AsylumMom

Life on the inside. I've been sentenced 18 years to life and The Wardens are doing their best to drive me even crazier.

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Pick a Topic!

Happy Monday everyone! (Not)

So, this week I have a few ideas on topics, which one do you want to hear about? Maybe I will find time to do two, even! Let me know!

Autism – a scary word for most parents, relief for me. (Potential for a guest post!)

Babywearing versus strollers – some of the more obvious differences

Cooking from scratch – is it REALLY cheaper?

Escaping reality – what books have I read lately that help me get away?

Bad baby, Good baby – a look at babies and why the differences in their personalities don’t matter!

Let me know what you want to read about this week! You don’t have to give your opinions on any of the topics just yet, wait for the post! 🙂

In the mean time, enjoy this picture of B with my Father-in-Law working on Dad’s truck!

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Animal

This is a little tid-bit post for the night! So, in my spare time, I like to write-

-HA! Spare time, like I have any of THAT.

Okay, in reality, I do a lot of thinking while I’m doing dishes, and with my habit of constantly baking and cooking, I do a lot of dishes. Some days I think about hot celebrity men, my favorite tv shows, and clothes I wish I could afford to buy… But other days, I think about things with a little more ground. Maybe it’s because someone said something that irked me and I feel like retaliating or maybe I read something profound. Either way, about a week ago, I had one of those days and decided to actually write out what I thought. I titled it, posted it on fb, and moved on.

Okay, you got me again, I didn’t move on! I anxiously awaited the replies of people, hoping I’d said something that touched someone. So what if I like the idea of changing someone’s life, that’s not unreasonable is it? (Is it?)

But what I got instead wasn’t going to touch someone else, it touched ME. An old friend of mine took it upon himself to give my musings a voice… and it was beautiful. It really did mean a great deal to me to actually hear the words with that level of emotion. Below is a screenshot of the conversation following his recording.

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Josh, I do thank you for what you gave me.

Here is what I wrote as well as a link to the recording of Josh’s reading of it. Please enjoy and give me any thoughts.

ANIMAL

You, incapable of seeing the suffering of others beyond your own kinship of mind, with even the thickness of blood not sufficient enough to render your accusations null, cannot possibly comprehend the thousands of incidences of pain and choice lived through by every other being around you. You, who chooses so easily to cast aside all value outside your own, who so quickly passes judgment on souls you’ve never been so blessed to know, cannot ever receive the privilege of loving an undeserving life. Oh! What a joy it is to feel compassion for a life that would take yours without guilt! How freeing it is to know that your choices are not hindered by the heaviness of a hatred unbridled! You, who live in those shackles of darkened emotion, cannot fully understand what it is to walk in lighted paths. While there are times for disrupt and unkempt hearts, for without darkness the light would not shine so bright, I much prefer to live a life in the sun with my heart soothed and my mind softened by joy’s gentle hand. How I wish I could lead you, hand in hand like a child, to a place where your hatred would suddenly crack and spill open, revealing a small and broken flower to which could be tended until stable enough to love on its own. How I wish I could, but hatred so strong grows chains in the earth of your soul, choking the broken flower until it is all but a shell, a shadow of the child you once were. You were not born to hate, no, a child is born knowing only how to love and wishing only to be loved in return. Eyes wide and shining, he ventures fourth into the world, one wobbly leg at a time, and reaches for the joy in others. No, you are not born to hate. You are taught. There are fortunate few who escape the torture of surrounding souls attempting to snatch the light from within them. As if the light of a child’s heart is offensive to the darkness in their own, as if they must dim it some to be able to keep company, and it is far easier to smother a single light than it is to try and match the brightness. Those fortunate few that have escaped such torture have been blessed with a source of light so strong that it can never be extinguished. Oh, but how I wish it could be shared! Alas, I am limited to merely show it to you and hope that you do not recoil in disgust. But I have shone brightly in my own right and you have recoiled. Revealing your nature while taking care to attempt and convince me of my wrong doing. It is your actions that are wrong. For how can loving another be wrong? It is your walls that you built, caging yourself, that is the abomination. Only animals live in cages. And you have made an animal of yourself.

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0b2gpF8qoOz

Please take the time to listen to the audio version. It brings the emotions I felt while writing this to life. If you don’t hear anything, be patient, it has a few seconds of silence before he begins reading.

The Very Best Peach Crumble Pie with Caramel Whiskey Sauce

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My poor dilapidated blog will be making a comeback! (Again?) starting with this amazing recipe! Do you like peach cobbler? Do you like whiskey? How about honey or dark brown sugar? Do you like pie? Well, welcome to heaven! Last Saturday I went grocery shopping and decided to check out a farmers market and surprised myself with a bunch of fresh peaches intending to make a cobbler! But after a while, I started to go another direction, thinking I’d like to add whiskey, then caramel, and make it a pie, but crunchy… My brain went around and around like that until I finally landed on a crumbly pie with a sauce. 🙂 I do have a favorite whiskey that this recipe was built on. Fresh peaches and whiskey were the founding stones of this pie and everything else was just designed to encase them in the best way possible. I apologize in advance for the photo quality here, my camera was dead and I didn’t realize it until I got started! So I just used my phone. 😛 Bust first, a shot of the lovely whiskey!

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Now, for the recipe!

For my pie crust, I used a recipe for a super flaky crust that I found here at completelydelicious.com, however, where the recipe calls for vodka, I used my honey whiskey instead. I was determined to squeeze that honey flavor in anywhere I could!

For my filling, I created my own recipe after looking over too many recipes that weren’t what I wanted.

Ingredients for the crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 cup buttermilk, cold
1-2 tablespoons water, cold
1 large egg, beaten, for the egg wash
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top of pie

Ingredients for the peaches and sauce
6-10 large, ripe, fresh peaches (I prefer more peaches for a fuller pie, use 6 for basic, 10 for fuller)
1/2 C lemon juice
1+ C of American Honey Whiskey (71proof)
2 C packed dark brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C whipping cream
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Ingredients for the crumble
3/4 C all purpose flour
3/4 C brown sugar (dark or light, your choice)
1 stick unsalted butter, slightly salted
1 C old fashioned oats

You want to assemble the crust first! Once you reach the part of the recipe that calls for chilling for an hour, that is where you will begin to assemble to pie fillings! The instructions below are copied and pasted from the website, so remember the changes I made! Replace the vodka (or water) with whiskey!

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the cubed butter and toss to coat. Dump the mixture out onto a clean surface and use a rolling pin to roll the butter into thin sheets, combining it with the flour. Use a bench scraper to scrape the rolling pin and to bring the mixture back into a pile as necessary. Continue until all of the butter is incorporated into the flour. Mixture will be very flaky. Return mixture to the bowl and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill the butter.

Remove from freezer and add the buttermilk. Use a spoon and then your hands to stir the mixture until it comes together into a ball. If mixture is too dry, add the water a tablespoon at a time. Divide the dough in two and flatten into disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

When ready to roll out, let the dough rest at room temperature for five minutes. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rough 13 inch circle. Dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to pie dish. Fill pie with peach filling. Repeat with the second disk of dough. Cut dough to form the covering of your pie in the design that you wish.

Now that the crust is chilling you will want to begin assembling the fillings for the pie. First, rinse the peaches well. Cut each in half and peel the halves, removing the core. After they are peeled, slice the peaches into thin slices and place in a large tub. Pour the lemon juice and about 2-3 tbsp of whiskey over the peaches. Add cold water until the peaches are just covered. Set this aside while you prepare the sauce.

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In a large pot, pour 1C of whiskey and turn to med-hi heat. Bring the whiskey up to just before boiling, where a few bubbles are forming on the bottom, add in 1/2 C of the brown sugar, whisking constantly. When the mixture starts to foam and bubble, start adding in 3 tbsp of butter, 1 tbsp at a time, allowing each to melt inbetween additions. Continue to whisk. Now add 1 more cup of the brown sugar and whisk! The sugar with foam furiously, whisking will keep it under control. After the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat to med and continue to gently whisk and stir for another 10 min. Now, slowly add 1 C of whipping cream, whisking it in until it is all an even color. Turn heat to med-low and let sit for 5 min, stirring occasionally.

While the sauce is resting, strain the peaches. You want to lightly press them and move them around as to get as much of the lemon water off of them as possible. Once they are strained, add them into the sauce, stirring lightly to coat them all. Bring the peaches up to a med-hi heat. Add in the last 1/2 C of brown sugar, 2 tbsp of butter, and the nutmeg, stirring lightly until it is all dissolved and mixed well. Slowly allow the mixture to come to a slight boil then reduce the heat to low and let stew, uncovered, for 10 minutes gently stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and allow mixture to rest while you prepare the crumble.

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For the crumble, combine the flour and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour and sugar mixture until crumbly. I used a fork to help break it all up! Now, use your hands and add in the oats until combined and you have a nice, evenly crumbly mixture!

Now that the peaches have settle, strain the sauce into a separate bowl, pressing peaches until all the sauce is out. Set sauce aside (it’s liquid heaven!!!) and allow peaches to stay in strainer, I placed it back over the now cooled pot so any left over sauce could drip out on its own.

At this point, I was ready to remove my pie crusts from the fridge and roll them out, following the instructions from the recipe above. Follow the link to her post for detailed photos of each step. It helped me a lot to have the photos for reference!

Once the pie crust is rolled into the pan, you are ready to assemble the pie! At this point, set your oven to 350F to preheat. This picks a layered pie. Starting with a layer of the crumble. Make sure you coat the entire bottom! No gaps!

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Then you add the strained peaches…

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Resist the urge to snack on them! Next, add almost all of the crumble, leaving about 1/4 cup (or less) for sprinkling on top of the pie for decoration.

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Sorry for the blurry photo! I was using my phone :P. next, you will take 1 1/2 cups of the caramel whiskey sauce and drizzle it over the crumble. Take the last 2 tbsp of your stick of butter from the sauce recipe, and cut it into little cubes to place all over the crumble.

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Next, I rolled out my remaining ball of pie crust and using a pastry cutter, cut out little hearts for my top layer of crust. You can do whatever design you like! Most peach pies traditionally have a lattice design, but I’m hopeless with those so I went another route 😉

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Now, you will coat the crust dough with an egg wash (per the instructions from the pie recipe) and then sprinkle the remaining crumble on top for decoration!

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Now pop that baby in the oven! Let it bake for 40 minutes or until the crust is a deep amber brown. Don’t go golden! Golden isn’t done enough! This is a dark recipe with dark sugars! You want to let it bake until it reaches that secret spot where sugars seem to caramalize and darken and let out bits of heaven! 🙂 but, while it’s baking, take all that left over sauce and can it! You will want to pour some over each slice of pie you eat! But it makes a lot, so can it because it makes a great ice cream sauce too! Use it how you wish or just drink some of it (not that I did that or anything……)

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Heaven in a jar right there.
Now that the pie is done, stare at it while it cools a little! It needs to cool for about 30 minutes so it all settles. Trust me, it will still be plenty warm for a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream, but if you cut into right away, it won’t hold it’s form and you will have bits squishing out everywhere! Marvel at the glorious pie that you made! Marvel at it!

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