Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Sweetheart

No, that is not TJ, but isn't it amazing, the resemblance? That is a picture of Sweetheart at around age 2. Today he turns one year older.
Happy Birthday Sweetheart.
Since he is working all day today (12 hours) we celebrated yesterday. Bud and Rachel came over for a late lunch/early dinner. Sweetheart spent ALL day cleaning out my van. I mean DEEP cleaning. He took out all the seats and shampooed the carpets. They look brand new. I am gonna share a little secret with you...shhhh, you can't tell anyone I told you. When you trade in a car that has horrible stains on the carpeting that you know will not come out with a good shampooing, the detailer makes it like NEW. How?? Spray paint. Yep. Spray paint. I was very sceptical but Sweetheart assured me it works...he runs a car dealership...and you know what?? I can not tell where he painted. It works great.Of course, I wouldn't try this on HUGE stains (though I think detailers do this), but on the few stubborn ones in my van, it covered wonderfully.Since it was Memorial Day and we were celebrating Sweetheart's birthday, I decided to make him a pie. What is more American than pie?? Apple would have been great, but cherry is his all time favorite. I found the perfect recipe, and started making the crust. I am without a Kitchen Aide, so I used muscle....it worked just fine.Then I followed the recipe for the cherry filling. It all came together perfectly.I baked it for the exact right amount of time...It was beautiful. Now let me tell you that crust is the BEST I have ever had!! BY FAR! and the filling tasted wonderful too, BUUUUT (you knew there would be a but), it was pretty running. It never firmed all the way up. I must have done something wrong along the way. The taste was no different and since it was just family, I did not suffer any shame. I will definitely use that pie crust recipe and practice on different fillings. That same post has a peach pie recipe that looks great. How's that sound Niki? I promise I will practice first. I am so excited...I get to meet Niki in about 6 weeks!!! Anyway, back to the cherry soup pie (really it was not that bad) I will backtrack and figure out what I did or didn't do that made it wrong. I am wondering if I misunderstood the tapioca instructions....does the tapioca go on the bottom of the pie crust only, or do you put some in the actual filling? Hmmmm. I WILL perfect the fruit pie!!TJ spent a huge chunk of his day banging the same nail in the same hole over and over again. I love this picture of the 3 boys. TJ still pounding that same nail, saying "I'm building a wall!", and Bud helping Zach find something. Just before my grown kids got here yesterday, Zach asked if they could run in the sprinkler with the kids next door. I told him no because TJ was on his way. Zach ran out the door yelling "We can't right now cause our Grandson is coming!" He refers to TJ as his grandson all the time!Charlotte got the building bug too. She fashioned the letters TJ out of wood using scrap wood and a hammer and nails. Kyle spent alot of his day playing basketball with friends down the street and working on re organizing his DVD's or CD's...I'm not sure which ones. Sweetheart and Bud worked on the hydraulic piece that keeps the hatch on the back of their van from falling shut. They were able to fix it which will help immensely when Rachel is loading and unloading groceries. Forever, it has taken 2 people. One to hold the hatch open (it is heavy!) and one to load/unload. She usually uses the side door. What a pain. Well it is fixed!! I think Sweetheart would do just about anything for that girl....she keeps him in grape soda. I never buy it for him, but she brings it to him. She brought him FOUR 2 liter bottles yesterday! Yep...he will take care of his supplier! I hope you had a peace-filled, family-filled, memory-filled Memorial Day!


Copper's Wife said...

Wow, so much good stuff in one post!! I love that you made your husband a cherry pie because it's his favorite (rather than the apple pie that seemed more in keeping with the holiday). I love that Zach calls TJ "our grandson". That's just precious. I love the way that your guys worked together, whether pounding that same nail over and over or fixing the hatch on Rachel's car. And I LOVE that she has a special something that is just between her and her father-in-law -- Grape Soda. I think that is very, very special and speaks volumes of their relationship. And is it possible to be thrilled for you and Niki and still a bit jealous at the same time???? I'm pondering that one......

Happy Birthday to your husband, too!

Mrs. C said...

The pie looks delicious! I'll take mine with a dallop of vanilla ice cream, please. :)

Honest to Ya~Ya said...

Happy Birthday to Sweetheart!

I recently made a strawberry/rhubarb pie and I also did the lattice crust...it overflowed a wee bit into my oven and I now need to clean said over...sigh...any hints on how to do that an easy way??

Have a great day!☺

Niki RuralWritings said...

Are you SERIOUS.....SPRAY PAINT????Oh my word!!!!!!!!!!!! and it works????? I am checking out your van, girl, in about 6 weeks (YIPEE) time... and I love all pies and runny doesn't matter any at all!!! Happy Birthday to your sweetheart of a man!

PS - doesn't "she" sprinkle tapioca over the crust bottom first? She being the lady over at
warm pie happy home...would that help?

Sarah Dee said...

Wow! TJ looks almost exactly like your husband did when he was little! Don't you just love that?! Your pie turned out so well... it looked beautiful! Who cares if it was soupy... I'll bet it still ate the same! I am glad you had a wonderful day with your family!

Ruthann said...

Hi Bren! your pie looks wonderful! great job!! Okay, yes you should put the 3 tablespoons of tapioca in the filling plus the 1/4 cup corn starch. sorry about not being clear on the recipe. The layer of tapioca on bottom of crust is in addition to the 3 tablespoons. For any fruit pie I always put tapioca on the bottom and that is not counting the amount that is put in the filling. The other thing that is soooooo important is to make sure the juices are bubbling thick and slow not liquid-y, or else the pie will be runny. Even if you have to bake it longer than an hour. But I think the problem here was that the tapioca was not in the filling. and that is my fault! sorry! I am glad you like the crust! If you ever get a runny pie again you can serve it in a bowl and top it with ice-cream that way the pie acts as a fruit topping (even though it is on the bottom). Do not give up, it does take practice. Actually the hard part is the crust and you did a gorgeous job!!! I am so proud of you!!!
Love, Ruthann

Lindah said...

Hi Bren
What a lovely family day together!
Happy Birthday to your DH! Your pie looks beautiful--as my mother used to quote her mother...it looks good enough to eat! :-) Birthday pie is the preference now that my family is all grown up...strawberry-rhubarb, peanut butter and cherry. I have never had success with tapioca in my fruit pies, mainly because I don't like to cook them that long. I use flour or cornstarch, depending on the pie. But as someone else said, serve it topped with ice cream and spoon the juices over. Gourmet fare!