Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rain, Rain, Go Away.

The weather has not cooperated for the first week of summer vacation.  I thought it was only a weekend down, rainstorms followed by the return of our warm summer weather.  Nope.  Instead it cooled down more and the rain has been pouring over our valley.  Yesterday I was starting to get bummed out by it.  Cooped up for the third day in a row wishing for sunshine.  This is why we didn't live in Portland long, I need my sunshine!  Finally today the chill left and although the clouds are still lingering, things are looking up.  This is good because I think we exhausted our rainy day activities this week.  Things like taking puddle walks in the rain...

Going to the library with cousins and everyone else in town escaping the weather...

And staying home to make forts and bake a cherry pie...

I had to put a photo of the pie in because I make notoriously ugly pies.  They usually taste good, but my crusts are hit and miss.  I think this one turned out because I had a cheering section of two little girls telling me I could do it.  

Needless to say, when the rain stopped today and the sun peeked out it didn't take us long to drop what we were doing, grab our bikes and basketball and head to the nearest park.  And then later this afternoon take further advantage with a hike.

We were so happy to see the blue sky return . The dark clouds mixing with the fluffy white ones set off by the snow capped mountains and bright blue sky made my heart lift after days of questioning why we live in a town where it's this cold in June.  Montana is such a tease with those couple weeks of 70 and 80-degree weather and then bam, 50-degrees and the heat back on.  I mean, come ON!  We only get a few months as it is, you've got to give us all of June.  

Anyways...back to enjoying the sun when we got it this week.  We did get out with cousins for more than the library.  A quick trek up Peet's Hill to get some energy out.  It was quick because number 1-it was cold.  And, number 2-there was a sign of a mountain lion spotting on the trail.  We stuck together and tried to appear big.  With this crew, it's not too hard...

The girls and I are settling nicely into summer.  Things have slowed down and after the past couple weeks, I am grateful for this shift.  This morning, as Matt was leaving for work he commented he is jealous of us on days like this.  I get it.  I feel so fortunate for the flexibility I get in my job to spend the majority of the summer with the girls.  However, I remember many days feeling so jealous of him getting to leave in the morning to go interact with adults.  To have a reason to take a shower and put on clean clothes.  Those days were tough.  Knowing I had 9 hours until he returned and those hours would be filled with a baby needing to be fed and changed every couple of hours or a very needy toddler.  And the crying.  And the trying desperately to get them down for a nap at the same time to get a moments peace and quiet.  I treasure that I got to be the one to take care of my babies, but there were certainly days I was crazy jealous that Matt got to go out in the real world.  Those were the tough years and now I get rewarded with awesome girls to adventure with...

And speaking of awesomeness-fresh vegetables from the farmers market give fresh inspiration for summer cooking.

This is my absolute favorite time of year to cook.  It is when cooking fresh and local is as easy as shopping in our own backyard.  Breakfast has been consisting of kale smoothies and Matt cuts the kale moments before I whip them up.  I love it.

So, the rain has been a bummer but I know warm weather will return.  Hopefully sooner than later because I have the itch to go camping this weekend.  And with every rainstorm you get a rainbow, right?

And sometimes a double.  

Happy Thursday!

Cherry Pie Recipe
Butter Pie Crust (I like a butter crust over one with shortening so this is the one I use)
-2 sticks of cold butter, cut into cubes
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp sugar
-2 1/2 cups flour
-10-12 tbls of ice cold water
In a food processor or large bowl combine the salt, sugar and flour.  Add half the butter and pulse a few times (or with a pastry blender to cut it in)  Add the remainder and do the same.  One tablespoon at a time, add water and pulse around 10-seconds after each addition.  Continue adding until you can pinch some of the dough together and it sticks.  It will be crumbly.  Divide in half onto two pieces of plastic or parchment paper and shape into two discs...refridgerate for a hour.

Pie Filling
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
6 cups sour cherries, pitted
1/4 tsp almond or vanilla extract
Mix the dry ingrediants and then gently toss the cherries in to coat.  Let sit for about 15 minutes.  I had to drain some of the liquid.

Rollout the first disc of dough and place in a pie pan.  Fill with the cherry filling.  Roll out the other dough, cut into strips and create a lattice for the top, crimping the sides.  Cover the edges with foil and bake for 25 minutes at 375-degrees.  Remove foil and bake another 25 minutes.  

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