Memorial Day brings back many memories. I don't know about you, but in our small family, my Mother always had my brother and I help her to make huge bouquets of flowers from our yard. A fun idea she gave us, was for us to place food dye in a tall glass or pitcher and place peonies or iris in the dye overnight, so we could see the colors they would take on. Then on Memorial Day we would decorate family graves where we would be told family history, which was quite memorable.
With all the somber and sadness, my Mother had a great way of making us all feel glad to be together and celebrating the goodness of times together. Barbeque and pies are what I remember most. My Mother wa a great baker and enjoyed most all kinds of baking and especially bread as she was the Bread Baking Champion of Kansas in 4-H during her high school years. Her pies were always very pretty and yummy.
Yesterday I made a two crusted apricot pie from apricots I had frozen last summer, which were from our tree. As I ws preparing the pie, some of the hints my Mother taught me came top mind--
When combining the lard with the flour and dry ingredients, she always worked it very well with a pastry blender. (She never considered any other shortening than lard as it is the highest performing--it has a greater ability to hold moisture and shorten the gluten strands of wheat flour This ability, is why the British called lard, shortening. Today, with a ood processor, the lard is best blended in with a pulsing motion of a food processor.
Other hints were to always chill the pastry until cold in the refrigerator before rolling it out. And after rolling it out, the best way to transfer the pastry to the pie plate is to curl it up on a rolling pin. I am going to share my very favorite pie pastry recipe with you. If you are only making one pie, the excess dough will keep very well in the refrigerator for a month or 3 months in the freezer. This recipe is one my Aunt got while attending the Cordon Bleu in Paris.
A very important one is to always bake a two crusted fruit pie at 425 F on the bottom shelf in the oven for the first 15 minutes of baking. This will allow the crust to brown before the filling boils and results in a nice, crisp--never soggy bottom crust. After the first 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 - 375 depending on the type of pie plate you are using. (Always adjust Pyrex or glass baking pans to be 25F lower or 350 for the balance of the baking.)
For barbecue, Mother always made her own barbecue sauce and loved to bake beans from scratch, starting with cooking navy beans. I am going to give you a simpler recipe, using canned baked beans and enhancing them.
For the best barbecue, she would always start with rubbing the meat with a rub. Our Gordon's Rub is terrific for any kind of barbecue--as well as placing on halves of baked white or sweet potatoes and most anything else, including popcorn. Last night, we had very yummy pork chops, which I made by rubbing our Gordon's Rub generously on both sides a few minutes before grilling them 4 minutes a side. If you wish to get a crisis cross look to your grilling, just place each chop on a 45 degree angle for 2 minutes and then reverse the angle for another 2 minutes and turn.
We are placing our Rub on a 20% off special so you can be sure to get some for your barbecuing.
Also, we have very few openings for our Thursday evening May 26 class at 5 PM on "Take a Tortilla and"... and I am discounting the class to $95.00 until Wednesday, May 25. Our next class will be Party Appetizers on Thursday, evening, June 2 at 5 PM and the next class is Innovative Grilling , June 30 at 5 PM. More classes are coming in July. Our weekend classes are September 16 - 18 and November 4 - 6, 2022.
My all-time favorite pastry—you can hardly fail to produce a beautiful flaky-crusted pie with this recipe.
Yield: Three 9-inch crusts
3 cups all-purpose flour (sifted or fluffed with a spoon)
1 cup shortening (lard is preferred)*
1 Tablespoons vinegar (dark)
2 teaspoons salt
5 Tablespoons water
*Lard yields a flakier crust.
1. Blend flour and shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. A food processor with the metal chopping blade works very well. Pulse until the flour is completely coated with the shortening.
2. Beat egg, vinegar, salt, and water with a fork. Add to flour and shortening and mix only until the mixture holds together.
3. Chill until cold, then roll out on lightly floured board or between waxed paper and use as desired.
Freezing Hints: Freeze baked or unbaked. This very tender crust turns out beautifully without chilling—even when baking immediately. You can freeze filled or as flat pastry.
Maximum Recommended Freezer Storage: 6 to 8 months when baked, 2 to 4 months unbaked, 6 months when baked, 2 to 4 months unbaked, 6 months when frozen as pastry only.
CHUCK WAGON BAKED BEANS
Yield: 8 servings
2 16-18 ounce cans pork and beans
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
½ pound bacon or salt pork cut in thin ¼ inch strips
½ cup catsup
½ cup chopped green onions with tops
1. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a lightly buttered or oiled 2 quart baking dish.
2. Bake in a slow oven (325F) for 1 hour. Or cover bottom of baking dish with heavy broiler foil and place on a medium hot grill for 1 hour. Check after 30 minutes to be sure beans are not baking too quickly. If so, remove from heat.
See the entire archive of Southwest Recipes for more tested recipes.