This year, we celebrated the Fourth of July in style. It was the first time in over 10 years that our award winning Spirit of America Band was able to participate in our hometown parade in Orleans, Massachusetts. It was a day marked with patriotism and pride, and one to remember all of our loved ones that have sacrificed so much for the great freedom we have today. Like most families across America, we concluded the day with fireworks and “All American” cookout topped off with these magnificent Stars and Stripes Pies.
I am reminded of a beautiful prayer that Billy Graham offered to this Nation – may we pray it together for the future of America:
“Our Father and Our God, we praise You for Your goodness to our nation, giving us blessings far beyond what we deserve. Yet we know all is not right with America. We deeply need a moral and spiritual renewal to help us meet the many problems we face. Convict us of sin. Help us to turn to You in repentance and faith. Set our feet on the path of Your righteousness and peace. We pray today for our nation’s leaders. Give them the wisdom to know what is right, and the courage to do it. You have said, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” May this be a new era for America, as we humble ourselves and acknowledge You alone as our Savior and Lord. This we pray in Your holy name, Amen. “
All American "Stars and Stripes" Pie
To Prepare Crust:
- 1. Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix.
- 2. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball.
- 3. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Divide the dough in half. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Assembling the Pie:
- 4. Roll out both pie crusts. Press one into the bottom of the pie pan – leaving an overhang for your crust (you will finish this off at the end). Reserve the second pie crust (keep covered w/ a sheet of plastic)
- 5. Fold aluminum foil strip into 90 degree angle wedge to fill 1/4 of the pie and place in pie shell
- 6. Fill the 1/4 area with the uncooked blueberry filling
- 7. Fill the rest of pie with strawberry rhubarb filling
- 8. Remove foil
- 9. Dot fruit filling with about 6-8 small chunks of butter (about ½ Tbsp each)
- 10. Using the reserved pie crust, take a pizza cutter and a ruler and cut three full length 1" stripes and two half length 1" stripes out of your dough. Use the remaining dough to cut your stars (we used a sharp knife or you can use a cookie cutter). Place the stars and stripes on top of the fruit, as seen in the picture, being sure to press the ends of the stripes into the bottom crust.
- 11. With your fingers, pinch crust to create a nice ruffled edge.
- 12. Brush the entire crust with egg wash and a sprinkling of sugar
- 13. Bake at 325 for about an hour and 15 min. or until crust is golden and fruit is bubbling
- Cool slightly and enjoy with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!
I never cease to be amazed at the number of Sisters who love to bake bread or want to learn how. It always results in a most satisfying experience for all, both those who make it and those who eat it. So we bake and serve a wide variety of breads for the convent and for our guests. But like every other category of foods, there are always some that have more appeal than others and become old standbys. This is the case with our SAVORY dill bread , which is a favorite all year round, but especially at this time of year when fresh dill is flourishing in our herb garden.
This is a flavorful soft textured dough that can be formed into loaves for slicing or various shaped rolls to accompany salads or dinners. Whatever shape they are baked into they are sure to please.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dissolve yeast in warm water; add milk, sugar, onion, dill, salt, eggs, shortening or margarine, and 6 cups of flour. Mix well.
- Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic.
- Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
- Punch down and form into rolls or loaves. Place on a greased pan and let rise until doubled in bulk.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes for rolls or 20-25 minutes for loaves.
Today was a beautiful day – it was warm and smelled like spring – do you know what I mean? The daffodils in the orchard had opened up, along with the grape hyacinths. Lots of buds on the apple, peach, pear, plum and nectarine trees. I just love all that new life waiting to burst forth!
There is nothing like a good cookie, don’t you agree? We serve a lot of them here – for tours and receptions, coffee hours, lunch desserts, to name a few; so I have found the recipes that work well in quantity and that I really like. And actually a lot of other people really like them, too. I have a weakness for white chocolate. I love other chocolate, too, but I really like white chocolate – and yes I know it’s not really even chocolate, but I do really like it! Anyway, I thought that it would be a great companion to cranberries – which are so Cape Cod – and pecans, so I started experimenting with recipes that would stand up to that threesome. Here is the result:
White Chocolate Cranberry Pecan Cookie
- Combine sugars, butter, shortening, salt, baking soda; cream together.
- Add eggs slowly.
- Add flour.
- Mix until just combined; do not over mix.
- Add white chocolate chips, cranberries and nuts, mix just enough to combine.
- Drop by large tablespoonfuls ( I use a #40 ice cream scoop) onto a parchment lined or greased pan.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.
This year Palm Sunday was a bright day, and even though it was cold, it felt like a promise of things to come. Everything about this week points to Easter. As I write this, we are beginning the Triduum, the three holy days before Resurrection Sunday, and some of the most special services of the year. Often we celebrate Maundy Thursday with a meal of lamb, pita bread, bitter herbs (endive). Good Friday we usually have hot cross buns together as a community after the Lauds service, and then later that night, the convent has a “Lenten meal”: home made bread, cheese, honey, eggs. It’s amazing how food is so integral to our holiday gatherings. I love Easter breakfast — with egg dishes, french toast, fruit, and everyone’s favorite — orange rolls. We began making these several years ago in an effort to use up a generous donation of candied orange rind, and they were a hit — the citrus taste makes me think of spring!
For roll dough:
- Boil 1 cup of water in saucepan and set off stove.
- Add butter and shortening and stir until melted.
- Add sugar and salt.
- Cool to lukewarm.
- In a large bowl put 1 cup of warm water, add yeast and stir to dissolve.
- Add butter – shortening mixture and eggs to yeast mixture and mix.
- Thoroughly mix in flour. This is a very soft dough.
- Cover and let stand 2 hours.
- Place sugar and peel or rind in food processor, and mix for about 20 seconds.
- Roll dough out on flour covered surface to make a rectangle about 15″ by 26″.
- Spread the butter all over the dough, and then cover generously with the sugar mixture.
- Roll up rectangle like a jelly roll.
- Cut into 1 inch slices.
- Place rolls into greased pans (9″ round pans, or muffin tins, square pans, or rectangular.) You will have roughly 24 rolls.
- Let rise about 1/2 hour or until puffy. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.
- Combine above and drizzle over rolls to glaze.