August 23, 2014

Civil War Peach Pie

Civil War Recipe I knew that pie baking was one of the challenges. I was dreading it. But as it came and went I felt secure in not doing it.

I'll do the next one, I convinced myself. Besides, why would anyone want to see my pie when there were REAL pies out there to drool over.

The truth is, the thought of making a pie is frightening. Terrifying. I don't make pies.

I look upon every pie recipe with incredulity. Every time I see a pie at a bake sale I assure myself that it's in a store bought crust. Sometimes when I'm sleeping, I dream of pie filling dripping down the walls like blood in a horror movie.

It all started with the first pie I ever made. My mom and I were bored. We decided we'd make a pie as practice for one that we wanted to make for Christmas.

We bought all of the ingredients and started in earnest. Barely following the recipe, we plopped all sorts of things in there we thought would be good. Flour flew as we rolled out our crust and rerolled our crust and mangled our crust back together. We put frankenpie in the oven, shrugged at each other, and set the temperature to whatever we thought sounded good. The smell of cinnamon and apples wafted to us for about an hour before we went to check on it.

The oven door creaked open. We peered in at our creation together.

It was beautiful! And it tasted like rainbows and fluffy clouds.

 So we tried to make it again for Christmas and instead of rainbow-cloud pie, we ended up with swamp pie. We gave up. I tried making other pies over the years since the first one and they've never turned out. If it wasn't burnt crust, it was mushy crust, or watery filling. I've gave up making pies but I'm not upset about it.

I am now convinced that the person who made up the saying of "easy as pie" was being sarcastic. There are even whole forums dedicated to pie troubleshooting. It's not me. It's pie.

But wait, you say. You've seen me with a million pies you say? Oh yes. 

That's all been a lot of sleight of hand, smoke and mirrors. I've held pies, I've made pie filling, I've helped make pies. But most of the time, I watch other people make pies. People are only too happy to make pies. 

I know what you are going to say. But what about the book?

Completely ghostwritten. In fact, I didn't even read it. :) 

Civil war recipe 
civil war recipe
civil war peach pie recipe

The Challenge: Pies and In season Fruits and Vegetables

The Recipe: 

civil war recipe

The Date/Year and Region:
1856, Philadelphia

How Did You Make It: 


- 1/2 Pound Butter
- 2 1/2 cups Flour


-Peaches, peeled, pitted and diced


Cut the cold  butter into cubes and add to the flour, rub the pieces of butter though your fingers until entirely flaky. Divide the dough in half.  Roll out one half of the dough on a floured surface using a floured rolling pin. Place the dough in the pie tin. Fill the pie crust with the peaches and add sugar to taste. Roll out the second crust and cover the pie. Crimp the edges together and put some holes in the top crust. Bake for 10 minutes in an oven preheated to 450. Turn the temperature down to 350 and bake until golden brown, around 45 minutes. 

Time to Complete:
About 1 hour.

Total Cost:
About $3.00

How Successful Was It?:
The crust was delicious. I definitely did not add enough sugar to the peaches. I was being conservative as I had never made it before.  I wish I had added some spices and more sugar to the filling and  a little sugar to the crust but was trying to keep as accurate as the recipe said. 

P.S. I'm fairly sure this pie only turned out because of spite. :)

August 18, 2014

Middletown Peach Festival 2014

I just got back from the 21st Middletown Olde-Tyme Peach Festival, hosted by the Middletown Historical society in Delaware. The festival includes a parade, car show, live music, pie baking contest and more.

Middletown Peach Festival

The living history part is hosted by the Victorians of Virtue and Valor and is set up in front of the Historical Society. With the Victorians of Virtue and Valor, visitors played with Civil War period games, learned about soldier life and how those at home supported the war effort. Visitors also wrote letters to modern wounded soldiers.

It was a fun day, we had great weather and very interested visitors.

Middletown Peach FestivalMiddletown Peach Festival
Middletown Peach Festival
Middletown Peach Festival

Middletown Peach Festival
Middletown Peach Festival
Middletown Peach Festival
Middletown Peach Festival
Middletown Peach Festival

August 13, 2014

Timeline Event 2014 at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation

Last weekend I went to my first timeline event which was held at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation. Timeline events were never attractive to me because it seemed like more of a joke, like it was the answer to sarcastic reenactor comments about how all of the reenactors from different time periods should fight each other.

Timeline Reenactment Colonial Plantation 2014

I was pleasantly surprised that this type of event doesn't trivialize the time periods but instead offers spectators a little something of everything. It's interesting to see groups from each time period and make comparisons between them. This type of event also really lent itself to specialty impressions that are normally out of place at time-and-place-specific event, opening up educational value to people who normally see and hear about the same thing at each event. I also liked that unlike at a time specific event where half of the people present are reenactors and half are spectators with a clear divide, at a timeline event the modern spectators almost seem like the final addition to the display, bringing the past into the present.  

The weather was fantastic, it was spring weather with a cool breeze. It was the perfect day to be outside. For those of you who have never been to the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, it is truly a place stopped in time.  

Timeline Reenactment Colonial Plantation 2014
Timeline Reenactment Colonial Plantation 2014

Demonstrating the sharpness of their swords.

Timeline Reenactment Colonial Plantation 2014
Timeline Reenactment Colonial Plantation 2014
Timeline Reenactment Colonial Plantation 2014
Timeline Reenactment Colonial Plantation 2014
Timeline Reenactment Colonial Plantation 2014

I didn't get to move around and take photos of everything because I was helping cook a meal in the farmhouse kitchen as well as learning to milk a cow. Surprisingly this was my first time.

Timeline Reenactment Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation 2014
Timeline Reenactment Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation 2014
Timeline Reenactment Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation 2014
The corn at the farm has gotten so big! If you know Jeff, you know he's about 6' 4". You can read his description of the event here.

It was great getting to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a while as well as see some new faces at the farm.

Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party: Post # 26

This is my favorite time of year but it is going by so fast. I always like how after the main rush at the beginning of fall there was a lull. I feel like I am missing the lull as I am swooped up in all these new transitions. I am hoping to get these posts back on track soon. 



Milk accident in the spring house.


Pumpkin, banana, cranberry cornbread. Surprisingly delicious.


It's finally berry picking season!


Saw a fishing spider at work. I've seen one of these once before and no one believed me about how big it was. I'm afraid of spiders but just had to catch a photo of this one. They eat small bugs and fish.



Stormy night. 


Learning to dye cloth using madder root. It looked red in the pot but dyed the fabric a nice pink.


 Part of the Native American feast cooked for summer camp.


Andy made dinner. Pesto and angel hair pasta.

August 4, 2014

Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party: Post 25

Yet again another very late post. However, I have great news. I got a new job! The transition has been keeping me very busy but I am very glad for the change.This post is missing some images. If I find the time, I may go back and track them down. I've been so busy with the new job transition.


I'm taking the deep clean very seriously.


When you find 9 month old cannoli in the freezer.


What's a Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Post without a few tree photos?


My friend decided to try making some stinging nettle dye. She needed more nettle than she put in so it stayed rather pale.


The dog likes to make his own beds out of pillows when no one is home, much to my dismay.


Tons of dishes to be done.


Made a pudding finally. I've been meaning to try it but always thought I'd mess it up.

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