Here on our little hillside, in WV, we try to live a simple life. One where we can try to make the best decisions in regards to what we feed our family, and where we source our foods. We try to make green decision that are not only good for our family but for our community and planet as well. There is no place I would rather raise a family, than these WV hills! So I guess it is our responsibility to preserve them, and our heritage.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homemade Apple Pie

The apples are starting to fall from the tree, and we are being beat to them by the local deer!!

We went out and gathered a bunch of apples and the first thing on the menu was a homemade apple pie.  My great grandmother had a wonderful pie crust recipe that has been passed down through the generations, and I have been wanting a reason to make it.
After washing the apples, I peeled, cored and sliced them into sugar and cinnamon.  Then got on to making my crust.  I will share with you my family recipe for apple pie.

1 Cup Crisco
2/3 Cup boiling water
pour water over Crisco until melty.....can be microwaved a few seconds if not melting up...
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 Cups of flour ( add more if needed if dough is sticky)

This recipe make 3 pie shells

roll out dough to line 9 inch pie pan
add cinnamon sugar coated apples
sprinkle in a little flour
and a few pats of butter

You can add a top crust that is decorative to release steam or do a lattice top.  For lattice top, just roll out dough and cut into strips longer than pie pan.  Criss cross them and cut off extra dough. Then seal edges.

bake at 350 degree for at least 30 minutes or longer if apples are not tender.  Be sure to keep an eye out that the crust does not burn, it may need rotated in the oven to avoid hot spots.   You can also brush your top crust with an egg white wash to make it shiny.

So this used two of my crusts and I had one left.....what ever shall I do?????

I had to make a pumpkin pie too.....
Which left me with some leftover pumpkin pie filling and I decided to make pumpkin muffins.
I used the pie filling and added some self rising flour, walnuts, a little sugar and vanilla....

There are still plenty of apples left.  I am planning on making apple pie filling and canning it, but I just might need to make a few more fresh pie too.

Friday, August 17, 2012


We have finished up the first round of sauerkraut.  Ended up with 8 crammed quarts.  Take your kraut out of the crock and put it into a stainless steal stock pot.  Heat to 180 degrees.  Then fill your jars with kraut and make sure it is covered with brine.  Clean your rims, then add the lid and tighten the ring.   Process in a hot water bath 15 minutes for pints and 20 minutes for quarts.  You can also do in a pressure canner at 10lbs for 10 minutes.  Make sure to label the lids when they have cooled.  
Homemade kraut is the best I have had.  So much better than store bought.  We have cut the rest of our heads.  Shared a few with friends and family.  Made some coleslaw and cabbage rolls (with the venison from last years hunting season).   We also started out second round of kraut.  Should be done in a  few more weeks.  

We have also started working up our tomatoes.  So far we have made 2 batches of pizza sauce and our first round of spaghetti sauce.  Both are easy, after you blanch tomatoes to help remove skins.  It takes a few seconds, just keep your eye on them and when the skin starts to peal and slip back, pull them out.  Let them cool then remove stems and skin along with any bad spots.  You can make your sauce however you choose.  You can blend the tomatoes to make a smooth sauce or crush for a thicker.  You can also add all fresh spices and vegetables or add a packet of Mrs Wages or your favorite brand.  I have made it both ways and have found that the best sauce comes from a mixture of both.  

We have picked our first round of peppers to do tonight.  We also have a bushel of corn we are going to freeze tonight.  Luckily our friends have a huge farm and grow wonderful corn and potatoes.  This helps, and leaves us more space in our garden for other veggies.  The horticulture beans are ready to be picked and shelled and canned.  The beets are going to be ready next week.  There are many more tomatoes and corn to do and I really need to buy a bushel of green peppers to make jelly and steak peppers.  The apples on the trees will be ready soon and the peaches.  Boy, there is still a bunch to be done, but at least I know my family will be fed the best I can feed them.