Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities. ~Edyth O’Neill

Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Peach pies, Lots of them lately!

I really never make true cobbler which has cream in with the peaches and is so good and rich. Rather I make a deep dish pie with a lot of peaches in it and a top crust only, and put chunks of butter on the top and sprinkled sugar generously and cinnamon lightly on the crust.

Here is what I do for the peach filling. Peel and slice a nice sauce pan full, about 5 or 6 cups, with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 1/2 cups sugar in the pan, which keeps the peaches from turning brown.

In a small bowl combine flour and a little more sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg and a dash of salt. Anounts below.

Heat the peaches pretty hot, stir in this little flour mixture, add about 2 pats of butter and pour in a deep pan like a 9 x 14 cake pan. Top with crust. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and finished off with small chunks of more butter here and there.

By having the peaches hot when the pie goes in the oven, much baking time is saved, and crust is not burned. Important: make plenty of holes in the top crust with a knife or a fork. Bake at 400 or till crust is done AND pie juice is boiling showing slow bubbles in the exact center of the pie when you punch a hole in it to test. Keep watching this hole, it is not done till it boils. These tend to boil over badly in the oven, messy! I use wide aluminum foil under each pie, cupped up on the edges so the juice is caught.

Fresh peaches or sliced apples or blueberries or apricots all use this same recipe. A general fruit pie recipe. Adjust your sugar amounts by how sour the fruit is. Better not too sweet. Always put in the lemon juice. On peaches only, use one or 2 drops of almond extract if you have it, that makes the peaches peachier. not more almond than this or will ruin it.

Amounts: Sugar in peaches, try about 6 cups peaches with 1 1/2 or 2 cups sugar. The lemon juice and almond extract are very bitter and must have enough sugar. You can taste the whole filling when it is warm in the sauce pan before you bake it. add sugar then if needed. When I bake pie in our turkey pan, I use 8 cups peaches, 3 of sugar plus two tablespoons lemon juice. This makes an enormous pie. And takes a double batch of crust to cover it.

Flour mixture: double these for a larger or for 2 pies. stir till mixed well so no lumps will be in the pie.
2 Tbs flour
2 Tbs sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon

have a Great Day! E

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our back yard is in what should be it’s glory time, the great Natches crape myrtles have quit trying to bloom for the most part, they would in a normal year be in full white crowned show off mode. But their smaller cousins near our deck are still beautiful. We were up to the minute on watering almost every thing when the newly implemented once a week watering was imposed.
That would still be ok, but the water pressure is very low in our subdivision now, and when everyone in the town must use water on the same Sat or Sun, we are out of luck up on this high ridge overlooking town proper. I fear for the 4 young magnolia trees. Two are standards, the Magnolia Grandiflora, and two are “Little Gem”.

The 14 large pots on the deck want a drink each day in this hot time, so the rinse water from the kitchen is caught in a pan and carried out to them through out the day. We have fresh peaches, tomatoes, lettuce, cantaloupe, watermelon and more to wash off before using all day long, so this water is poured on the pot plants. 4 pots are white geraniums, some are white periwinkles, some all green herbs, and a smattering of blue salvia for a dash of color. I step out to enjoy the deck many times a day, and these nights too, the full moon is awesome.

I am glad our yard is small, the back is just what you see in the photos. Garage and parking apron take up a lot of the space beyond the arbor. In this time of drought for our southwest, it is hard to imagine the floods in so many other states! We topped out here this afternoon at 103 in the shade, on the north side of the house. E

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lovely little clothing for my big papier mache dolls.

The heat and drought have been oppressive. So what a happy boost it gave me when my friend Jan emailed about some tiny old clothing in a local antique shop. I rushed right out to see them. Aren't these dear? The fabrics are old and nice and the stitching that I have examined yet is by hand and the condition is wonderful! Regular readers here know how I love browns. I am showing several shots so you can see the construction. The apron/bib on the infant's dress is a near square, with arm holes cut one half way down and little straight strips added. The apron is finished with a tiny rolled hem. Tags on the little dresses said from Maine.

A high waisted infant's dress like this looks like an empire style on a lady doll. Very nice! Of course a lady doll would not wear this type of apron. I do not know the age of the socks, they are like some I have found on very nice early dolls before, so they must be all right to go with. Any input? Edyth

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