Friday 30 May 2008

A Story, A Giveaway and a Delicious Strawberry Pie

Early in the 19th century a young American lawyer was riding to court with is friends one day. Along the way they noticed on the ground two baby robins which had fallen from their nest. Mother robin was cheeping frantically nearby as she fluttered over head.

The friends rode on, but the young lawyer didn't. He did rejoin his friends eventually, but with muddy boots and clothing, which caused a bit of aggro from his friends and good natured ribbing.

He admitted that he had put the two young robins back into the comfort of their nest and added . . . "If I hadn't, I would not have been able to sleep a wink all night."

What a special young man this was and I don't think you'll be surprised to find out that it was a young Abraham Lincoln, who was later to become the President of the United States of America. It would seem that acts of kindness were second nature to this man throughout his lifetime. It's no wonder he was such a powerful leader for his country.

We, in the Western world, could use a few good men like that today. Men who aren't afraid to get their hands and clothes dirty in doing what is known to be the right thing, the true thing, the Godly thing. Men who aren't afraid to claim Christ as their master or live by His precepts. Men who really do seek what's best for their countries, instead of having secret agendas and toeing the party line. Men who are honest, and truthful and just. Men who love their countries more than they love themselves . . .

I want to say thank you this morning for the lovely e-mails and comments that I get from some of you. They mean the world to me, and my life is truly enriched and blessed by your words. It means a lot to me to know that these things I pen each morning have inspired some of you in little ways, and that others of you appreciate the cooking and recipes. It really makes my day to know that you have tried the recipes and enjoyed them or that my words have helped to uplift you in some way, large or small. As a small way of thanks I would like to give to one of you a little token, a set of two medium size prints of my art work, suitable for framing, of your own choice. Have a look at my page BLOSSOM TIME CREATIONS and pick out two of your favourites, and then leave a comment on this entry. I'll put your name into a draw for them, one week from today.

I just love my *Make Me Bake* Poll. I have been able to try some new recipes that I have long wanted to try out, and to revisit some old tried and trues that I haven't made in a while. This week was no exception when you chose for me to bake the Triple Strawberry Cream Pie. I had kept my fingers crossed the whole week because I really wanted to make this, and you didn't let me down! (I love it when that happens!) Mind you, I would be happy no matter what you picked. The shop shelves are starting to show early season British strawberries now, and I was able to get a few punnets at a really reasonable price the other day. I really love eating fruit when it's in season, as it tastes so much better and sweeter. Todd thanks you as well. He really enjoyed tucking into this after his tea yesterday!!

*Triple Strawberry Cream Pie*
Makes 1 (9 1/2 inch) pie

Lovely seasonal ripe berries presented in three delicious layers . . . a cooked, thickened strawberry sauce, a layer of fresh berries and a luscious topping of berry sweetened whipped cream. Another one from my Big Blue Binder of tried and trues.

1 Graham Cracker crumb crust (see below)
1 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
(This works out to about 1 3/4 pounds)
1/3 cup white sugar
the grated zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 TBS cornstarch (cornflour)
1 1/2 cups cold heavy or whipping cream
1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

Prepare the crust as outlined below and set it aside.

Take half of the strawberries and slice them into a large bowl. Stir in 1 TBS of the white sugar and the lemon zest. Set them aside for 10 minutes to juice.

Using a large fork or a potato masher, crush the juiced berries just enough to make a coarse puree. Place in a medium saucepan. Mix the remaining white sugar with the cornstarch and stir it into the crushed berries, mixing it in well. Place over medium heat and cook and stir until it comes to a gentle boil, becoming thick and translucent. This should take about 1 minute after it boils. Scrape the sauce into a glass bowl and allow to cool for about 1 hour. (You can do this part ahead if you wish and keep the sauce in the refrigerator until you need it.)

Place the cold cream into a chilled bowl and whip it until it begins to thicken and hold soft peaks. Stir in the icing sugar, and then fold in 1/2 cup of the cold strawberry sauce.

Spread the remaining strawberry sauce in the bottom of the prepared crust. Halve the remaining berries and arrange them in a tight layer on top of the sauce. If you run out of room, chop any remaining berries and scatter them over top of the halved berries, filling in any gaps. Spoon the strawberry whipped cream over top and smooth it over with the back of a spoon. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve. This is a pie that you will want to serve on the same day as you prepare it.

*Graham Cracker Crust*
Makes one 9 1/2 inch crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (We can't get graham crackers over here in the UK, and so I always use crushed digestive biscuits as the perfect substitution)
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup melted butter

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Mix all the ingredients together and press evenly into the bottom of your pie dish and up the sides. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and then cool before filling.


  1. Hi Marie,
    I love these two the best:
    Stop And Smell The Flowers & When In Doubt, Eat Cake.
    Best regards,

  2. Marie, what a delicious looking pie, we have some superb berries in Tayside and Fife so I will have to try this one, thinking about trying a raspberry version too. I love April showers and Touched by Angels.

  3. Strawberry season is coming soon:D

  4. It takes such a lovely long time to get through each entry of yours Marie. The anticipation of it is just like the anticipation of a well-earned sit down with a footstool, a bit of 'naughty' cake and a pot of tea - and a big "Aaah, that's better". If I'm lucky enough to be a winner, my favourites are 'When in doubt eat cake' and 'April Showers' - I still don't know how you find time for it all! Now, excuse me while I go back to Etsy,
    love, Angie, xx

  5. Marie, that's another delicious looking treat. Strawberries and cream I my idea of summery heaven.

  6. Mmmm this is a definate must make! Love your posts! Looking forward to your choice of TWD next week! Hx

  7. The pie looks fantastic! I will have to save that one to try next time I have th eurge to make a pie. - HeatherFeather

  8. Marie, I adore your drawings! Your talent never ceases to amaze me! You are one blessed woman! I know your business is going to take off! That strawberry pie recipe knocks my socks off! Wow! When English berries come in full on I'm going to give it a go for my Edwin!
    Big Hugs,

  9. Hi Marie,
    I look forward to reading your words every morning and the photos are wonderful!...a lovely way to start the day. All of the recipes I have tried have been easy and delicious. Thank you!! If my name is selected I like April Showers and Smell the Flowers. Best wishes.

  10. My favorites are "April Showers" and "When in doubt eat cake", but of course they are all lovely!

  11. I also wanted to say that I'm also holding a give-away. Food-related Art. Please feel free to stop by and enter!

  12. I am like Angie, Marie, I usually save your blog for last, kind of a dessert to my daily blog-reading! You are a wonderful person and it shines through on your blog. That pie looks heavenly, will be trying that when our home-grown berries get ripe! My 2 favorites are When in doubt, eat cake and Stop and smell the flowers.

    Love, Raquel XO

  13. That is a wonderful story...and yes, the world could use more Abe Lincolns! With strawberry season here soon, I look forward to making this great recipe, Marie! You are too sweet to do another giveaway! Having purchased on of your lovely print, I can say it it truly remarkable--you have as much flair with paint, as with cooking! I love the "When In Doubt, Eat Cake"...but then I love them all! Happy weekend, my friend ((BIG HUGS))

  14. Fearless Kitchen30 May 2008 at 14:44

    This looks fabulous, as always. My parents are coming to town next weekend, and I bet my mom would just love this pie. I'll have to try my hand at making it for her!

  15. Marie, I have several cartons of strawberries, and this pie would be perfect. All of your prints are a delight, but I would choose the Stop and Smell the Flowers and April Showers. Hope I win! Jancd

  16. Marie I don't have any doubt your strawberry Pie is wonderful and delicious!!! But today how many days that I come a little blue and a little tired,these days you know.
    I coming by food to my soul and I find, so many many, thanks, I love the pictures, and the story specially love the little nest how beautiful are dear!!!
    Is good to us you say you like the comments, sometimes I think, maybe she doesn`t like the comments or I dont know.
    I smiling reading the comments many are friends of mine, but all find they are wanted, to the soul or body!!!
    You really sunshine my days because I love autumn but some days are dufficult. xxxGloria

  17. What a wonderful story about old Abe! Maybe he was hiding some birds under that hat of his.

    I've got two new stories for you. I'll e-mail this weekend!

  18. I can't believe it!!!! How did one person end up with so much talent? You are amazing!!!!! An author, a cook and an artist..... is there anything that you can't do? Truly AMAZING!

    I would love to be put in the drawing. My favorite would be the Tulip logo to put in my kitchen but if that one is just for your Tulip friend my second choice is the Smell the Flowers one.

    I can't believe how talented you are..... AMAZING!

  19. Marie, all your recipes are so appetizing... thanks for blogging and at the risk of being redundant, here's an award

  20. I fell across your site by 'acident' and just want to say that I LOVE YOUR MUSIC!

  21. Oh that pie looks lovely! I may have to make that soon! I still need to make the stuffed chicken with peppers & goat cheese as well as the garlic dijon sauce! Mmmm....

    I think your Lilac Days and April Showers are adorable!

  22. Marie, thank you so much, I can now leave comments on your blog to my hearts content.
    Your strawberry pie looks so yummy that I have saved it on Microsoft word for future reference.

  23. This post was beautiful as all your posts. Ilove the Robin story the picture of the nest is so neat. My son found an abandoned Robins nest last year which was lying on the ground with broken blue eggs in it.. we took it in.. It is truly amazing how each mama bird takes so much time in their nests. I want you to know that you are a blessing to me and a faithful friend coming to my blog everyday. I am most delinquint in leaving comments but I want you to know your words, wisdom and love for Christ shine through, not to mention your yummy recipies and sweet art work and beautiful pictures... I just love ya... so my favorites:

    I love Tulips for Mama, April Showers and Being Mom... I know that was three but it's hard to choose since they are all so lovely.

    Blessings to you and Todd and many wishes and congrats to whoever wins your sweet prints.

    Love, Mica

  24. I was just admiring your paintings the other day - what luck to have a giveaway!

    If I'm drawn, I would love April Showers and Flowers for Mama for my little Amelia.

    Also, thank you for your email (a reply to mine about Nova Scotia and comfort foods) - I don't mind it was a while later, just glad that you read it to let you know you have another fan who finds your blog to be like a touch of home.

  25. That is a great story about Abraham Lincoln. I am going to make that pie for an upcoming barbecue.

    Your art is so pretty. I love:

    When in Doubt Eat Cake and Lilac Days.

  26. Hey Marie... I love to Stop and Smell the Flowers ;-P

  27. Hi Marie, I think I'm now able to leave a comment here! The Strawberry Pie looks to die for! I intend to make it for some friends from Germany when they come to stay with me, although no doubt I'll be making it before then! My very favourite picture is When In Doubt, Eat Cake, and although I love all the others, if I had to choose it would be Lilac Days. Love, Pat

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  29. I will be saving that recipe....strawberries are one of my favourites. I'm salivating at the thought of that pie....

    I love Being Mom...and my daughter loves April those are our picks! She loves ducks...hee hee...


  30. I'm having such a good time, browsing through your entries and listening to the music. I like the artists on your player. I'm a real fan of Celine Dion; I have qute a few of her CDs. This strawberry pie recipe is right on time, it's strawberry season here and I just went to the farmer's market yesterday and came back witha huge basket of berries.

  31. Marie,
    I love strawberry pie(s) and am anxious to try your version. Sure looks good! My favorites of your paintings (which was difficult to determine) are: "April Showers" and "Stop and Smell the Flowers." Thank you for your generosity of freely giving two of your wonderful paintings to someone.

    Judi :-)

  32. Marie,

    The pie looks absolutely luscious. Jason & I took our munchkins strawberry picking yesterday & I always get tons more than I can eat in just one day. . .this may be a happy surprise treat for our family very soon.

    BTW, the story about Abraham Lincoln was exactly what I needed to read right now.

  33. That strawberry pie!...I must make one. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    Your drawings are delightful and each one makes me smile. My personal favorite is the little girl reading. From your Etsy, I love Entertaining Angels and She Always Wanted a Pet...How cute!

  34. That strawberry pie looks incredible! YUMMMMM. And you make your own graham cracker crust?? You are the real deal, gal. xo

  35. this is my first time to your blog, i love it !!

  36. I had never heard that Abe Lincoln story! :)


  37. I guess I haven't been by in a very long time, and you've certainly been busy! Congrats on your cookbook, and your drawings are amazing. The strawberry pie is something I have to try, but only with people around as I'd have trouble not inhaling it all by myself ; )


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!