iambic pentameter.  Sometimes they are even the same people who do not appreciate `to do’ lists written in Seusian form.  Go figure.

So here’s my dilemma.  Do I begin slowly reverting back to my more comfortable, quote normal unquote voice?  Will I scare off middle school teachers and librarians who work with my primary targets?( Sorry, I meant target audience.)

As my friend Amy Scott would say,

Thanks for listening.  Here’s your reward.
Since it’s almost Thanksgivkah-  (Thanksgiving and Chanukah both fall on the same day) have some pie dough recipes. 

(Disclaimer- I rarely make pies. Higgins always made the pies. I do not have what is referred to as “a light hand with pastry.” But these recipes work. They do. Honest.)
You’re welcome.


Flour                      1 cup
Baking powder                  1/8 tsp.
Salt                         ¼ tsp.
Cold lard or shortening                  1/3 cup
Ice water                             2 ½ T

Sift dry ingredients. Cut cold fat in until like coarse sand. Add just enough ice water to hold pastry together. Do not knead. Chill before rolling out crust. Roll out to 1/8” thick. Pierce before baking in pan. Bake in 450° oven for 15 minutes.
Lard                       ½ cup  (ok, use shortening, but it won’t be as good)
Butter                   ½ cup
Sifted flour                         3 cups
Salt                         pinch
Ice water                             8 – 10 T
With knife, blend lard, butter, and salt into flour. Moisten with ice water. Handle as little as possible. Roll dough out very thin. May be halved.

Makes 2 crusts
Lard or fat                           2 T
Butter                   1 T
Sifted flour                         2 cups
Salt                         ½ tsp.
Sugar                     ½ tsp.
Milk                       ½ cup
Stir lard and butter in bowl until creamy. Sift flour, salt, and sugar, and add. Mix with milk. If dough is too thick, add cold water. Spread flour on board and roll out dough ¼” thick. Place in greased pie pans. Indent edges with fork.
(Alton’s hint and it works- replace a tablespoon of the liquid with vodka. Cheap is fine. As it evaporates in the oven it will make the crust flakier. No alcohol will remain.)