Another Labor Day Weekend has passed, and most kiddos will be headed back to school. This always seems like another new beginning and one that always holds hope and renewal. In these times, let’s add our prayers for the safety of our children and those that teach them.
Adventures in Reading and Writing
My sister, Kathleen, spent ten busy days with us seeing family and friends and taking day trips to various places. One excursion included a ferry trip to San Juan Island to Pelindaba Lavender, enjoying both their extensive orchards and farm shop and their beautiful store in downtown Friday Harbor. It was especially exciting to see my books displayed in both places and we found the staff excited to be carrying all three books in The Lavender Meuse series. Kathleen’s beautiful covers grace each book and call to readers to delve into the stories told between the pages.
I am very excited to let you know that the first book in my new cozy mystery series, The Book of Rules, is off to the typesetter. There has been much research involved in the writing of this new book set in 1946 in Southern Wales in the village of Mumbles. I have a passion for historical fiction and this book will be a historical cozy mystery.
In upcoming newsletters, I will be sharing more about the new book and why I chose to set the new novel in Wales and have my main characters working for the railway company at the depot located in Swansea. Kathleen’s artwork is once again featured on the new cover and captures the essence and energy of the new series which will be known as The Drew Davies Railway Mystery Series.
I am in the middle of planning a marketing campaign with a formal book launch scheduled for Friday, December 2 at 7:30pm at Village Books in Fairhaven, WA. My three previous book launches were also at Village Books and these events always prove to be full of excitement and fun. It would be wonderful to see you there!
Gardening and a Recipe
I spent much of the Labor Day weekend in the gardens harvesting beets, onions, cucumbers, carrots, squash, and cherry tomatoes. We had such a wet spring, and the veggies didn’t have much sun until June resulting in my larger tomatoes now plentiful on the vine but still green. We are hoping for a least two additional weeks of warm sunny weather so these last vegetables can shine on the vine! My pumpkins seem to have had enough sun and are already orange and nearly ready to pick and place on the front porch. I’ll send pictures in October. And for those of you that like to play in the dirt, how have your flowers and gardens fared this year? I would love to have you share.
Well, for a recipe this month, I wanted to do something that included ingredients fresh from the garden. I saw a cooking video of a recipe for a cucumber lemon linguine pesto that looked delicious. However, when I made it, it was dry and downright yucky. I was disappointed. But onward and upward go the adventures in cooking and trying new recipes is always a culinary adventure.
I have been wanting to try a new pie crust recipe as I have been making the same old pie crust using vegetable shortening for forty years. Actually, much longer since I leaned to make it as a young girl beside my grandmother Edith, so okay, more like sixty years. Boy, that sounds like a lot of pie crusts and a lot of pies.
Wanting to make a more buttery and flakey crust, I searched out recipes that used butter or a blend of butter and vegetable shortening and tried several recipes. The one below is my own take on what turned out to be a beautiful and delicious crust (my husband says he is an expert on pies and crusts and gave it 5 stars – he gave the cucumber linguine a minus 2 stars.) I think this buttery, flakey crust will be my go-to for years to come. It takes a little longer to prepare but the end result is well worth it. Let me know if you give it a try and what you think.
5 Star Pie Crust Recipe
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 ½ tbls. granulated sugar
- 2 sticks (16 tbls.) unsalted butter cut into small pieces and frozen for 15 minutes
- 1 tbls. apple cider vinegar, chilled
- Blend flour, salt, and sugar
- Add butter and blend until coarse, pea-sized balls appear (I do this with a pastry cutter or fork. You can also use a food processor)
- Add vinegar and ¼ cup ice water and blend or process until the dough just holds together. Take a small amount and squeeze it between your fingers. If it is too crumbly add more water 1 tbls. at a time. Do not over blend. There will still be small bits of butter unblended when the dough is ready. This will make the crust flakey.
- Turn the dough out on a fully floured surface (I use wax paper) and knead a few times. Place back in your bowl and refrigerate for AT LEAST one hour. Use this time to prepare your pie filling.
- Take about ½ of the dough and roll out on a fully floured surface. You MUST use a lot of flour or the dough will stick to the surface. As I rolled out the dough, I would raise the edges and move flour underneath the dough. The first time I didn’t use enough flour when rolling it out and I had to gather the dough and roll again. Use LOTS of flour when rolling out the crusts!
- Place the first crust in the bottom of your pie plate, fill pie and roll your second crust. You can baste this top crust with an egg and sprinkle with sugar. Makes the crust a lovely brown.
- Bake according to the directions for your specific type of pie
I am excited for the new book series to be published. Sounds like you have been busy as usual. Love the newsletter. I don’t bake much but the pie crust looks wonderful.
I can’t wait to read your new book and look forward to hearing more about it on December 2 at Village Books!
Wonderful newsletter Gail, congrats on your new book and buttery pie crust recipe. Happy Fall!
Wow Gail, you are one busy lady! Excited for your new book to be released. I love the beauty of the new book cover!! You and your sister work well together!