Such Hot Blood

I had the good fortune to see The Airborne Toxic Event play here in Toronto recently. If you’re listening to alternative radio stations, you probably know Changing from their All At Once album in ’11. Or maybe you heard Sometime Around Midnight from their ’09 self titled album.

TATE was amazing. The lead singer Mikel, has the most incredible voice. The addition of a viola to some of their tracks is a combination that I’m magnetically pulled to.

I dropped Safe and Bride & Groom from Such Hot Blood onto my latest running playlist for a little extra groove in my step. Check it out! And if you haven’t heard Sometime Around Midnight, give it a listen. The crowd went nuts when they played this. It’s powerfully sung and also truly excellent for nighttime highway driving. Turn it up and play it LOUD.

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For more great music and far better writing about it than this, wander on over to Lithium Magazine

One final parting note – the opening band for TATE was Kodaline. Watch this band. I think they could be on the road to greatness.

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Mary, Mary Quite Contrary…

…How does your garden grow?

A few years ago, I rented a community garden plot. The first year was quite successful and a bit of fun.
The following year (felt like yearS) was not so fun. Picture: hard clay, plots untilled, dragging hoses here and there and some bastard of a weed called Creeping Charlie proliferating. Insert gardening hiatus here. Fast forward: new gardening managment, water spigots every other plot (no hose dragging required), a new resident tractor and people who are organized. Result: I’m baaaaccckkkk.

My garden grows with:
kale
lettuce
carrots
broccoli
brussel sprouts
zucchini
sugar snap peas
roma tomatoes
basil
cherry tomatoes
swiss chard
onions (3 types!)
eggplant
green peppers

I have been fortunate enough to have a wonderful helper this year. She’s old enough to appreciate the food we’re growing, even if she has no interest in eating it, and has been taking an interest in cooking lately. It’s like a Jamie Oliver tv episode meets the real world.

Best Garden Helper Ever!

Best Garden Helper Ever!

As a bonus, she’s also pretty fun to work with.
In the garden today, I was hunched over a freshly dug hole and she’s was diligently bringing me seedlings.
Me: can you pass me the swiss chard please?
Her: beets?
Me: swiss chard.
Her: beets.
Me: swiss chard!
Her: beets! (holding the plastic tab with the plant name)
Me: (Look up. Sigh.) Beets. $h*! I meant to buy swiss chard.
We both laughed and she continued to refer to the beets all day as the swiss chard.

Note the beets are not in the above list; they went to a garden plot neighbour. 🙂 After scouring York Region greenhouses, I finally found the swiss chard at Benedetto’s.

Normally when I’m at the garden, it’s all “blah, blah, manual labour, sweat, worms, dirt, insects, blah, blah”. Today, it was different. It had that “if you build it, they will come” feeling. In the past there have been 1-2 people at the garden plots simultaneously. Today, there were 12-20 people at any given time. And you know what? It felt good. It felt like this is what a community garden plot is supposed to be all about: meeting people who all have a common interest and working towards a common goal. These are people that I saw throughout the weekend at various garden centres and greenhouses (apparently we were all looking for swiss chard). Thanks to the garden uniting us, we smiled at each other, gave each other knowing nods or asked where they scored the deal on broccoli. It felt pure and grounded. It felt like life slowed down a little; life was a little bit less tech-dependent and a little more rural, if only for a few hours.

Community Garden Plots

Community Garden Plots

Freshly planted seedlings

Freshly planted seedlings

The Child of a Runner.

Me: How was school?
11 yr old son: Good. We had Cross Country. I trained a guy.
Me: You did what?
11 yr old son: I was Jack’s personal trainer.
Me: Tell me more.
11 yr old son: Well, we had to do laps around the school. He went out way too fast and had to walk. I caught up to him and told him he had to pace himself and told him to run with me. So he did. We ran together. And we finished 2nd. John beat us but not by much.

Day 2
Me: How was school?
11 yr old son: Good. We had cross country again. This time I got a whole bunch of guys to run with me. I told them the key was to pace themselves. I was *this* close to beating my record yesterday but the teacher blew the whistle when I was 5 ft away from the end so we had to stop. I finished second again. John won again.
Me: You should have ditched the guys and sprinted. You could have been first.
11 yr old son: Whaa?? No way man. And leave my friends? That’s cheap.
Me: No, that’s competition.

Apparently the training that my kid did for his 5K race 18 months ago stuck. That’s cool. While I’m slightly disappointed that my progeny doesn’t have a competitive bone in his body right now, I think that in today’s environment where competition -> greed -> shareholder value is ripping apart our economy/the fabric of our society, his desire to help others instead of helping himself is a good thing. The fact that he wants to help others succeed at running? That’s AMAZING.

Boondoggle, Beaches, Beasts and Bracelets; How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Summer’s over folks.  Today was the First Day Back To School.  In honour of that, I’ve revived that famous September essay topic:

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Boondoggle Square Zipper Pull

Boondoggle

This was the summer my 8 yr old was introduced to boondoggle aka gimp/gymp. She quickly learned that there were many different styles (square is so yesterday Mom!) and wanted to try them all. By “try them”, I mean choose the colours and have me start it, then she would work 3-5 levels and hand it back for me to finish. My son was interested but he had decided this was a gender specific activity and he was the wrong gender. He would work a row or two and then dismiss it as a girl thing. Bummer…I could have used an extra set of hands.

This is the life!

Beaches

We headed out to the East Coast for our vacation this year. We had such a great time in Prince Edward Island a few years ago that we decided to go back. If you’ve never been, you should go. It’s absolutely beautiful. The dirt really is red! The people are fabulous and the beaches are stunning. We stayed inside the PEI National Park. Our morning commute was a short walk across a road, over a sand dune and voila: the beach.

The view on my morning run.

Wee Jellyfish: Before

Wee Jellyfish: After

That's not Jello!

See if you can find: seaweed (2 kinds), shells (oyster, clam and quahog), crab legs and rocks.

Beasts!

I always find ocean beaches to be more interesting than lake beaches. This year the Atlantic didn’t disappoint. Jellyfish, crab parts, shells, odd bits of lobsters and a dead sea bird were some of our finds. Dead jellyfish feel like partly melted Jello, in case you were wondering.

One dinner plate sized jelly tore in half when a parent picked it up. Apparently the habitat the kids built for it wasn’t enough to keep it alive. 10 mins later all the kids on the beach had a piece of it.

Bracelets

We returned back home and the kids went back to camp for the last few weeks of summer. New counselors brought new ideas and friendship bracelets were introduced. I was a late bloomer when it comes to friendship bracelets. For the sake of brevity, let’s just say I inherited a tonne of embroidery floss in my early twenties and my university roommate schooled me in the art of knot-tying. When my daughter raved about them two weeks ago, I pulled out my stash which included some finished bracelets. Her her eyes lit up. Fast forward a few weeks and we had 4 new bracelets, happy kids and the end of Summer.

Designs from top to bottom: Chevron, the Fish, Zig Zag

My Marathon Story

Step back in the way-back time machine with me and let’s take a ride back to May. It’s the end of the month and we’re in Ottawa for Race Weekend. Specifically, we’re there for the Marathon.

Training had progressed fairly well. I was enjoying the long runs, feeling strong and really amazed at the distances that I was able to cover. Two weeks before the race, I felt a little twinge on the outside of my right knee. It felt suspiciously like my IT band. I had issues with that many moons ago and all had been well ever since I acquired a foam roller. By the end of this training run, I could barely walk up the stairs. My knee was t-i-g-h-t tight.

I had committed to a 5K mother-daughter race on the following day. I managed to pull it off but I don’t know how and in hindsight (isn’t hindsight awesome?) it was probably the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. After the race I took advantage of the free massage/phys. therapy and let someone work the crap out of my leg.

Training was fine for the week. I was tapering off. I headed out for a 16K run and at 13 I had to pull the plug. I had shooting pain down my leg with every step. Did I mention the race was 7 days away? I started hunting like crazy for an RMT/athletic therapist who could see me. I found one but only managed to be seen once before the race. He confirmed my issue was my ITB. He worked it a bit and pronounced me fit for the race. I rested a lot during the week. I was nervous.

Fast forward to race day. The start was gloomy but dry. The weather forecast had waffled between “it will/won’t rain for the race” and there was still no clear indication of what we were in store for. The energy was great and the pre-race scene was exciting. And then, we’re off! Looking good, feeling good!

Run, run, run. Rain, rain, rain. Rain? Buckets of rain. Rain dripping off the brim of my hat. Rain being wrung out of my shirt. Rain running down my body. I don’t mind a little rain. This was not a little rain.

At the 26k mark I couldn’t ignore my ITB any more. I had felt it earlier and convinced myself it was whispering to me and not singing loudly. I stopped at a medic table and asked for ibuprofen (yes, I know, you’re not supposed to take ibuprofen while you run but I was desperate). The kind woman replied that they had acetaminophen only. She handed me two. I said “Extra strength?” She said “No, I’ll give you 3”. There was a much younger, very fit looking guy there who was obviously experiencing pain in his calf. At the mention of 3 pills for me, he stood up and said “3? You only gave me 2!” and stuck out his hand. It was pretty funny at the time.

At the 36K mark I had to stop unexpectedly. My veil of anonymity on this blog has been removed and in the interest of being able to look co-workers in the eye, I’ve censored this part. Suffice to say that everyone I’ve told about this incident has stated that if this happened to them, they would have called it quits at this point. So you know whatever it was, it was unpleasant and added to the existing challenges I was facing.

When I was able to start moving again, the stop had damn near crippled me. Trying to get my legs to move was impossible without incurring screeching pain. I never doubted that I would finish the race. At this point I realized it was just a matter of how long it was going to take to make it through that last 6k. I wound up walking with sporadic attempts to run that ended almost as quickly as they started. 45 mins longer than my estimated “worst finish time”, I finished. It was done. It had stopped raining. Go figure.

Some highlights:
– running in the rain for 5+ hours makes clothing that is normally comfortable, uncomfortable. A step into the shower revealed undiscovered chafing (heart rate strap (front and back), waistband) and drew out one loud yelp.
– the crowd at the 30K cheering station were AMAZING! The MC called out my name and the whole crowd called out my name. I was still running strongly at this point and the crowd’s energy rolled off me. It was really terrific.
– Best signage includes: “Worst Parade EVER!”, “You’re not even CLOSE to being finished” which was posted at the 5K mark and one sign addressed to someone’s wife stating “That’s not rain, that’s the clouds crying because you’re kicking so much ass” actually made me tear up. I’m such a wuss.

Would I do this again? Part of me doesn’t hesitate in answering. Yes, yes I would. How could I not? That finishing time was horrible! Plus, just imagine the PR I could set. How often can you knock an hour+ off your time? And there’s no way everything that went wrong could possibly happen again. That was the perfect storm of challenges. I faced that and survived; I can face anything now. The other part says, um, I don’t know. It was either the training or the race or the injury or some combination thereof but I’ve had a hell of a time getting back into running since then. I signed up for a half at the end of Sept. I’m on track training-wise to finish it but don’t anticipate setting any speed records. Let’s see how that turns out and then I’ll make decisions about trying this again.

Fueling the Jet; The Importance of Eating Right for Training

I had a number of posts drafted that I didn’t quite feel were complete. After far too much time away from here, I’m back. This is old but I think the message is worth stating, even with the stale-dated reference to marathon training and a household plague. Enjoy!

I had an off-week this week. And by off, I don’t mean it was a step-down week. I mean out of the 4 of us in this household, I was the only one who wasn’t sick. And by sick I mean, 3 saw a doctor and 1 landed in Emergency in the hospital. So yeah, you could say it was an off week. It was tough, training-wise.

I managed to get almost all of my marathon training mileage done. I was short by approx. 2k. That’s quite remarkable considering everything. I ended up with a lack of sleep and not eating as well as I would normally. The importance of sleep and eating well during training was driven home when I attempted a 10K run. I lasted 2K and pulled the plug. Too tired, too much wind to fight, too exhausted to fight anything.

I came home frustrated and realizing that along with missing sleep, I really needed to focus on eating properly if I was going to train at my maximum potential. What does that look like for me?
– lots of water every day
– 3 square meals plus one or two snacks per day, depending on my activity level for the day
– eating enough protein (0.80 g/kg of body weight/day)
– eating a wee bit before my long runs (Note to self: make oatmeal the night before)
– eat lots of fruits/vegetables daily

I was definitely short on water this week and didn’t eat with any regularity at all. It showed. My 21k long run was much more difficult than the 19.5k I ran last week. In addition to being a more difficult run, I’m paying for it today. Lots of stiffness and muscle soreness and that’s after moving around today, a hot bath, and lots of good food.

Are you currently training? Eat right every day. It counts for a lot and will make your workload a lot easier. Put down the ice cream and reach for an apple; you’ll thank yourself for it.

Not much going on here

I haven’t posted much lately because I’ve been busy running and not sleeping. Anyone who is training knows that is not a good combination. Hell, anyone who isn’t sleeping knows that’s just the pits all by itself.

Here are a few highlights:

– Marathon training is already past the 1/2 way point. Yee haw! I’ve run 2 half marathon distances in my long runs. I think I’m supposed to be proud of that but my brain can’t get past the fact that I still have to get through a whole marathon at the end of May so I’m not really feeling as good about this as I probably should.

– Momma got a new pair of shoes! I had some wonky foot thing happening. It was my right foot and pain had developed under the ball and arch of my foot. I didn’t think it was time to swap shoes but as soon as I tried on the new ones, they felt like clouds of cushion-y delight. Sold! Feet have been fine since.

– Training with the now 8 year old daughter (just had a birthday) has begun. We’ve got a 5K race coming up in May. It’s not going so well. This is unexpected. She’s more athletic than my 10 (soon to be 11) year old son so I thought this would be easy. Plus, she asked to enter this race. Just another example of how you never know what you’re going to get with kids…

– I had some chafing in some lady bits where I haven’t had chafing before. I’ll spare you the detail but I take solace in the fact that I’m not the only one who’s had undies wind up where they shouldn’t. Thanks to eat, drink, run’s comments on this post, I know lady-bit chafing has taken down more than one runner. Read this for a good laugh. Then come back here and by then I will have posted something brilliant, insightful, humorous or a combination of all three. Hey, at the very least, I’ll post a recipe.

Happy trails!

Some city in Greece…I think it’s called Marathon?

In an earlier post I alluded to my inability to commit to The Big Race. For me, The Big Race (by the way, when you read that, you should be hearing one of those ominous radio echoes repeating “The Big Race”, just for effect 🙂 ), is the marathon.

I’ve been thinking about running a marathon for a while. I’m not sure why. The idea of running the distance (42 km/26 mi) doesn’t appeal to me. The idea of running for four hours (give or take — probably give at this point) doesn’t appeal to me. I think the appeal is in being able to say I’ve done it. I’m not looking for bragging rights; it’s more like crossing it off a list of things you’ve accomplished. When you think about it, that’s not a driving motivator to run 42 km. Now you know why I’ve been thinking about this since June 2010 and haven’t done anything about it.

Recently, my employment contract came to an end and spending 4-6 hours/day looking for work started to take it’s toll. I was still running, but without any direction. Also, living in the Great White North and not owning a treadmill, I found myself challenged to get out and run in inhospitable weather conditions. I needed purpose. I needed something to plan/organize for. It was the perfect breeding ground for the inspiration to enter The Big Race.

It started easily enough: find a training plan. I like Hal Higdon’s plans. I’ve used a few in the past and been very successful. Next: start training. Easy enough. I started running with some purpose and regularity in January. My sights were set on the Ottawa Marathon at the end of May. Lots of time! So, I ran. And I ran. I wobbled a bit in February (weather!) and was reduced to spending time on our elliptical machine. I got back on track. Suddenly, it’s Go time: time to start following the training plan, with 16 weeks to go until Race Day. The training started and it was a cinch! Weather was in my favour and if it wasn’t, I pushed through knowing I had a goal to reach and a training session to cross off my calendar. And then it happened. People I know who are also running the race started asking me when I was going to register for the race. I was hesitant to register, fearing my training would be sidelined by injury (remember that knee injury from soccer and that long road to recover in Sept/Oct?) or weather. I planned on waiting until the end of February to sign up for the race, thinking I would have a good idea of my fitness and my commitment levels at that time.

I started receiving emails with the subject line “Race 50% sold out”, “Race 55% sold out” and “Have you registered yet?”. I ran from these emails like a indebted person runs from the debt collector. My motto became “duck and weave, duck and weave” in an attempt to avoid commitment. Then it struck me: I was afraid. I was afraid to mentally commit to The Big Race. I had physically committed myself but my brain wasn’t sure it could cash the cheques my body was writing (Yes, that’s a nod to Top Gun). The realization surprised me. I’ve never been hesitant about a race before. I mulled that over for a day or so and then plunged right in and registered for the race. Suddenly, it became very real. I am going to run a Marathon. Wow…

So far, so good. I ran 19.5 km last weekend and that’s the longest I’ve ever run, which is quite an accomplishment in and of itself. It’s been tough to get out this week (sitting here right now when I should be running 10K) as I’m dealing with March Break and sick kids but I’ll find the time because I am going to run a Marathon.

British Pie Week: The Celebration Continues with Lemon Meringue

I know, I know – British Pie week should result in pastry concoctions housing mushrooms, leeks, chicken and other assorted savory goodies.  The way I figure it, if I’m going to eat calorie-laden crusts, I’m not going to bother trying to disguise it as something healthy by adding vegetables and meat.

And with that, I give you: Lemon Meringue!

Pie Crust: use the one from the Cherry Pie recipe.

Roll it out into a circle and plop it into your pie plate.  Make sure the circle is about 2 inches larger than your pie plate so you have lots of crust to flute.

Chill your crust in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Line your pie plate with foil and fill with pie weights or beans.  Bake your crust for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from oven and carefully remove the foil and contents.  Pop back into the oven for 10-15 minutes and cook until it’s golden.

Filling

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 5 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (this really adds some nice zing!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together.  Add this mixture to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.  Return to the heat and cook over medium heat.  Keep whisking!  The mixture will start to boil and become very thick.  Don’t stop whisking!  Turn off the heat and take about 1 cup of this hot mixture and add it to the beaten egg yolks.  Whisk that until it’s smooth.  Keeping the whisking motif going, add the egg mixture back to the pot and whisk it all together rather vigorously.  Turn the heat back on and bring the entire mixture to a boil.  Then, remove from the heat and stir in the butter.  Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla and whisk until completely combined.  Voila!  Lemon filling, yum!

Pour that into the baked crust and move onto the meringue.

Meringue

Meringue can be tricky.  You can overwhip it.  You can add too much sugar too fast and end up with white goop.  Worst of all, the site of a pie crust filled with lemon filling makes it sad and it weeps (not really but I’m trying to avoid a boring paragraph about humidity, sugar and egg whites).  Weeping meringue is yucky.  It makes your pie crust all soft and in my opinion, it just ruins the pie.  To that end, I’ve read a lot about preventing meringue from weeping.

Some advocate that meringue must be applied to a hot filling and popped into the oven as soon as possible.  Others state this step isn’t necessary.  I’ve tried both and had failures and success with both.  Interestingly, I never used to worry about this and I never had a weepy pie.  Then one day something changed and as a result, I’ve adopted the process of adding a cornstarch mixture to my pie meringue.  Oh, and don’t try to use egg whites from a carton.  Trust me on this.  They just don’t whip up the same as a white from a whole egg. I converted this recipe from one that made enough for 2 pies and was all in metric so you’ll have to pull out your scale to weigh the sugar.

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 108 ml water
  • 3/4 cup egg whites (approx 5)
  • 6 oz sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Immediately upon boiling, turn down the heat and add the cornstarch.  Whisk like crazy.  Cook for about one minute, until the mixture is translucent.  Remove it from the heat and set it aside.

Whip the egg whites until they’ve tripled in volume.  Gradually add the sugar and continue whipping until soft peaks form.

Continue whipping and add the vanilla.  Add the cornstarch mixture, a wee bit at a time and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Put it all together

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

Spread the meringue topping over the lemon filling.  Make sure the meringue contacts the entire crust, so as to seal it.  Feel free to make swirls and peaks and whatever you want (use a piping bag or get creative with spoon or fork; they all work).

Pop the pie into the oven and bake for approx 10-20 mins or until the meringue is browned. Note: if your peaks are thin, they may burn before the rest of the meringue browns.

Cool on a rack before serving.

British Pie Week! To celebrate: Cherry Pie!

I recently discovered it’s British Pie Week. Seriously. Check it out.  The website leads me to believe that it’s a celebration based on pre-made pie dough and fabricated by a company in order to sell more product but hey, who am I to criticize a nation celebrating pie?

I’m fairly certain that British Pie Week is meant to celebrate things like Steak and Kidney Pie, Chicken Pot Pie and Fish Pie.  While I won’t deny my Welsh roots, I will deny wanting to eat Fish Pie.  Ewww.  Instead, I give you Cherry Pie.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this pie.  The funny thing is, I hate cherry pie.  Really.  It’s sour.  And cherry flavoured.  My husband on the other hand – he loves cherry pie.  His idea of a perfect birthday cake is my home made cherry pie.  Since I’m no connoisseur but he certainly is, I have it on his opinion that this recipe makes the best.pie.ever.

Go forth – make pie!  Celebrate British Pie Week.  I think we should follow it with Canadian Exercise Week to work off the calories 😉

Crust

I use a food processor.  I’ve had plenty of experience making pie crust by hand.  It’s a very romantic notion.  Practical? Not so much.  I hate how it gets under my finger nails, so I opt for the processor.

Recipe makes enough for a total of 5 single crusts (2 double crust pies and one single, 1 double crust pie and 3 singles – you get the idea).

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks – very cold!
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening – very cold!
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Place flour, sugar & salt in bowl of food processor.  Pulse to mix.

Add butter and pulse 2-3 times.  Add shortening (it warms up faster than the butter, hence I add it after I’ve pulsed the butter a few times but you could add it at the same time) and pulse just until the fat is dispersed throughout the flour.  The pieces of fat resemble small peas.  If you’re not sure, it’s better to stop when the pieces are bigger rather than smaller.

Mix the egg into a bowl; add the lemon juice and the water.  I find this works best in a pyrex measuring cup.  Make sure these ingredients are cold in order to maintain the consistency of the butter and shortening.

Remove the lid of your food processor (make sure it’s turned off!).  Pour the water/lemon juice/egg mixture over the flour mixture.  Replace the cover and pulse just enough times that you’ve made a rough mass of dough.

Unplug your food processor; remove the lid and dump onto a lightly floured counter top.

Shape the mass into a log and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour (can be left for up to 3 days; can be tightly wrapped and sealed in a ziploc bag and frozen for up to 3 months).  I shape the dough into a log because then I can score 5 equal sections to make my pie crusts.  For this pie, you’ll need 2 crusts: a top and a bottom.

I like to make the pie crust a day in advance.  Once your pie crust is firm and you’ve got a section, roll out your dough to fit a 9 inch pie pan.  Stick it in the fridge while you make the filling.

Pie Filling

Whoa.  This is going to take all of 5 minutes to make.  Better get that oven preheated.  Crank it up to 425 F.

  • 5-6 cups of sour cherries, pitted (fresh or frozen – note that if you use frozen, you must defrost and allow enough time for most of the juices to be extracted or you’ll end up with a soggy mess)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • milk for glazing

In a large bowl, toss the cherries, cornstarch, flour, sugar and lemon juice together.  That’s it.

Put it all together

Pour the filling into the previously prepared pie crust.  Stick it in the fridge.  Roll out another pie crust (the top).  You can get fancy and cut it into lattice or whatever you want.  Remove the pie from the fridge.  Dip a pastry brush (or your finger) in the milk and run it around the edge of the bottom pie crust, where the top will sit.  You want to seal the seams.  Place the top crust on the pie.  Pinch the edges to seal the crust.  Trim the edges and flute or whatever you want.  Prick a few slits in the top with a sharp knife.  Using that pastry brush and the milk, glaze the top of the pie.  Sprinkle with fancy coarse sugar if you have any or just leave as is.

Bake the pie for 20 mins then reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and bake until juices begin to bubble, about 35-45 mins.  I like to keep a cookie sheet handy and slip it onto the rack  below the pie if the pie starts to bubble over.  Keep in mind that a cookie sheet will increase your cooking time as it absorbs some of the heat and blocks it from the pie.

Remove pie from the oven and allow to cool before eating otherwise those cherries are going to burn your mouth.  Badly.

Serves 6-8.  Or 2-4 if you’re my husband.  What can I say?  He likes his pie.

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