Many people who live with the hustle and bustle of busy city dwelling always tell me how much they love heading to the cottage on Summer weekends. For me, I’ve left the city and have through some strange turns of events, ended up embracing a life of country living.
Glorious sunrises and Monet-like sunsets, cattle grazing on green pastures, and afternoons at the beach are all part of our every day.
What kinds of meals and snacks are our favourites for country living? Homemade biscuits, homemade chocolate pudding, and Crocodile Pie are some family favourites. Hubby and Little One know that I like to limit our sugar consumption, so I only make desserts (like puddings, pies, cakes, cheesecakes, tarts, muffins, cupcakes, or cookies) on special occasions. Sweets are meant as a treat for every once in a while. Lucky for me, casseroles and salads of all sorts are also high on the list of things my family loves to eat.
If you’re at all familiar with country living, you’ll know that using what ingredients are local and readily available dictates what kind of meals you will likely prepare.
Because we have an abundance of raspberries, apples and rhubarb on our farm, I have to figure out as many ways of using them in recipes.
aka Crocodile Pie (I don’t know why it’s called that, but that’s what my Mother-in-law told me it was called)
2/3 cup shortening
6-7 tablespoons of cold water
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 medium cooking apple, peeled and shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1-2 tablespoon of milk
1. In a medium bowl stir together the 2 cups all-purpose flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening until pieces are pea-size.
2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to sides of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all of the dough is moistened.
3. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball.
4.On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the pastry into a 12-inch circle, line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry.
5. Trim pastry 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry.
6. Line pastry with double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 to 6 minutes more or until golden brown.
7. Cool on a wire rack. On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining pastry into a 12-inch circle.
8. Using a 2- to 3-inch cutter, cut pastry into desired shapes(leaves are a nice choice), cover cutouts loosely; set aside. I used snowflake cutters from Watkins, but Hubby said they looked more like stars when they came out.
9. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons flour and stir in rhubarb, raspberries, and apple.
10. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until fruit begins to juice out then increase heat to medium and cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
11. Transfer to the baked pie shell. Brush edge of pie with milk and place pastry cutouts over fruit filling and around the edge of the pie.
12. Brush pastry cutouts with milk and, if desired, sprinkle with sugar.
13. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown, cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 servings.
What foods or dishes remind you of country living or Summers at the cottage?