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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 09/11/12

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

MINI CHERRY PIES! OH MY!

   This recipe comes from www.adventuressheart.com .   When you don't want to make a big pie that sometimes goes to waste.  Why not make some little ones.  Better for you and a lot less waste.


Mini Cherry Pies


If pies are the new cupcake then these mini cherry pies can rival any cupcakes in the cuteness category and they're 100% home-made and so delicious!


Start with the Pate Brisee, this was half of the recipe I used for the apple marzipan galette, I froze it so all I had to do was thaw it overnight in the fridge!

Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1996/1997
Yield
Makes one double-crust or two single-crust 9-inch pies
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Ingredients


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small
1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed
Directions


In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)


With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.


Turn out dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.



With the last of the season cherries I picked up the rest was easy, pitting was the most fun using the cool technique I learned recently and used on my cherry dumplings here.

I think this is probably one of the most useful and exciting tips I've ever learned because before this I would avoid cherries, using a parring knife to peel the flesh around the pit was not fun at all!

These cherries go into a pot after pitting and I add a bit of sugar to sweeten and a squeeze of lemon to balance things out then it boils for 12 mins or so on medium low and once they are soft enough to squish with a spoon I thicken with a little mix of half a tbsp of cornstarch and a few drops of water and the cherry mixture begins to thicken I take it off the heat and let it cool.

Ok so these little pies were made right in the cupcake pan.. no greasing or anything required. Just cut the dough and put it straight in.

The filling should be cool of course and you can begin your assembly creating any type of design you like. Here I made three different designs ...

Use some eggwash to create a nice sheen on the little pies before baking..

Bake between 350 and 375 for 30 mins or so until the pastry is crispy and browned
















WHAT MAKES THE GRAVEYARD A SPOOKY AND SCARY PLACE?





    Under the watchful gaze of crumbling saints and baby-faced cherubs, you hurry down a path lined with mausoleums. Eventually, you pass crops of headstones casting long, narrow shadows in the moonlight. Each engraved with the epitaph of the dead person's life. You run past sunken graves and dying flowers, hoping that the sound you hear is just the wind and you're trying to shake the feeling that something is following close behind you.
    Maybe you've never taken a midnight stroll through your local cemetery. But if you have ever set foot in one, you've likely felt a hint of fear and uneasiness that is their legacy. Maybe you were attending a funeral of someone dear and close to you, touring graveyards or simply fleeing things that go bump in the night.
    Whatever your reason for strolling among the tombstones, you probably felt something noteworthy about the experience-something different from all the other spaces and places that fill our lives. After all, graveyards are the final resting place for many of our dead. People say their last goodbyes there, sometimes returning year after year to leave flowers or say a few words.
    No matter where we travel in the world, cemeteries are silent and solemn settings. Whether the grounds are finely manicured or left to the weeds, graveyard exist as the place where the living contemplate many mysteries, traumas and heartbreaks associated with death.
    Why are many people afraid of graveyards? Is it the thought of all those decaying bodies (zombies) under the dirt or the idea of an old crusty are coming out of the grass to grab your foot and pull you into their final resting spot with them? Or is it something deeper?









    Cats often receive a bum rap for hanging out in cemeteries, but can anyone blame them? Graveyards offer a cat everything they could ask for: all the best spots to nap, trees to use as scratching posts and a selection of small animals to prey on. What more could your averages sized cat want with your dead relatives soul when there are many squirrels and birds around to occupy their time?
    To cats, graveyards may be another place to sleep away the afternoon, but to we humans, they represent the mystery and the outrage of mortality. Whether we like it or not we're all going to die. You may think you've accepted that fact, but it's an issue humanity has struggled with for ages. Unable to avoid it, we've tried to figure out what lies beyond its doors. Will we live forever in a golden paradise, be reincarnated as a cow (or a cat that spends all afternoon in a cemetery) or simply cease to exist? We've pined for understanding since the times of the great pyramids and stared into the eyes of guillotined heads, hoping to catch a glimpse of something other than the emptiness of nonexistence.
    Fear exists as a response to stimuli that threatens our survival as a species. We're programmed to fight or run from anything that might cause death, and we approach death with this same attitude. We flee from it every day by distancing it from our thoughts and lives. In most parts of the world, we've handed the duties of interring the dead over to morticians, which limits our intimacy with death.
    Fighting death is trickier. To avoid staring down mortality, we've redefined what death is. We choose to see dying not as something our bodies eventually do, but something that eventually happens to our bodies. We cast ourselves as the victim of death, which is the reason grim reapers and other death-stalking beings permeate our beliefs. If death is a natural counterpart to life, there's nothing we can do about it in the end. But if it's something inflicted on us by an outside force, then perhaps we have a fighting chance.
    Society often sets aside the angel of death and instead chooses to practice what some people call "the deconstruction of mortality." That is, we break down the insurmountable mystery of death into smaller pieces we can digest easily: biological functions, diseases and mental dysfunctions. If prayer or bribing the reaper doesn't work, maybe multiple organ transplants will.
Pray and think about death all you want, but it's still going to happen at some time.









    Disposing of a body isn't difficult. Bury it in the forest, cremate it or just leave it out for the vultures--a rite Zoroastrains in India still practice. Not only are these methods cheaper than buying a fancy casket and a cemetery plot, but they also allow "Mother Earth" to reclaim the decaying material faster. The use of stone mausoleums, coffins and embalming only slows down the decomposition process.
    But then again, burials aren't really about the dead--they're about the living. We do our best to stave off some of the bad properties of death. And while immortality isn't an option, tombstones and stone monuments serve as long-lasting markers of the life that was. Aunt Betty may be out of your life for good, but a slab of engraved granite will serve as a reminder that she existed. Cemetery stonework also serves to encourage a sacred atmosphere, enforcing notions of afterlife and further establishing the site as a kind of sacred place between life and death.
    We humans fear death, yet we work hard to maintain hallowed spaces where the dead are memorialized and at least partially preserved. On top of that, we heap religions full of resurrection prophecies and thousands of years' worth of superstitions, folktales and ghost stories. We're constantly repressing our feelings about death or magnifying them to tremendous proportions. Maybe you avoid cemeteries and nursing homes, or actively try to speak to the dead through TV psychic mediums-either way, you're striving to avoid the real relationship that exists between life and death.
    We've poured a lot of sacrament, superstition and fear into our graveyards, which makes for quite a powerful atmosphere. Not only do graveyards play on past memories of loss, they also invoke potentially potent themes of supernatural terror. It's not just horror movies that contribute to this frightening reputation. Cemetery preservation groups and historical societies sometime get in on the action with haunted tours.
In more extreme cases, people actually suffer from colmetrophobia, the fear of graveyards. The condition involves a heightened, unrealistic fear of graveyards that actively interferes with a person's life. But unless walking past a cemetery makes your heart race, your fear probably doesn't qualify as a phobia.
    For the most part, the only things you really have to fear in graveyards are collapsing tombstones and monuments. Besides that, living, breathing humans are responsible for more graveyard assaults than all the vampires, zombies and ghouls combined.

THE BIRD KING RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL FROM FRANCE!






S   ince 1986, every third weekend of September, the city of Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire) found its Renaissance colors. Through a festival of a high culture, the city takes the guise of an old and true archery contest to get it back into the glorious past.
    For four days in September, priority is given to street performances and the reconstruction of what daily life in the sixteenth century in the Velay would have been like. Tented camps, struggles with the sound of cannon fire, folk artisans, daily cooking and meal time, and pilgrims on their way to Saint Jacques de Compostela to set up their tents and compounds for so they can rough it just like their ancestors.
    Each year, several days after the school year has been out, the entire city and its people gather to live and work in the Bird King Renaissance Festival offering all who who attend the festival, to join them for the four days of the festival. Many attendees come in period costumes and they continue their adventure, learning and participating , but this time as actors. Thus everyone and anyone who attends, to the extent of their expertise, can live and work for a few days of friendship and folly in a time of history gone by.

An atmosphere that "breathes" the sixteenth century

    Whether it's costumes, daily life, crafts, cooking, military camps, music and/or dance ... the sites and sounds of the King of the bird must "breathe, sound and look" just like the real sixteenth century.










    Each year, the Renaissance du Puy-en-Velay is a real history lesson for many schools and their students. Students are thus likely to move between different sites and locals, exploring the different parts and surroundings of the festival. They take advantage of all of the activities that are scheduled for each and every day, many of which are much more educational than it may really seem.
    Journey through a calligraphy workshop, through the learning of flavors, plants, weapons, metalwork from the many participants living and working at the festival and ending with the old games, diving headlong into the Renaissance is a full on life expericence you will never want to forget about.


Highlights

    In addition to the programs and festivities offered for the festivals large crowds. Many street performers and musicians will be strolling in and around the grounds, also at the many different venues that surround the festival. The King of the Bird is also an opportunity to share many moments of spectacles and emotions.

Concert In The Land of 1001 Nights












    Ambassador Suleiman the Magnificent wanted to offer our first Sir Francis a gift that would be worthy of a king of his high quality.
    Also, it is an evening full of perfumes and spices from the East, that will be seen and smelled during the ceremony: silk, coffee tables, mint tea, colored projections, as you will be the guests of His Highness the Caravensérail and have the chance of leaving you enchanted by the music of DAYAZELL at the nights concert!

Renaissance dances










    At the opening of each of the dances, the group of dancers, well known throughout the city, and Pavanes Caprioli, offer evocative dances full of imagination and of the ball that would have happened at the time of the Renaissance period.
    Then driven in turn by the groups: Picabofà, Zucati, and Tempradura Waraok, great balls of Velay and the Verbena Harvest, will provide an opportunity for everyone to discover his and her talents as dancers through the advice of Mr Sauret, the master of the ceremonies.
    Finally, to complete the setting of the ball, the walls will be dressed with colorful images and the combination of poetry and surprise ...

The March of Time in the Footsteps of François I

    More than ever, the approach is to take on the looks of different parts of Europe and its many cultures, the King of the Bird, in collaboration with the twinning committees department and the departmental committee of hiking. There has been a new, organized march to the festival with costumes and equipment from the Renaissance time period. The European guests of twinning committees and all those who might want to try their luck in the conditions of the 16th century, are invited to be at the church square of Polignac on Saturday, September 17 at 2 p.m., to trace the route used by their ancestors in 1533 and by Her Majesty François. First by stopping at Le Puy Sainte Marie. At about 2:30, historic marchers parade through the city, partying and marching to the celebratory music and will meet up with the Consuls and other municipal officials of the city.

Children's Day










    The promise for a better future for children born during the year, and for those aged. The seven harvests will be welcomed by all the people, cheering, in which water, light and nature become the guarantors of a bright future of every child, for they are the hero's of the day!

The Parade of Adventurers











    Vellaves groups gather and get ready to embark on the third expedition of Jacques Cartier in Quebec ( the military, farmers, loggers, bad girls chained ...) walk and march in a procession from the home of Mgr Galard, to Martouret to bid farewell to His Majesty, François I.


Ceremony to the King










    Courage is one of the virtues of the people of Vellaves, they are likely to want to sail with Jacques Cartier on his last expedition to his landing at Quebec ... However, before leaving the good town of Le Puy Sainte Marie and not knowing when they will see it again, they want to say goodbye to their sovereign people during a special ceremony, combining the art of music and dance, in a tribute to the military.

The Coronation of The King of the Bird 2011









    The finals of the archery competition and the unique spectacle of the Coronation of King's, winner of the Bird 2011, will be held on Saturday, September 17th, in the large gardens of Henri Vinay Lice! Also of note, is that the coronation will result in many spectacular sights and sounds, including the Sonneurs Velay and the Alchymère acrobatic Company. An event not to be missed!


Presentation of "Embassies of Distant Lands"


    Her Majesty will give the French representatives the first hearing to listen to them talk of distant lands and conquests, that they have recently discovered or have long been linked by trade and political relations. Thus, she will surely welcome, as it should be, the Embassy of Suleiman the Magnificent and the caravans of Samarkand, returning from their long journeys on the Silk Road, but also the brave passengers of the Isles and other settlements of the city, who presented the many exotic objects brought back from their expeditions to Aztec, China or in the frozen steps of other northern countries.

The Historic Parade










    The traditional historic parade is on Sunday. Participants gather at the same time every year. Thousands of participants will start to convene at approximately 4 p.m at the cathedral, the parade will finnish up late afternoon at the top of the Boulevard du Breuil.




Shooting the Bird






    Archery competitions and archery law are the main theme of the celebrations of the King Bird. Pull the bird was once a widespread custom throughout France. It was established by Charles V, after the close of many of the gambling halls and houses. Pull the bird was similar to kill the parrot or Papagaï (the name given to the parrot in Occitan), some of the other well known archery event that had taken place in Europe.
Le Puy-en-Velay, dates back to 1524. That year, archers and musketeers had organized into a brotherhood by the consuls and were allowed to compete in the bird to create a healthy rivalry among the younger members of their brotherhood, and thus, in turn to get the younger members to not "follow your lust of gambling and taverns or deal with a thousand other passions and dissolutions, how youth is subject ". The shooting of the bird was held annually after that.












    The winner was proclaimed king for a year, during which he was entitled to wear the sword, to attend the processions to the rank of consuls and order " a company fusilhers arquebuziers with sergeans and drums". He was also entrusted with the keys of the city and was exempt from taxes. After a few interruptions in history, shooting the bird was done regularly until the Revolution. After this, an attempt to restore the custom of shooting the bird was held onSeptember 3, 1814. It was not until the inter-war period, from about 1920 to 1940, the tradition gained favor at Breuil Mercoeur, by historian Albert Vellaves Boudon-Lashermes.
    Finally, it is with the creation of the Renaissance Festival and of the King of the Bird in 1986, that the city of Puy, reestablished the famous festival once again and became a popular tradition to this day.

The Assistance of the King of the Bird

    Playoffs: Equipment, bows and arrows, is provided by the Organizing Committee of the King of the Bird. The playoffs will take place at du Breuil, Saturday, Sept. 17, after registration.








    Final coronation of the new King and Prince of the Bird 2011: Finalists will compete in the gardens of Henri Vinay, Saturday, September 17th. After this competition, the winner will be announced and crowned "King", by the archer that reaches the heart of the bird target or the one that ends up the closest.


The Tented Camps







    One of the greatest features of the King of the Bird is the impressive number of camps that take hold and populate the grounds around the city and allow the towns people to live and play in all pomp and circumstance of a Renaissance fare, recreating the festival of a time gone by.