observations, ideas and inspiration... from my pennsylvania home, garden, kitchen, and studio

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas in the Country at 1824 Walker Farmhouse

Oh I'm so late in posting these.  After the show I had EVERYTHING to do for Christmas at home.  I have a Christmas bucket list, as my nephew Antonio calls it.  Cookie baking day, shopping, making gingerbread houses, decorating, The Nutcracker....you get the picture.

I've been posting photo's on facebook via instagram of these things and many more. I have to say Instagram has really kept me connected this year because I can take a quick picture and link it to facebook.  (See my "more" tab above for all those external links.)

We had a great time at 1824's Christmas in the Country open house.  Even with a major snow/ice storm the first night, that didn't stop more than 50 cars from coming to our little open house.

The top picture is of the 1824 Walker Farmhouse. It was moved to it's existing location back in 2007.  It was then restored and opened to the public in October 2012.

Janice from The Garden Shed was set up in the basement of the Walker House for Christmas selling her beautiful naturals and having classes on wreath making.  So much fun!
I bought this pretty wreath from Janice!

Around back is where you enter the 1824 Walker Farmhouse.

Inside Audrey had many wonderful early, primitive, and nostalgic antiques.

She started a new venture this year with her own candle line.  They are delightful!!

Audrey and me taking a break :)

I also had my handmades in the 1824 Walker House.

When you leave here you head on over to the barn where you will find an antique co-op shop.

Denise and Melinda from Sister's Three and Me, and Darlene from Red Rabbit Antiques share this spot.  So talented are these ladies!

I shouldn't forget the infamous Henry James who sometimes greets the customers.

I loved this Christmas decorated table with church pews from Sister's Three and Me

 more from Sister's Three and Me

Lovely ladies, Denise and Audrey.

 And a few pretty things from Red Rabbit Antiques....

David, Audrey's husband also talented blacksmith had many wonderful pieces available.

As always it was a joy!!  Many thank you's to all of our sweet customers, who feel more like friends and family to us.  We love you all from the bottom of our hearts.
As another year comes to a close, all of us at the 1824 Walker Farmhouse wish you and your families a very merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2014.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The BEST Cherry Pie in the World

....according to my sister-in-law Anne, that is.

I'm posting this one because I love making this pie.  It's fun because of the lattice top.  I think some are afraid to make a lattice top.   I don't know how others make theirs but mine is easy and involves the freezer. 

As you can see, I'm not that great at making a pretty lattice pie.  I make a very "rustic" crust, ie. your Grandma would not approve.  My desserts never look bakery quality.  I guess I make primitives in more ways than one.

Lattice-Top Cherry Pie

1 recipe Pie Dough for double crusts, split in two balls and refrigerated.
Flour for dusting
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1 1/4 Cups plus 1 TBSP Sugar
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch Salt
3 (24-ounce) jars Morello cherries, drained.  I used Trader Joe's.  Another good one is from Oregon Fruit Products.  OR if you have access to fresh sour cherries, you need about 6 cups, pitted and drained.
1/4 tsp almond extract

Remove the dough from refrigerator.  Roll into a 15 by 11 inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick; transfer doughto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  With a knife or pizza wheel, trim the long sides of the rectangle to make them straight, then cut the rectangle lengthwise into 8 strips 15 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide.  Freeze the strips on the baking sheet until firm, about 30 minutes.

Roll the other piece of dough on a lightly floured work surface or between two pieces of wax paper (I use this) into a 12 inch circle.  Transfer and press the dough into a 9 inch pie pan.  Leave the dough that overhangs there and refrigerate.

Remove the dough strips from the freezer.  Make sure they are not to stiff, if they are let them sit for a minute until workable.  Lay 4 of the strips on a piece of parchment.  Fold the first and third strip back, then place a long strip of dough slightly to the right of the center.  Unfold the first and third strip over the perpendicular strip and fold back the second and fourth strip.  Add a second perpendicular strip.  Now unfold the second and fourth strips.  Repeat this with 2 more perpendicular strips (you will have a total of 8 strips of dough, 4 running in each direction).  Freeze the finished lattice until very firm about 15 minutes. 

Adjust the oven rack to lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on it, and heat to 500 degrees.

Mix together the cornstarch, 1 - 1 1/4 cups sugar (taste fruit and add amount desired), cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in the cherries and almond extract.

Turn cherry mixture into the dough-lined pie plate.  Remove the lattice from freezer and place on top of the filled pie. Trim the excess lattice ends, fold the rim of the shell up over the lattice strips, and crimp.  Lightly brush the lattice top with 1 tablespoon water and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon sugar.

Lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Place the pie on the baking sheet and bake until the crust is set and begins to brown, 25 - 30 minutes.  Rotate the pie and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue baking until the crust is deep golden brown and the juices bubble, 25 - 30 minutes longer.  Cool the pie on wire rack for at least 2 hours before serving.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Website Update Coming Tomorrow

8th Annual
"Merry Little Country Christmas"
Website Update
December 9, 2013, 7:00 p.m. est

Nothing like waiting until the very last minute to post this.  When I looked at my calendar earlier, I realized this is the only day I have open or it would be too close to Christmas.  I sure am missing that extra week we sometimes have in between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year...I could use it!! 

Hope you can stop by.   www.rabbithillprimitives.com

Have a wonderful evening! 

Warm hugs ~ Jenn

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Pie's in the Bag

Yep!  In a bag. This is really my absolute favorite pie to bake and to eat.  I can't even tell you how much I love it. 

This pie recipe came from my sister-in-laws mom, Jeannie. 

Here she is....

We all love her and its not just because of her great recipes.

I just looked up this recipe for you, she gave it to me in 1996! 
Could I even use an oven at that age???


On with the pie.

You bake it in the bag and it's magical when it's done.

This recipe is actually for an Apple Cranberry Pie but I forgot to buy cranberries so your just looking at an apple pie.  I was too lazy busy to run back to the store. 

I always make this for Christmas.  It's so pretty, I will definitely share another picture when that time rolls around.

Have the best day ever!!
Jenn xo


Apple-Cranberry Pie...in a bag

6 Cups Tart Apples, peeled and sliced small
1 Cup Cranberries
1 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 1/2 TBSP Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 TBSP Lemon Juice (Did you know that the lemon juice helps soften the apples when baking?)
1 Pie Crust ~ unbaked and pressed in pie tin.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all of the ingredients and place in pie pan.  Place in fridge while you make topping.

1/2 Cup Cold Butter
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup White Sugar

Mix flour and sugar together with fork.  Cut butter into this mixture until crumbly looking.

Take pie from fridge and spoon topping over pie.
Tuck pie in a brown paper bag.  Paper clip bag shut.  Spritz bag with water.  Place the pie on a cookie sheet because it always drips over and who has time to clean their oven at Christmas?

Put in preheated oven being careful that sides of bag do not touch oven.

Bake 1 hour.  When done, you cut it out of the bag.

It's just like a little present.

 I still get excited after all these years!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Life is short. Eat Pie!

Let me ask you this....

Does your family have a favorite pie for Thanksgiving?

There are eight of us at my parents house and we will have a total of 5 pies!

We must all have our favorite or it wouldn't be Thanksgiving. (Should I mention that we have a 25 pound Turkey also?  It's just like that with us.)

Starting this week, I'm going to have a little series of favorite pies for the holidays.  I'll be blogging about one pie a week on Wednesdays until Christmas.


Since this is the day before Thanksgiving, and you probably already know what you are bringing, I thought I would post an easy pie using ingredients you are most likely to have in your kitchen.  You can make this pie in about an hour, including the homemade crust.

The first recipe I want to share is my mom's egg custard pie.  It is one of my very favorites. 

She has been making this every Thanksgiving and Christmas since I was a little girl.  I'm pretty sure she got the recipe from my grandma but I can only remember mom making it, and that makes it hers! 

So how many pies are you going to have at your table??

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Love & hugs ~

Mom's Egg Custard Pie

1- 9" unbaked pie crust (see recipe below*)
3 eggs, beaten
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup White Sugar
pinch of Salt
pinch of Nutmeg (can use cinnamon if you don't have this.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, sugar,and salt. Stir well until sugar is dissolved, then blend in milk.

Line your pie pan with the pie crust and pinch the sides.  I've read that you can brush the inside bottom and sides with an egg white to help prevent the crust getting soggy, but I've never done that.

Pour custard mixture into pie crust.  Sprinkle a very tiny amount of nutmeg just in the middle.  It will spread as it bakes.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on rack.

I am also including mom's pie crust.  It is the easiest crust to make and work with.  It always turns out good.

3/4 Cup plus 1 TBSP Shortening
1/2 Cup Boiling Water
1 TBSP Milk

Whip shortening and water with a fork until smooth and creamy, then add the milk.

Mix together 2 1/2 cups flour and 1 tsp salt.  Add to shortening mixture.  Mix until it clumps up.

Roll out either on a floured surface or between two sheets of wax paper.  This makes 2 pie crusts.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Little update tonight ~ in 2 minutes....

Nothing like cutting it close.  I just got home from two basketball games my daughter was cheering at, grabbed a quick snack and here I am finally telling you about the update.  I've been busy getting ready and making lots of things for "Christmas in the Country" at the 1824 Walker Farmhouse shoppe (12/6 & 12/7).  This update is just a small sampling for Christmas. I am working on much more for the show and also for a nicer update in December. Also will have a few pretty antiques for sale then.  So if you get a chance, stop by my website at www.rabbithillprimitives.com

Waiting their turn for pictures!

We also adopted a new kitty ~ Iris.  She's a sweetie pie.
We still have Ole' Lady Kitty, Hannah.  She'll be 18 this year.  She's a sweetie pie too!

Speaking of pies....next week is pie week!  I'll be posting some of my favorites on here for Thanksgiving.  Have a great weekend and thank you always!!
xxoo Jenn

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fall Decorating Part 2 ~ Living Room

My living room has very simple changes that make it feel a little more seasonal.  

Using natural things is mostly how I decorate.  

I like a mixture of vintage, organic, farmhouse, and anything pretty ~ that's what makes me happy :)


My color palette in the living room was inspired by the Dogwood Tree....whites, greens and browns.

Our fireplace was so ugly when we moved in.  Dino and I chipped it down to these bricks the first week.  We had intended to refinish it but I sort of liked it this way. 

I did not get as many hydrangea's as I would have liked this year thanks to the deer snacking on them all summer.

Brown transferware is my favorite color ....especially any with a little bird or two (or three!).

This chair was a Christmas present from Dino one year. I love the cherries on it's pressed back ~ so different!

My mom hates these pillows, but they reminded me of lettuce so too bad mom :) 

Another pretty pillow from Home Goods.  I have a problem love with pillows.

  My knitting chair ~ someday I will finish that shawl on top of the basket.

This is an old watercolor painting I found for $3.00.  See the little sheep? I want to live there.

I actually made myself something this year ~ brown pumpkins from old velvet.  Don't you just love the stem on the left? 

 Some things just make me so happy.  Doesn't this look just like a nesting goose.  A treasure!

I hope you enjoyed my house.  Have a great day and thank you always for visiting.
xxoo Jenn

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