Friday, June 29, 2012

Not a Pie Post...but Vinegar Rolls from pie crust....

Again it's been awhile since I've blogged.  Life just gets busy, you know?  A fast update on FB seems to be my fly by night pattern of late. :) 

But yesterday, I made something blog worthy.  Plus, my friend Pannie, who is also a dear sweet member of my family, asked if I was going to blog about the nine pies I baked yesterday.

Yes, it was 90+ degrees out.  Yes,  I baked nine pies. No, I am not insane.  :)

Sure, I could talk about those 9 pies, and the delicious, flaky crust that we make.  Truth is, I don't want to.

Why?   Well, because there are some things that just need to stay - well, untold.   Like how I make my pie crusts. :)  Or, to be more truthful, how my 13 yr DD makes the crust.  I taught her how to mix just the right amount of ingredients to create, what we feel is anyway, a perfect crust. 

So if now you're hankering for a pie, I can tell you the easiest, simplest way - wander down the dairy aisle and find some pre-made dough in the cooler section or sometimes in the freezer section.  I don't REALLY recommend this, as it doesn't compare to a truly made from scratch crust, but for now, that's the only crust help/hints you're getting from me. :)

But, if like me, you already make your crusts from scratch, then you may end up with left over trims from assembling those 9 pies.  

This pic is was A LOT of left over pie crust.

Now, some people would maybe throw that left over pie crust out, but it seems like such a waste.  A quick phone  call to my mom, and I had the makings for a delicious treat that I remember eating on special occassions as a kid.

And it totally warrants creating pie crust JUST for this treat!  Or, at the very least, store crust?

First, in a sauce pan, you are going to combine 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, and 1-2 cups of water, depending on how strong you want the vinegar to be.

Let this cook over a medium/low heat. Meanwhile....

Roll out your extra crust.  I had to divide my left overs into 3 separate sections to roll it out (which means left overs were probably enough for more pies....but I was out of pie pans...)

Dot with butter.....

Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and flour..

Next, roll it up! (you totally knew that was coming, right?!)

Cut into slices - I like thick rolls, so I cut mine a bit on the thick side, but you can make them thinner. Whatever floats your roll desires! :)

Now, my mom said to use 2 round cake pans...wouldn't you know, this gal who bakes a lot, doesn't own 2 round cake pans?!  I thought I had at least ONE round cake pan, but we searched high and low and couldn't find it.  I used this heart shaped pan....

After you get as many rolls as you can fit in your pan, remove your sauce mix that's been cooking down, and carefully pour over the top of the rolls.

Pop them in a 350 degree oven and bake until Golden brown, or to desired doneness. I think I baked mine for about 20-25 minutes. My husband said they were a little "under cooked" for his liking, but he still ate two or three. ;)  I thought they came out perfect!

So there ya have it, Vinegar Rolls!  I do believe my mom made these for our breakfast every year on either Thanksgiving or Christmas, or maybe both.  I just remember they were delicious, and tart and made for a great breakfast!

Now that you know what to do with that extra pie crust, I'm off to start yet another day of, cookies!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Liquid Gold

First jar of honey from our bees.
Isn't that a beautiful jar of Liquid Gold???  AKA, Fresh Honey?!

When we started on this journey to liquid gold a year ago, we could hardly wait for that first honey harvest!  Now that it's here, I was faced with how to extract all that sweet deliciousness that I risked a thousand stings for (thankfully, no stinging was involved yesterday!).

Readers, google is your friend.  I simple googled "how to extract honey without an extractor" and I found Linda's Bees, a blog my dear friend keljonma had first introduced me to!  She has LOADS of great information in her over 1000 blog posts on bee keeping!

After watching her neat video on the crush and strain method of extracting honey, I had 2 thoughts 1) I don't have a pestle and 2) I don't have a bucket like hers!

What I DID have, which was a total impulse buy on my part, was the honey strainer! $6 at the local beek supply.  I have no idea why I insisted on buying it at the time, but I think God knew I'd need it.
Honey comb in glass bowl, before crushing.

Pampered Chef gadget used to for crushing...

Crushed up and ready to go to the strainer...
I also had a glass bowl, and this nifty kitchen gadget from Pampered Chef that was a Christmas gift from my BFF.  Not sure what the actual name of it is, but I'll call it a masher!  I use it for almost EVERYTHING, and I think there's defnitely a need for 2 or 3 more of them in my kitchen! :)

So after I got the comb all crushed up, I used a spatula to shove it into the strainer. Ok, shove may not be the best word, but you know what I mean ;)
using a spatula...

I pushed it all into the strainer...

draining into the glass bowl underneath...
My glass bowl sat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, to help keep the mess contained/limited. Everything was pretty sticky.

At this point, it was near midnight, so I covered the strainer with plastic wrap and went to bed.

This morning, this is what the honey comb looked like.  

I spooned all the left over comb into a freezer bag to store for later use.

This is 2 cups of honey.  I used a measuring cup to pour the honey into 8 ounce jelly jars.

And there you have it, a fresh, delicious jar of Liquid Gold

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Buzzness

Well, it had been awhile since we had checked the hives.   The new hive we haven't really opened up and bothered them, especially since we usually only check the hives monthly, not weekly.  

The second hive was lacking an inner cover, so we had cheated a bit, just to get them through until we picked one up. 

So today, when we went out there armed with our inner cover to put on the hive, this is what it looked like....

All of that is brood and honey built in the top of the lid.  We put all of it in a bowl on top of the hive, to let the bees clean it up.

After we finished with the second hive, we moved to the first hive.  This hive had issues of its own, considering when I purchased and set up the Medium Super, the place I buy my beek supplies only had 5 frames in stock.  They needed the space, so I made the decision to go ahead and put the medium super and five frames on the two deep hive bodies, and hope that my supplier got more frames in soon.

Well, they didn't get their frames in fast enough, but they finally did. So we ran right over and picked those up.  This is what we faced when we opened the first hive....
Inside medium super....

Inner cover....
So we worked diligently on getting that all cleaned up, put in the five new frames and this is what we ended up with ....

That's my largest stock pot I own, fileld with comb and honey. We weighed it, and it weighed in at 17.4 lbs.  That's not counting the large burr comb (just like the one on top there) that was still covered in bees that I left in another bucket, so that the bees could get out or clean it up.

Now I've got to figure out how I'm going to crush and filter the honey, finish up my fry pies for tomorrow, and still walk 2 miles tonight.

Happy Thursday everyone!