57 thoughts on “Happiness is Pie

  1. I love homemade peach pie. I used to make it a lot as a teenager. We lived in a small town with a lot of orchards and I would make it for my dad’s (summer) birthday and Father’s Day. The slight hissing sound of sugar pouring into a bowl of freshly cut peaches conjures up a lot of a sense memories for me. I definitely never got that fancy with the crusts. Mine were more “tastes good, don’t worry about the presentation.”

    What’s making me happy? We actually are going to have a real snow storm. I usually hate snow, but at this point, I will take anything that make one day feel different from the next. It’s only coming down lightly now, but the outside world already has that hushed, quiet feeling.

    I have some hot cocoa cookies made up and since I’ve started only making a few cookies at a time (half a dozen or so) and freezing the leftover dough, I can make a small fresh batch today too. There’s lots of hot cocoa cookie recipes out there, but I use this one, skipping drizzling the chocolate on top, although I’m sure that would be pretty.


    At first I thought these cookies were silly. I usually have baking cocoa in the house after all. But hot chocolate/hot cocoa is one of those items that we always have in our pantry and don’t actually drink. The kids say they want it, eat the marshmallows out of it and then say it’s too hot or too cold. I prefer my chocolate in eating form, or if I’m going to have hot chocolate, I like the very decadent European kind that is almost like chocolate fondue. We had fancy hot chocolate mixes like mocha and peppermint, so now they are finding new life in cookie form.

    Husband and smaller child are sleeping in. Older child is up with me, but in a chill mood.

    I’m playing around with a fic, but I’m also dipping into other people’s writing, looking for the inspiration for the particular feel I’m going for. A nice quiet cozy morning.

  2. Scones.

    I like scones because they’re not super sweet, but really good and in a lot of flavors. I found a place called Sticky Fingers Bakery that sells mixes where you add water and bake. I’ve made scones by hand quite often and these mixes are excellent in texture and flavor.

  3. Got some tricky things done this week, including editing an access dropdown list that made NO sense at all until it suddenly was easy.

    Getting to spend time working with my beloved sister and her projects while boss is out of town for 2 months.

    Only 13 days left of my annual “fit in the jeans” diet. Doing a shorter and less strict version with the idea of doing another couple weeks in spring. This makes it much easier, but I do start looking forward to cookies again – maybe Jill’s chocolate ones, which sound fun.

  4. It’s been cold and sunny this week. DH and I had a long walk with the dog yesterday, enjoying the sunshine.

    The sale agreement on the family cottage closed this week. It is definitely the end of a long chapter in my life. However, I feel relieved and lighter. My brother will keep it in the family and I don’t have the stress of trying to deal with him. I rewarded myself by buying an exotic type of Philodendron.

    My big happy this week was learning that a community garden is starting up this spring in my area. One of my goals after I finish the Horticulture program is to volunteer with a community garden. The fact that there will be one a 10 minute bike ride away feels like kismet. I have already offered to volunteer to help out building boxes, etc.

  5. I finished another quilt. This one had been waiting since May, so not quite as long as the other, but the finished product made me happy. I’m usually not so fancy with the quilting, so this was something different for me.

    I’m working on finishing a third quilt. It’s larger, and while I like what I’m doing, I’m finding myself unmotivated. I need to break it up into smaller sections so I don’t get overwhelmed. With the rain today (I wish we could have had a part of that snow storm), I just want to sit in front of the TV and crochet. I’ll make that my reward later in the afternoon.

    Also, I’m ready to start something new. I’m sure there will be an explosion when I let myself off the chain.

  6. I was able to do a Zoom meeting with a college senior across the country, whom I’ve not seen in about a year. She was in a Sunday School class I taught, and very dear. Seeing her off-campus space, listening to her talk about her senior thesis and vague plans was my happy this week.
    Also, we got the news this morning that the bishop says we can go back into church March 21–which would be about a year of doing Zoom/Facebook church, which isn’t even close to what church ought to be, imho. It will be different, of course; our county is red, so lots of precautions. But to be back in the space and with at least some people will be grand.

  7. I just had my mumon the phone and she reminded me that this Tuesday is La Chandeleur which is a day when everybody in France has crêpes. We also have Shrove Tuesday of course (ie Mardi Gras) so we get to eat crêpes on Tuesdays twice a year :).
    Here my mum’s crêpe recipe if you want to follow this French custom this week.
    For a nice pile of crêpes:
    150g plain flour
    A pinch of salt
    150ml milk
    150ml water
    3 eggs
    50g melted butter (or if you are lazy like me a couple of tablespoons of sunflower oil)
    Lemon zest or vanilla essence
    Mix flour and milk and water and leave to rest for an hour.
    Add the eggs and the butter.
    When you make the crêpes, eat the first one right away because you are the cook and anyway the first one is never good.
    As you can see from the proportions, it’s really easy to scale up on down depending on how many people you are feeding.

    1. Without digging out my recipes, I defer to yours – it looks right. Two comments: Use butter, not oil. The difference in taste is perceivable. And yes, the first crepe is never good, but it exists to get everything else in order. Proper temperature, proper timing, all that. I thought only my family had that knowledge.

      My mamma made crepes for breakfast quite often, and we never associated them with holidays or treats. Other families had pancakes – we had crepes, that’s all.

    2. I never had a recipe for crepes. My mother just sort of threw things together. She didn’t make them often, but I watched enough to be able to do it myself when we were no longer allergic to eggs and not living in the same house.

    3. Candlemas! And when I did a google search, there is actually a La Chandeleur Crêperie that specializes in crêpes. Apparently a food truck operation except where it isn’t.

      I hold the strict view that the best way to eat crêpes is with a squirt from a lemon wedge and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

    4. Now I’m inspired to make crepes! I haven’t made them in years, but they are simple and I’m in the mood. I understand they freeze well, too.

  8. I thought about that pie – site just yesterday so thank you for putting the link up, even though I’ll never in a million years recreate those pie crust toppings. “Taste good” from Jill Q. sums it up for me.

    Grandkids and granddog over this weekend, clean up after they’re gone starting with nose prints on window from grandog

    I received an email from my doctor’s office regarding sign up for Covid shot at a health center because I’m 75. Following instructions to wait until seven A.M. today to book an appointment, well, I tried, so much for following instructions by 7:40 they were all booked up. And that’s after filling out my information over and over.

    Had a big breakfast this morning eggs, bacon, sausage, English Bangor for husband, French toast, pancakes the works. And now they’re hungry again.

    1. Should check on COOKS ILLUSTRATED piecrust recipe, the one made with vodka. Easy to handle and roll out, and the vodka promptly evaporates. If baked blind, even a lab can’t find any alcohol traces afterwards; if baked filled, the lab can FIND a miniscule trace, but barely.

  9. I made a huge pot of lentil, kale, and sausage soup, which I’m spreading around to my friends, and freezing some for later.
    It’s been a couple of bright clear days, with a sprinkling of snow on the ground, so there’s lots of light, and not just dreary browns.
    We may get a bunch of snow, which is fun, especially when you don’t have to go anywhere. I may be able to get the snow shoes out and gasp my way around the woods.
    Getting reading for the February challenge of painting or drawing every day.

  10. Pie. Chocolate Creme, yes. As a chocoholic, that’s a given. Pies with fruit filling? Apple Pie, please, whichever kind is convenient, there are so many and all good. By preference, these days, with a huge glop of sugar-free Cool Whip. If you serve it with ice cream, French Vanilla on the side, not on top.

    No peach, for me, nor key lime pie. Nor pumpkin nor sweet potato. Suum cuique, I thought I liked shepherd’s pie, but it turned out I was eating cottage pie – no shep, Sherlock.

    The pie pics are gorgeous. Just fill ’em with apples.

  11. Happy about my heel spur getting better. Just one physio left, but the prescription for another set of physio is waiting for me, so that’s good.

  12. Went for a wander with my camera on Friday, and photographed snowdrops in a nearby ruin. Just as I finished at one spot, my friend Pam rang from lockdown in London with her sister, wanting to consult over plans for #dailyFeb2021. It was lovely to catch up; and sounds like she’ll be coming back in the next couple of weeks or so. It’d be great to be able to bubble again, and have our weekly takeaway and film night.

    I’m planning to do half an hour of photo editing a day, starting with Friday’s shoot.

    1. PS. I made an apple and blueberry pie yesterday, with frozen blueberries from the allotment. Bit disappointed: not as good as our native bilberries. Still, a pie is a treat.

  13. The Snow is beautiful, but it is wreaking havoc with ordinary things like newspaper delivery and groceries. Then my hot water went out. I called the management office and was told by a recording that it didn’t qualify as an emergency and I shouldn’t expect any help on a weekend. But I called back and left a message anyway because I know they do have one guy on call on the weekends. When a real live person called me back and said that he would be at my building in 20 minutes, I was VERY happy! The water isn’t hot yet, but it is less frigid than it was earlier and I have hopes for a full recovery later in the day. But the biggest relief was actually getting a response from a live human being. I fell all over myself telling the maintenance man how much I appreciated him and that was before he did anything. I’ll have to think of even bigger terms of gratitude for when he finishes.

    Once again my friend Harriet made me happy with her emails about anything and everything. It has been a very rough week for me in terms of isolation and hearing from her made all the difference. We call her The Ever Ready Bunny because she never stopped working through both her rounds of cancer, but it is the fact that she hasn’t let the lock down lure her into silence as the rest of us have that is truly amazing.

  14. How timely. On Friday I told my husband if he made the crust for me, I would make the pie – usually he does the whole thing when he finds the time. It is the one thing he still cooks. And if I make my own crust, he says “Why didn’t you just ASK me”. Mine are okay. His are excellent.

    I, of course, ripped the top crust putting it on. I pieced it back together. It looks nothing like those pies. But mine was very tasty. It’s too bad we were out of whipping creme and ice creme but it really made no difference. It was still tasty.

    Big cooking week for me. The 6-hour pork roast morphed into a huge batch of pozole later in the week. I put 6 dinner sized servings for two into the freezer. So all in all, off one roast I made a roast dinner with potatoes and carrots, two nights of pozole with homemade guacamole, sour creme and fresh salsa, one lunch of pozole with chips and I have a stock pile in the freezer now for those days with cooking is a big pain. Oh, and I had another 1 pound piece of the roast left over that I put into the freezer to make into pork hash or a casserole at some later date. I am happy.

  15. Every time I check the anticipated snow totals they are higher. Currently 12-18″. Happiness is not having to go anywhere for the next 3 days.

    Unhappiness for my dog is not being able to go for a walk for a couple of days. But she’ll have a whole yard of the white stuff to snack on so she’ll deal.

    Happiness is having one of my cousins (she’ll be 90 in Septemeber) get her first vaccine shot. Another cousin (80) will have her first shot in February. I’m still trying to schedule mine. Currently they’re out of shots.

    Happiness is an art charity auction where I found one painting I really liked. I put in a bid. Auction closes soon and I just might get lucky.

    1. Got it! And for a really nice price. I won’t be picking it up for a few days so something to look forward to.

  16. I am happy I started my exercise plan this week. I will be happier if I am still following it next week.

    I set up a dog house for my basset hound. Now I just have to convince him that it is not an evil cave with a dog-eating dragon lurking in the back. He does not believe me.

  17. I haven’t been feeling a lot of happiness lately, but last week I got the tentative go-ahead for an important project at work, and at the weekend we got a new tenant for our rental place and I felt a lot of relief about both of those. And my last 3 days of daily drawing have looked like this, which is definitely satisfying:

    day -2: Try and follow online tutorial, result looks awful

    day -1: Try again. Hey, that looks pretty close to the tutorial result!

    day 0: Apply tutorial method to own version of drawing. Looks pretty good. Wahoo!

  18. SNOW!

    I wanted us to get walloped, but as usual we are on the cusp and only got 4 inches or so. Nonetheless, it was very pretty.

    My 81-year-old mother’s vaccination got rescheduled for this week. I think it’s actually the same day as the one that was unceremoniously cancelled a week or so ago. Hoping my dad will also get on a list soon. He’s in a more rural part of the commonwealth. I hope Virginia gets its act together and starts moving up the vaccines-administered lists!

    On the cooking front, I made a beet green and bean soup the other day that was delicious and has the most beautiful pinkish-purple broth. Beet parts make everything pretty!

    1. Over here in Prince George County, we got “some inches” of snow. The road in front of the house and the driveway were nearly clear by sundown. It looked great at noon – and the dotter unilaterally cancelled shopping and dining until tomorrow. I could have told her it would clear quick.

      As for inoculations, mine isn’t scheduled yet. I’ll be 70 in 20 days.

    2. I forgot the best thing–pandas in the snow! The National Zoo pandas had a blast yesterday.

  19. My Friday was a horrible nightmare, I won’t go into it here. But my friends today were very nice about it. Also, if people had to be shitty to me, which they absolutely did with all their hearts because I am the worst, most incompetent, horrible person they know, at least they waited until Friday afternoon to shame me for 90 minutes straight so I could get 48 hours away from them before I have to deal with them again. So there was that. Sure beats them doing that shit circa 9 a.m. on a Monday instead.

    I don’t care on pie, but I can sing the praises of chocolate wine and drinking a lot of it.

    I also performed in another online storytelling festival, so good for me there.

    1. That sounds awful! I hope next week is much, much better.

      I didn’t realise chocolate wine was a thing. Absolutely must try.

      1. It’s my boss and ESPECIALLY my boss’s boss.

        However, I have zero hopes of getting another job and was having no luck pre-pandemic, so.

  20. I was happy when the -11 degree F temps they predicted only went down to +8. In upstate NY, it’s the small wins. Now I’m hoping the next snowstorm they’re predicting doesn’t materialize either.

    I was happy to get a day of 2K words writing in. Not so happy about all the days I got nothing done. But I’m nearly done fighting with the tax stuff for my accountant, so hopefully I’ll get more done once that’s off my plate.

    Happy January is over. Three months of winter down, only two (or three, depending on the year) to go.

        1. We’re getting slammed. It’s beautiful, but it’s going to be so deep that it won’t melt until April.
          BUT the power is still on (please, please, please let it stay on) so that’s something big.

        2. Deborah, I’m not too far from you, I think, and we’re supposed to get 4-8 inches from the storm. We are close to the dividing line so I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up closer to a foot.

          All of you in the heavy snowfall areas, stay safe!

  21. I have now completed — I think — something called the Chapter Master Report, an annual project designed to reveal in detail what the chapter did in 2020. I am very relieved, although 2020 being what it was, the answer really is “the chapter did about half of what it normally does and what had been planned.” The absolute deadline is midnight February 1, Hawaiian time.

    I also managed to run a meeting Saturday morning (dragging myself out of bed and finishing breakfast before getting myself in Zoom shape in front of the Zoom camera by 8:30 — retirement has REALLY softened me up, and of course the cats REALLY don’t want me to get out of bed on January mornings) and then whip through the meeting minutes for one of the groups and give a short program on the Blackest Sheep in Your Family. Mine — some sort of cousin in a Very Prim and Proper Quaker branch of the family tree — was the defendant in the first obscenity case in the US in 1815, Commonwealth v. Sharpless. Jesse Sharpless and five others:

    “being evil disposed persons, and designing, contriving, and intending the morals, as well of youth, as of divers other citizens of this commonwealth, to debauch and corrupt, and to raise and create in their minds inordinate and lustful desires,
    on the first day of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifteen . . .

    unlawfully, wickedly, and scandalously did exhibit, and show for money . . . a certain lewd wicked, scandalous, infamous, obscene painting, representing a man in an obscene, impudent, and indecent posture with a woman,

    to the manifest corruption and subversion of youth, and other citizens of this commonwealth, to the evil example of all others in like case offending, and against the peace and dignity of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    Jesse argued that the picture hadn’t been identified because the description wasn’t specific. The justices not only insisted that the description was as specific as they were prepared to be, but that that if the description was MORE specific, young men would start to read published volumes of cases settled in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for X-rated thrills.


    1. Don’t know if “happy” is quite the description, but Interested to Learn that the impeachment defense team is fleeing for the hills while the Impeached is insisting that the only defense he’s prepared to offer is to insist that He Won — while any lawyer who doesn’t want to be sanctioned by judges all over the country is prepared to argue Constitutionality until the cows come home, but I Won With Fewer Votes is a non-starter.

      Will he be his own lawyer? Hmmm. Has to respond by tomorrow. Pass the popcorn.

      And Rachel Maddow reading court transcripts aloud makes me happy!

  22. It’s Monday morning here and I’m at work. I’m happy that I am ahead with most of my work. Children are due back in two weeks. So far, so calm. 🙂

  23. I am grateful for neighbors with snow blowers. We got 10 inches of snow, and then the plow left an 18-inch wall of sludge at the end of our driveway. I chipped away for an hour and removed about half of it. Kind neighbor to the rescue!

    Bonus: Despite the shoveling, my back is okay today. Rah for yoga and tai chi!

  24. Stay safe. Sounds like a nasty storm back east. Definitely a good day for making pies,

  25. I’m happy that we got the holiday decorations packed away and the house cleaned. Plus everything is coming alive in the garden. And bluebirds have been spotted on a hiking trail nearby. Spring is fully of happy. (I know it’s only Feb 1 but spring is here)

  26. I planned on going to the DMV tomorrow, but I went today. 2 hours out of my life but enough scans haven’t gone though so they knew how to fix it. Bummer part was waiting an hour outside but it was 30 degrees and next week has a high of 9 so it could have been worse. Unpleasant chore done=happy. Pies make me happy, Chocolate with a graham cracker crust. Chocolate mousse in a meringue crust or lemon. Unfortunately my jeans are as tight as they were when I was 19 but, the jeans were much smaller. Now I would just like to move farther from obese. Pie defines ambivalence for me right now.

  27. I’m happy that I got a lot of snow shoveled (and this winter my joints don’t hurt!).

    I’m happy that I have wonderful friends and eager helpers despite COVID.

  28. Happy that it is a mild sunny day today (take that, Weather Channel doomsayers) and that a mob of sunflowers are coming up in the front yard. Also possibly a volunteer salvia.

    Pie used to be a Thing chez nous. I know how to make a pretty good savory pie, and for a while there when I was trying to be a domestic goddess I’d make us a smoked-turkey pie or whatever. The man really loved those. I cheated though and used refrigerated crusts.

    My mom did an excellent pie crust. Growing up there were fruit pies year-round but peach, ZOMG peach. We lived in Georgia for a long time. Georgia peaches are the real thing. Sour-cream peach, or blueberry-peach, or plain ol’ peach.

    One time she was complaining to her mother that we couldn’t get rhubarb (you really couldn’t). Grandma in North Dakota FedExed rhubarb to us in rural south Georgia so we could have rhubarb pie.

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