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Thursday, May 19, 2011


Dear House, you are very small.
Just big enough for love. That's all.
~ old sampler saying~

Today I had the bright idea to can up some rhubarb strawberry  pie filling...Well as in true Jane fashion,  the simple task wasn't accomplished without a lot of frustration.  I simply could not locate my canner.  How can a person lose a fairly large canner in a 1000 square foot house?  I looked in all the logical places, such as the basement and the attic.  Nothing! I suspect that it might be in the garage, but you must understand my dear husband's idea of organizing.  I love my husband with all my heart, but his one flaw is his need to pack things up.  Well that, and the fact that he's so chipper at the wee hours of the morning, but I digress.  He takes great pride in being able to fit the entire contents of a huge Victorian house into a u-haul.  Which makes unpacking an adventure.  All boxes will be  marked "misc."  And when you open them, you'll find that an understatement.  The contents being one of the boy's christening gowns, a spatula, a monkey wrench and a roll of toilet paper.  Another box might contain one shoe, an empty jar, a toilet plunger and a baggie filled with twist ties.  One good thing about his method is that it forces you to unpack. I'm betting that the canner is lurking behind  several old windows, a bed frame, and  several rolls of insulation out there in no-man's land, uh er, the garage.

But all's well that ends well.  I just canned up the jars in my pressure canner,  therefore, I had to use pint jars instead of quarts because the water wouldn't be deep enough for the quart jars.  But now that I think about it, that will work out better for us anyhow, since we rarely eat an entire pie anymore.  I'll be able to make small tarts with no waste.  Or maybe old-fashioned filled cookies.

Speaking of pies,  I always make up a large batch of pie crust and freeze it, that way it's easy to just thaw the crust when it's needed.  No excuse to not make a pie or tarts for tea. Or a quick potpie from the leftovers.  The recipe I use, stirs up quick and makes the nicest, flakiest crusts. And it really rolls out nicely.

Pie Crust (enough for  4 crusts)

1 lb. vegetable shortening
1 Tbsp. salt (I use less)
5 1/3 C. flour
1 C. water

Cut the shortening into the flour and salt.  I just use my hands to make pea-sized crumbles.  Stir in the water.  At this point, you are going to say to yourself, "Jane you're nuts!"  because the mixture will definitely be gluey.  Just pop it in the fridge for several hours and it will roll out beautifully.  Or divide the dough into fourths and freeze.


  1. What a great idea to make pie crust ahead of time and freeze it- this would be a real time saver. Thanks for the recipe :)

  2. What a great idea! I lost my apple peeler for a year. It was over the refrigerator in that little tiny cabinet that you can't reach unless you REALLY want to reach it... Maybe your canner is there? LOL

  3. So when will those Rhubarb Tarts be done? I'll bring coffee!

  4. April it's the handiest thing. Have some defrosting in the fridge right now.

    Matty, give your cabinet a check will you? At this point, it's as likely to be there as anyplace.

    Sandy, the crust is defrosting, I can have those tarts assembled in a wink. Wish you could just drop by so easily!

  5. Hi Jane, sorry about your lost canner. It is so frustrating when you can't find a tool. I love homemade pie crust, the one you have listed sounds very similar to mine,only a larger amount. I have never tried to freeze pie crust before, that is a great idea. I make a lot of fruit cobblers and I am always needing to make a bit of crust. It would be nice to just take it out of the freezer when I am in a hurry. I just made a blackberry cobbler day before yesterday. I love strawberry rhubarb too. When I was in Colorado a couple of months ago I actually went into a restuarant that had strawberry rhubarb pie, I was so surprised. It was delicious, like tasting a sweet memory from my childhood. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend ahead! Delisa

  6. I enjoyed your post. It doesn't seem to matter how many square feet we have we find a way lose the seemingly obvious! I think your husband sounds delightful. :)

    I appreciate the encouragement to freeze the pie crust dough. It would simplify things...

    Blessings, Debbie

  7. Delisa, freezing pie crust is just so easy. Only thing, someone (who shall remain anonymous, ahem!) is always taking them to use at his own home. I no sooner get a batch made up and they are gone.

    Hi Debbie! My husband is always popular with the younger generation when they need to move, because he can fit the entire contents of an apartment into a Chevy Aveo. It's like some kind of magic trick! They are always amazed.

  8. Rhubarb is something I've never eaten. I'm not sure it will grow here, but I occasionally see it in the stores.

    I think my husband must pack like yours does. He even repacks the cart behind me when we go to Sam's Club and

    For us the lost items are always papers. No matter how hard we try we can misplace something in a heart beat. Mainly because we "clean" up behind each other.

  9. Shara, maybe it's a husband thing? Somewhere rooted deep in the primeval man is the need to pack, along with hunting to provide for his family?

  10. Yum yum... rhubarb and pie..... a perfect marriage in that!