Monday, August 26, 2013

The Queen of Hearts

   The Queen of hearts, she made some tarts, all on a summers day.

        The iron horse cowboy ate them...
        And that's okay. I made them for him. And giving credit where credit is due, he did share them with his friends and relations. (Like Rabbit, we have lots of friends and relations). That's a good thing.
         Tarts are so much fun, and easy, too. Just make your favorite pie crust, either from scratch, from a box mix, or a ready made one. Roll it out and cut circles with whatever makes the size you want. A regular bisquit cutter makes a nice tiny one. A canning jar ring works for larger. A wide mouth ring will be a nice manly size!

Sometimes I do hearts, like for a tea party or something. Pie crust is messy. Or else it me, the queen of hearts. I always have a huge mess when I do pie crust. That is half the fun! Anyway, transfer your cut out pieces to a cookie sheet. I use baking paper, cuz filling always oozes out, and throwing away baking paper is easier than scrubbing burned pie filling off cookie sheets. Then plop a dollop of filling on each cut out. It should just fill the middle. Then put another cut out on top . Seal the edges with a fork. Brush each one with water and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake at 350 for about 15 to 20 minutes. I recommend cooking your filling first, or use canned, because they cook too quickly to actually cook apples or other fruit.
You can top a regular pie with pastry cut outs, too, which looks real clever, if you want to impress anyone. But once you cut into it and it disappears down the gullet, well, all that work..for what?? I like pie when it's still warm, and ice cream melts all over it. So you can't do that with tarts. You have to wait till they are cool enough, and then they are excellent finger food. My apple tree is on overload this year, so I have to invent ways to use them up. Apple jelly and apple sauce uses up lots of them. If I am thinking of feeding friends and relations, though, I go for apple bars. I make two big cookie sheets at a time. That's tricky, rolling out such a big portion of pastry, but it can be done. I frost them while they are still warm with a powdered sugar glaze, and every body loves them.

Oh, my! I would hate to see the pile of apple peelings I've made in my life! Thank goodness I always know of a pig pen that appreciates lots of apple peelings! Just make sure you get them to the pigs before they ferment. Although a bunch of drunk pigs lolling around and leaning against each other is hilarious. (They sleep it off quickly).

The iron horse cowboy makes a quick get away with his tarts!
      The guys up at the Garage will be happy!  If you come over, we can eat apple somethings, and have a good chat!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New England Sistahs Tackle Fried Green Tomatoes

           Dusk falls over the Raggedy Garden. The stars have fallen along the fence, see? The perfect end to a Monday. So we've all heard of Fried Green Tomatoes. Some of us have read the book. Some have seen the movie. I had them before. When I was south of the Mason Dixon. I even had a BLT with the T being the fried green kind. Now being the time of plenty of green tomatoes, I thought I'd do up a batch and see how these New Hampshire girls would like them.
            Green tomatoes are pretty. Smooth, apple green, shiny. They are hard. When you slice them up, not too thick, now, so they will cook quickly in the hot oil. Yes. You get out the trusty cast iron skillet, fill half way with oil of choice and let that oil smoke, girls. Let it get smokey hot.
             Buttermilk. You have that in a bowl, and soak those green tomato slices in it. Cornmeal. You take those slices out of the buttermilk and dredge them in the corn meal. You can add any spices or salt and pepper to the cornmeal, if you wish.
              Then carefully drop the dusty yellow slices into the hot oil. Only as many as will fit with out crowding. Only as many as you can handle easily. They bubble and crackle and brown up quickly. You won't have to flip them if your oil is deep enough. Take them out with a slotted utensil and let them drain on paper towel. Dish them up, sprinkle with salt and pepper, dip in ranch dressing, spead with a little mayo.. use your imagination.
               Some of us picked them up and ate them with our fingers. (Remember, fingers were made before forks!)  Others cut them and forked them daintily into their mouths, others took a bite and spit them promptly back out. Well, each to their own. It tasted pretty much like a deep fried pickle.

.               They look quite good. Truth to tell, nobody said, "That was good, let's do it again someday." But it was fun and Charlie said he had one more thing knocked off his bucket list, so that counts for something!.  The iron horse cowboy ate his but he forgot to taste it because he was too busy talking . It's a bad habit of his. He did that to me once at the fair where he saw a buffalo burger stand. "Go buy me a buffalo burger," he says, busily talking to some long lost acquaitance. So I brave the long line, shell out extravagent amounts of cash, get back through the crowds without losing the burger. Hand it him. He eats it with gusto, still expounding to said buddy. Later on the way home I ask if liked buffalo burger? "How would I know? Never tried it", he says. Sigh.
              Have a tangy geen tomato day, where ever you may be!