See a Bearded Iris = Eat Strawberry Pie. Isn’t that how it goes?

Posted in FOOD, HOLIDAYS, STORIES
on May 9, 2014

It’s funny how you can see something so random, and seemingly insignificant and instantly be transported back in time. The other day, driving home after running errands, I drove by a home with a large patch of bearded iris’ – it’s the time of year for them and I love them so – they remind me of my mom, who I lost about 10-years ago. If she were still with us, she’d be 66. I’m not sure if they were really her favorites or not – I think she might have been more partial to other blooms.

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Ironically, I have been thinking about her a lot these past few weeks – more than usual, as is always the case this close to Mother’s Day – without even realizing it. Seeing the iris’ just brought me back to a day that seems like a million years ago. I was about 4 or 5, and was playing in the yard. Although she became quite the gardener later in life, she wasn’t much in to gardening then – what with two young children at home and working full time as well.. I think she might of had other things to think about. Remember, they had to wash cloth diapers back then! Needless to say, we might have had a bit more dirt than grass. Maybe that is what struck me, why it’s such a distinctive memory – maybe I was in awe of the braveness of anything to grow where nothing else was. It was a hot day. I remember seeing the most beautiful flower growing under our kitchen window, almost as though it had just been placed right there just for me. I remember wanting to pick it and being just completely fascinated by the vibrant colors and distinctive layers of the bloom and I couldn’t stop looking at it. As my little hand reached down to grab hold, from the open kitchen window I heard, “Kim Nicole, don’t you pick that flower..”. I don’t really remember if I picked it or not – I probably did at a later time when she wasn’t looking – I was a sneaky kid like that, I wasn’t fooling anyone, but what I like about the memory is that I can hear her voice. I miss her voice. What I wouldn’t give to be middle named and hear her saying “Hi Darling! How’s my kid?”. Not many people can use the word “darling” and not sound pretentious – she could. There was never any doubt how much she loved us. I am very aware how lucky we are to be able to say that. She may not be here.. but she’s here. And, I carry her love with me. Always.

{Source} – Similar

Another thing I miss? Her strawberry pie. I remember one year, when she was here visiting, she made strawberry pie nearly every single day for two weeks, because the kids and I liked it so much. We’d eat the entire pie. Every. Day. And she’d say.. “It’s okay. It’s fruit, it’s good for you!”. Of course, the thought of eating an entire pie even one day seems like diet suicide these days – I didn’t care about that so much then, I could eat what I wanted – but even if I had been worried, some how, my mom telling me it was okay.. well, it made it okay, the same way it seemed everything was okay once I talked to her. When I’d go home to visit, she’d always ask.. “Do you want strawberry pie..?” in the same sing-songy voice as Anna in Disney’s Frozen, when she asks.. “Do you wanna build a snowman.. ?”. And I’d say, “Duh.”, like I was 10, which would have been a whole lot more acceptable had I not been 30.

It only seems fitting to be sharing a strawberry pie.. of sorts.. recipe with you for Mother’s Day. This recipe is not her recipe, but instead is a modified version of this. Like my mom, I’ll be encouraging you to eat the entire thing, which is actually doable when it’s in tartlet form, so go ahead, do it! For those of you who worry about that kind of thing, the recipe is also gluten free, but could easily be made using regular ingredients if desired.

I made the tart shells using this ready-made gluten free pie crust from Pilsbury. You can find it in the dairy case along with other ready made baked goods from Pilsbury, and Tollhouse cookie dough.

I had not tried it before – I liked it! The taste is great, and all in all, it was nice to work with. It rolled out nicely, it was a teeny bit crumbly, but I found following the directions on the package of rolling out between two pieces of parchment, then loosening both sides of the parchment before moving it helped immensely. I used a large biscuit cutter for the shape, and carefully draped and shaped the cut out over the top of each cup of a mini-muffin tin.

I did find the baking time to be a bit tricky.. it browns really, really fast. These tart shells took literally 10 minutes and had to be covered immediately with foil to keep from burning. I also lowered the temperature to 400 degrees, as opposed to the 425 recommended on the package.

Once baked, allow to cool completely.

For the filling, add 1 cup of finely sliced strawberries, washed and hulled, 1/2 cup sugar, a teaspoon of salt and 1/4 cup of water to a sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water. Add to the sauce pan, stirring until smooth. Return the sauce pan to heat and stir until thickened – about 2 minutes.

Once cool, add 1 1/2 cups finely sliced strawberries to the glaze and mix gently. Using a small spoon, carefully fill the tartlet shells with the strawberry filling.

For the topping, mix an 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese with 3 tablespoons of sugar until smooth. I like to use ziploc sandwich bags a lot for piping toppings or frosting on to desserts. If using this method, fill a ziploc sandwich bag with the cream cheese topping. Snip the corner of the bag and using a circular motion, pipe a small amount of topping on to each tartlet.

If you are up for sharing with a few, or more, of your favorite mothers, an easy idea for packaging – cupcake liners. All mother’s like to feel appreciated.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you. Thanks for.. Everything. And, the next time I see you, I’ll be standing with a bouquet, and the answer will be duh, of course I want strawberry pie.

For other Mother’s Day fun, check this out – I don’t know what it is about Mother’s Day that makes me so hungry..

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3 Comments

  • Lynn Blaylock

    Sweet post!

    May 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm Reply
  • Angela Conklin

    What a wonderful story about your mother. I lost my mother too (5 years ago). She would have been 67 this year. I cherish those moments when I remember/hear her voice. They're bittersweet. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    May 26, 2014 at 7:31 am Reply
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