I love gathering food for free, and the last couple of weeks it has been blackberries, from a handy little spot nearby.
Derek had been dropping hints about Blackberry and Apple Pie for a while, so I made him one, told him it was part of his Valentines gift. I was really tired the day I made it, so found an easy recipe for pastry and hoped for the best. It turned out pretty good, and I will keep this Annabel Langbein recipe up my sleeve for days when little effort for good result is required.
Tender Italian Sweet Pastry
4 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of sugar (I only used 1/2 cup and it was perfect)
3 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup of olive oil
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 tsp of ground cloves (I didn't have any - used allspice)
2 tbsp vodka, brandy or other spirits
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Heat oven to 170 degrees celsius.
Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a big bowl.
In another bowl lightly beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, spice, spirits and lemon zest.
Make a well int the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture. Using a wooden spoon, then your hands, work the flour in gradually and lightly until it comes together into a smooth ball.
Divide the dough in half, press half into a greased pie tin.
Add your pie filling...this pastry recipe was actually for a jam tart with a lattice top.
Add the top - as a lattice if you feel like it, but being tired, I went for the easy option of just crumbling the pastry on top.
Bake for approx 40 minutes.
Lately I have seen a couple of gorgeous things on Facebook that just made me smile. In case they didn't make it to your part of the world, have a look at these....
Australia's 109 year old Alfred Date knitted these little sweaters for penguins injured by oil spills. Just look at the designs on them though! How beautiful is that. See a link here.
And the next story is also about an Australian - Sonia Singh, who started remaking some sad little dolls she found cast off in junk shops. Mostly Bratz dolls, she gave them a makeover by removing their faces with nail polish remover, and repainting them to look like little children. Her mother made the sweet little outfits.
I feel like she has given them a new life.
You can find the link here.