Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Sweet Christmas Village, Little Dorrit.....and Shoofly Pie

Good evening, everyone! Hope it was a fabulous day!

I had another lovely surprise a small package from the U.K....I love ordering things, but hadn't ordered anything from there, so I was puzzled! It was a sweet gift from Joanne (Angelnorth)! A week or so ago, I had commented on a beautiful card she had made on her blog, Ambrosia & Iron, that had a beautiful little tea rose on it--I had never seen those before...Well, in the mail today was a little package of them, with a lovely handmade card!

I have been so blessed in the last couple of months with the loveliest new friends...this blogging experience has been such an amazing one! I was just commenting to another wonderful blogging friend today about that very thing. It's so amazing that with just a few strokes of a keyboard, we can reach out across the earth, experience a little of each others' lives, what we're working on, things we love, our families, etc...and once in a while, someone thoughtfully reaches out in a tangible way--that's pretty wonderful!

Joanne, thank-you for your thoughtfulness--you made my day even better today!

I have a few things for you tonight--two are semi-connected, and one is just plain old delicious!

I only finished one card today, but I'm very happy with it. I ordered some beautiful digital images a week or so ago from the lovely ladies at Every Thing Creative. They have a lovely blog and an Etsy shop where they sell their high quality, gorgeous vintage images. This was the first time I've done this, and I enjoyed them so much, I just ordered three more images tonight! Here's the first card I've finished using one of their images--

(I have to apologize for my pictures tonight--forgot to take them earlier in the natural light, so we're dealing with kitchen lights and a flash...maybe I'll fix it tomorrow...!)

Isn't that such a beautiful little village? I couldn't resist this! There was all this wonderful snow on the roofs, so of course I had to add plenty off glitter...

The ornaments are from Crafty Secrets' "Christmas Joy" stamp set--one of my favorites! I added some Snow-Tex and glitter to the top to make them look like those wonderful vintage
Christmas glass ornaments--I love those! A few SU! felt snowflakes covered with glitter and a little Swarovski crystal rhinestones in the center...those just make me happy!

This sweet image reminds me of a village out of a Dickens' novel--nothing better than a Dickens' novel! That made me think of one of my newest favorite movies..."Little Dorrit"...did you see it this last winter? Mobil Masterpiece Theatre made this beautiful version and released it on PBS in in March or so this year.

I had never read this novel before, and didn't know much about it, but let me tell you, it knocked my socks off! My daughters love it, too--just an amazing film. Part of it's allure, I suppose, is Matthew Macfayden--he's just fabulous, isn't he?!

Trust me--if you haven't seen it yet--DO! I'd love to hear what you think about it!

You'll find this out about me...I LOVE British period drama...especially from the classics--Dickens, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, etc. I watch them whenever I can, and have quite a collection of them--they just make me happy!

Last, but certainly not least---who's had Shoofly Pie before??? Oh, I just love it! A neighbor friend, when I was growing up in Ohio, would make it for us every once in a while, and it was just so delicious! Not a typical pie--no fruit, cream, etc., it's hard to describe...Kind of like a gingerbread pie, I guess! LOTS of crumbly topping...flaky, buttery crust...Oh, my!

(I shouldn't have used my deep dish pie pan for this one--makes it look like there's too much crust....wait...that's just not possible!)

I hadn't found a good recipe for it...until this summer, when I found the most delightful cookbook while on vacation--"Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters". It's just LOADED with vintage recipes, images, stories, etc.--just a joy to look through!

Shoofly pie is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch or German pie, and here's the recipe:


For Streusel:

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ginger

1/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice

For Filling:

1/2 cup molasses

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup water, heated to just under a boil

1. To make the streusel: Place sugar in a medium bowl. Sift together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger on a sheet of wax paper and add to sugar. Work in butter with fingers until the texture resembles coarse sand.

2. Use your favorite single-crust pie recipe! Coat a 9-inch ovenproof glass pie pan with vegetable spray. Roll out pastry dough. Fit into bottom of pie plate and trim off excess. Chill in refrigerator.

3. Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

4. Place molasses in a bowl. Dissolve baking soda in water and add to molasses, stirring with wooden spoon. Pour into prepared pie shell. Sprinkle streusel over surface of pie and bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake another 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into pie comes out clean. Place pie on rack and cool completely before cutting. Store leftover pie loosely wrapped in wax paper in the refrigerator.

I just want to thank the Brass Sisters, Marilynn and Sheila, for giving me permission to share this recipe with you! Their book is just wonderful--any of you who love all things vintage would really love it!

(Reprinted from Heirloom Cooking With The Brass Sisters by permission of Black Dog & Levinthal Publishers, Inc. Copyright 2008 Marilynn and Sheila Brass).

Well, that's all for tonight--sweet dreams to all!