Apple Pie

Fall is here, and it's apple picking season!   So, my family and I visited County Line Orchard and Radke's Orchard, in northwest Indiana, a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, though, it is slim pickings in the orchards this season.  There was a warm spring and then a late frost, which destroyed many orchards' crops.  So I need to make the most of the apples that we managed to pick.  First on my list, to put these apples to good use, is to make apple pie!  
Apple Pie
makes a 9-inch pie

pie dough
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 & 1/2 sticks of butter, diced
1/4 teaspoon of salt
about 1/4 cup of ice water

pie filling

about 9 medium sized apples
1/2 cup of craisins
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 tablespoon of lemon juice


1.  Combine, in a large bowl, the flour, butter, and salt either by using your hands or a pastry cutter.  Once the mixture becomes crumbly, incorporate the water.  Combine the flour mixture and water, by hand, until the dough holds together.  If the dough is still crumbly, add a bit more water accordingly.  Then divide the dough in half, form them into disks, wrap them in plastic wrap, and let them chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. 

2.  Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

3.  To make the pie filling, first peel, core, and slice the apples.  In a large bowl, combine the apples, craisins, sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and lemon juice.  Toss together until the apples are well coated.  Set this aside.

4.  Take out both disks of dough.  Lightly flour your rolling surface, and roll out one disk into a circle that will fit your pie pan.  Place the dough in the pie pan, and let whatever excess dough hang over the edges of the pan.  

5.  Pour the pie filling into the pie pan.

6.  Roll out the other disk of dough large enough to cover the top of your pie.  Then cover the pie with the dough.  Trim excess dough from the edges, crimp or pinch the edges, and cut a few slits into the top of the pie dough.  (For my pie, I opted to create a lattice design for the top and used a fork to crimp the edges.)

7.  Place the pie in the oven, and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the pie dough has turned  golden brown.  Remove the pie from the oven, and let it cool.  Then serve, eat, and enjoy!

P.S.  Keep a look out for my next project to make use of these apples.  Caramel apples are on their way!

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Spiral Tie Dye Tutorial


The past few weeks have been getting a bit busier, with getting back into the rhythm of school, so my posts have fallen a bit behind.  But this week, I have a tutorial on one of my favorite crafts: tie dying.  I've learned to do some of, what I consider, the more intricate designs, but my go-to folding technique is the simple and classic spiral.  So, here goes it: another tie dyed t-shirt to add to my never-ending tie dye collection! Enjoy!

What You'll Need

  • A white or gray t-shirt made from 100% natural fibers
  • A bucket that can hold at least 2 gallons of water
  • 2 gallons of  warm water
  • A long wooden or plastic spoon
  • A few garbage bags
  • A spray bottle filled with water
  • A tie dye kit ( or you can buy the following individually) that includes: 
      • Fuchsia, turquoise, and yellow dye in bottles
      • Soda ash
      • Rubber gloves
      • Rubber bands 

Making Your Spiral Tie Dye T-shirt

1.  Prepare your work place by laying out your unopened garbage bags.  Mix the dyes according to the kit's directions.  Then prepare the soda ash wash by mixing, with a long wooden or plastic spoon, 2 gallons of warm water with a packet of soda ash.

2.  Dampen your t-shirt using a spray bottle filled with water.  This will make the fabric pliable for the folding technique.

3.  To create a spiral tie dye,  begin by pinching the t-shirt in the area you would like the center of the spiral to be.  I typically choose the center of the shirt, but off-center spirals are great as well.  Then with the pinched center of the spiral, begin twisting, until the shirt begins to form into a circle.  Use your hands to guide the fabric and to make as neat of a circle as possible.

4.  Once you create the spiral, use the rubber bands to secure the t-shirt.  The rubber bands should create a cross section in the middle of the t-shirt, which will create pie shaped sections.  For this t-shirt I used 4 rubber bands to create 8 sections.

5.  Place the rubber banded t-shirt in the soda ash wash for twenty minutes.  After twenty minutes, ring the water out of the t-shirt.  Now we are ready to dye the fabric!

6.  First, put on those rubber gloves!  Now dye each section whatever color you wish.  Make sure, that when you dye one section, you flip the t-shirt over and dye the same section the same color.  Also use the dye bottle's tip to dig into the folds and crevices of the t-shirt to ensure the dye  reaches all of the material.  Continue to dye all of the pie sections.  P.S. Below is a cheat sheet that shows you how to combine the three primary colored dyes to create more colors.

7.  Once the dying process is complete, place the t-shirt in a plastic shopping bag or in a garbage bag.  Let it sit in the bag for about 24 hours so that the dye can set.  If you take the t-shirt out earlier, that is fine, but the colors may not be as vibrant. 

8.  Now it's time for that magic moment: seeing what you have created after waiting so long!  Take the t-shirt out of the bag, and place it into a sink.  Remove the rubber bands, and run the t-shirt under cold water.  Rinse the dye out until the water runs clear.  Then wash the t-shirt in a washing machine, with warm water and detergent.  Dry it and then wear it!


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