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Honey Pie

honey pie 1 Yesterday I celebrated the end of my first school year as a Montessori preschool teacher. Since November I’ve been with a local school that serves 3-6 year olds (and growing!). It’s a bit of a career shift away from Museum Education, but one that I’ve been happy I’ve made every day since I started. The commute is an easy bike ride from our house, the families we serve are lovely, and I adore my two coteachers. It’s been wonderful working with the same students day in and day out, getting to know them as independent and creative people. I feel so lucky to be a part of their lives, and they definitely keep me on my toes!

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For our end-of-the-year celebration we had a potluck picnic at Greenfield Lake, a lake in downtown Wilmington that is gorgeous, huge, and home to a fair amount of alligators (Dan saw his first alligator in the wild yesterday!). We gave each student a certificate and a rose (a Montessori tradition), sang songs, and ate as a community. It made me feel so thankful for this Wilmington family we’ve been welcomed into. We’ve only been here 7 months and yet this feels more like home than I could have ever imagined.

honey pie 4 For the celebration pie I was able to get my hands on local wildflower honey, local strawberries, and local blueberries. The pie was so simple but the flavor was overwhelmingly honey. It was the perfect Spring dessert- light, bursting with flavor, and just sweet enough.

honey pie 3 Honey Pie

crust:

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

Pinch of ginger

Pinch of cinnamon

1/4 cup shortening

1 stick butter

1/2 cup cold water

filling:

1 cup wildflower honey

3 eggs

3 tbsp flour

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

topping:

2 pints strawberries

2 pints blueberries

3 tbsp wildflower honey

Stir together dry ingredients for flour. Work in shortening. Cube butter and work it in with your hands until the texture of the dough is like coarse cornmeal. Stir in water, a little at a time, until a ball forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Melt butter. Mix together butter, honey, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add flour and salt.

Roll the dough out and press into a pie dish. Heat the oven to 400 and pour the filling into the crust. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes and then drop to 350 for an additional 50 minutes. Pie should be golden brown. Let rest for 2 hours or until center has firmed.

Hull and halve strawberries. Toss berries in honey and spread over pie once set.

Slice and serve.

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Chocolate Strawberry Bread Pudding

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This weekend we piled into the car and headed along a familiar path up 1-95 to DC. A surprise birthday party for Brit was an occasion we wouldn’t miss for the world, especially because it meant spending the weekend with friends and family we haven’t been able to see since the move. We drank, we ate an insane amount of incredible food, we laughed, and we reveled in the luxury of being able to pop up to Virginia to surprise the ever living heck out of a friend.

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I’ve mentioned it before but one of the things that we love most about Brit and Aaron are that they love to cook and eat as much as we love to cook and eat, which means that when we get together it is beautiful. This party was no exception. Aaron joked that he mostly wanted to throw it as an excuse to make paella, and I think that was only kind of a joke. The paella that Aaron and his friend Tom made was incredible, as was the grilled chicken, the hamburgers (seriously, they were unreal), the cake and everything else. I brought along a bread pudding and even though by the time we ate it we were all a few sheets to the wind, it felt like the perfect continuation of the meal of a lifetime.

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I’ve known Brit for a lot of years and I count her as one of my closest friends (her and Aaron both, really), which made it even more special to see this outpouring of love for her. I felt the same way at their wedding- that only two completely fabulous people could attract such a loving and wonderful group of friends. Happy Birthday Britty! We’re so glad we got to be a part of it.

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In other news, the results of the Saveur Best of Food Blogs competition came in today and while I’m disappointed that we didn’t win I am so incredibly overwhelmed by the amazing response to Biscuits and Such making it to the final round. It was extraordinary how many people reached out, new followers and old, to say how much they love this food blog and that means the world to me. Thank you.

csbp 7 Chocolate Strawberry Bread Pudding

1 loaf of bread (we used challah)

1 pint of strawberries

1 cup chocolate chips

2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

Cube bread and halve strawberries. Toss together with chocolate chips and spread in a baking pan. Mix together milk, sugar, eggs, and extract and pour over bread. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.

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Strawberry & Fresh Cheese Tart

I find that it is often easier to live in the future than in the moment. I’m embarrassed by how many of my conversations with Dan begin with “when we have a…” Be it a house, a better yard, a dog, kids, chickens, a goat, a boat, a unicorn, I often focus on that next step. It’s natural, we all do it. If it weren’t for planning and hoping and wishing and thinking ahead we’d become stagnant. The downside, of course, is that it’s easy to forget today, the now.

In just a few weeks, I’ll turn 26. Don’t worry, this isn’t a post about how very old I feel. I’ve just spent a lot of time reflecting on all the things I’ve put off into the future, and challenging why so many of them can’t be brought into the here and now. Last week we made cheese, which had long been on our list of when-we-have-a-big-kitchen-and-a-goat list, in our tiny, messy, crowded kitchen. And it was hot, and I got a bit grumpy, but in the end we had cheese. And it was delicious.

There are some things that belong on the future list. We can’t have a boat until we live near the ocean, can afford a boat, and have a place to put a boat. But making cheese? We can do that in our apartment. Which is why today I ordered the supplies I need to make creamy goat cheese. Because… what’s stopping me?

Strawberry & Fresh Cheese Tart

1 pint strawberries

1/2 cup creamy goats cheese

3 tbsps honey

Fresh lavender

Pie crust (half of this recipe here)

Roll out your pie dough and press it into a tart pan. Line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the bottom is cooked through. Remove from the oven, remove the beans. Lay a rack on top of the pie and flip, so the crust comes out of the tart. Then place a plate on the bottom of the crust and flip back over so the tart is sitting on its own. As you can see in the pictures, I sucked at this step.

Spread your cheese along the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle with lavender. Slice strawberries and fill. Drizzle with honey and serve.

 

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