On the Farm

On the Farm

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sweeter Than Me Apple Pie

So here it is, by popular demand. This pie is always a HIT!!!! People love it. It also just so happens to work well with the fact that I have 4 apples trees and I can as many apples as I can late in the Fall….well, that is until I cannot look at another apple without wanting to throw it through the window. I’ll tell’ya….there’s got to be an easier way to core apples and peel them than with this crank corer/peeler! But for now I guess I’ll be happy with the fact that I don’t have to do it all with a knife and a push down corer….YUCK…I’ve done that before!!

So here’s a bit of information you may want in attempting to make this pie……you can use store bought canned filling BUT I WOULD SERIOUSLY ADVISE AGAINST IT!!!...1) Because the ‘filling’ with the apples is this odd gel substance that I wouldn’t feed to my dogs, which brings me to #2) It’s just disgusting plan and simple. I actually haven’t figured out which way I like my pie best, that’s mainly because I never fill it the same way twice it seems, and it’s normally so good the next time I make it that I never remember which way I like it best! Nonetheless, as long as you stick to either fresh apples or canned apples or canned apple sauce (using my recipes)….then you’ll be just fine!

So here’s just a few ways you can fill with pie….

1)All fresh apples
2)All Canned Apples (homemade, of course)
3)Fresh with Applesauce (homemade, of course)
4) ½ Fresh, ½ Canned
5)1/2 Fresh, ½ Applesauce
6)1/2 Canned, ½ Applesauce
Or 7)….just go crazy and throw all 3 together in the pie.

WHATEVER WAY YOU CHOOSE TO DO IT….JUST MAKE SURE IT’S A HEAPIN’OUT OF THE TOP OF THE PIE CRUST (as in don’t just stop adding apples when you get to the top of the crust…you want your pie to have some height to it)

OKAY……so here’s the recipe
1 ½ c. all purpose flour
½ c. vegetable oil
½ tsp. white sugar
1 tsp. salt
Just a couple of shakes of cinnamon


Throw all those ingredients in a bowl and mix it well! I use my KITCHEN AID Stand-Alone (1)because I love it, 2)my honey bunny bought it for me our 1st Christmas together, and 3) ITS RED!!!!)

Once you’ve mixed your ingredients well, toss them into a GREASED Pie pan. Now, the easiest way to do this is just use your fingers, knuckles and palms to flatten the crust onto the bottoms and sides of the pan…..and now, to fill….

(now again, decide how you want to use your filling from the previously mentioned list….in this case, I will show you will ½ applesauce and ½ homemade canned filling)
Put your filling and sauce (in this case) on the crust and even out. AGAIN, no matter what method you use, you want some height on the filling. If you choose to use fresh apples alone, keep in mind that the apples will cook down in the pie, so much sure you give fresh apples some EXTRA HEIGHT!!!!! Now, IF YOU ALSO USE FRESH APPLES, you want to remember to put about ¾ cup of sugar and about 2 tbsp cup of cinnamon over the top of the apples with about 3 tsp. cup of flour. If you use canned or applesauce, you don’t have to add quite as much sugar in the filling however, you must make sure that your canned and sauce is kinda sweet already.

Now, you can reduce the amount of sugar of course for canned or sauce, but I must say, this is SWEETER Than Me Apple Pie…..now that’s gonna have to include a lot of sugar if it’s gonna be any sweeter than me!!! Still, you do have to use about that much sugar for the filling with fresh apples because it cooks with the water in the apples to make a sauce/filling within the pie.

ALSO, thank goodness one time I didn’t use flour in the actually filling because my cousin was eating it, and she is gluten free…..so at least she was able to enjoy the filling at least. Now, I don’t know anything about gluten free flour but I guess you could use that in place throughout the recipe.


Okay, not knocking those stripety topped apple pies…..but this is supposed to be mouth wateringly SWEET….and if I wanted to cover the whole thing in crust, I’d just fry me up a pie…..which I’m not doing just yet…..
The topping for this pie is sweet ,crunchy and chunky……use

¼ c. Butter or margarine
½ c. Flour
½ c. Sugar
-2 tsp. Cinnamon.

Soften your butter a bit and throw all ingredients together back in your bowl to mix. If you have a cutter you can use it, but for me, since I have no cutter, I simply put my whisk looking attachment on my mixer and let’her rip. You want to butter to combine with the sugar and flour (and cinnamon) to make mouth watering chunks.

Now, there’s two ways I form the topping for the pie…..sometimes I let it mix into little bitty balls about the size of a pea or a bit bigger….on medium high speed. Or double to topping recipe and let them mix into both little and big pieces. This is so you can cover it in the little pieces while randomly placing the bigger chunks on the top. This is to create extra bites of HEAVEN throughout eating a piece of this pie.

My favorite of course is the latter (remember the pie’s name) but whatever you choose be generous with this topping allover the pie. (in my experience it’s always better to double this topping recipe no matter what.)

Once you have put the topping on, let that sucker cook nice and slow at 350* for an 45-1 ½ hours just depending on your oven power….basically, you want the pie to get nice and brown on the top!!! (remember to put a pan under the pie pan in the oven to catch any drippings!)……

Now, if you are making this pie for company, make sure that you make it at least 3 hours prior because it’s gonna be hot for awhile after you take it out.


When I make a pie, I normally make about 2-3 of them (I’ve always gotta send one to Mom and Dad’s house since my Mother no longer cooks munch …and she definitely doesn’t cook random sweets just because she feels like it)….also, if the Hubby were to ever find out I was cooking a pie for someone without making him one to enjoy for a few evenings, I’d definitely be having to find myself a new kitchen to cook in!!!! So, I like to make these pies ahead of time if I know I’m gonna be busy with the little on the day it needs to be made.

IF YOU PRE-MAKE THESE PIES, EVEN AS EARLY AS THE DAY BEFORE, MAKE SURE YOU PUT THESE PIES IN THE FREEZER…..when you are ready just pop them in the oven frozen and all, just let’er cook a bit longer! (you don’t have to thaw it) Don’t put it in the frig to store over night to cook the next day…..for some reason it will dry it out and the topping won’t turn out right. BUT OF COURSE, IF YOU CAN, YOU ALWAYS WANNA COOK THIS SUCKER FRESH!!!!!!


Sunday, September 12, 2010

This is what happens when there's a one year old in the house!!

Colby's spitfire Aunt Noma is so funny!

She just sent me a FB message telling me about trying to make apple dumplings, but the cards just weren't in her favor on this day....STORY OF MY LIFE, in the kitchen anyway!!

Last week I was making homemade Italian Beef Buns .... never again! The first batch I forgot that I had a 'dough' setting on my breadmaker and didn't get to it in time to take the dough out before it started cooking!....found it 1/2 cooked, and instead of just letting that cook for 45 minutes and make sandwich bread out of it, I actually took it out and threw it away so I could hurry up and start my second batch so Colby could eat by about 6:00.

The second batch I doubled the recipe.... but realized, when seeing the dough was 'watery' at the end of the kneading cycle, that I had forgot 1/2 way through putting my ingredients in the bread machine that I had doubled it....So the first 1/2 of the ingredients were doubled, and the second 1/2 put in were regular measurements for a single batch...ugh.....

The THIRD and final batch I doubled all the ingredients....except for the yeast! So, the buns were a bit flat, but still pretty good, when we finally were able to eat our sami's....at 9:00 at night!

This is what happens when you try to cook with a one year old in the house!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

If you weren't giving it....then why did you ask so many darn questions about it! (The anniversary gift)

WOW……Two years!!!! We’ve actually been together for a total of 3 years but married for 2!!! I never thought it was possible but we are the couple that everyone hates! 1)We don’t fight and 2) We literally live every day for each other and for our daughter! We have our priorities straight when it comes to how we want to live our lives and raise our children!! We are completely in sync; and I must say that if the biggest thing we fight about is the crumbs he leaves on the table after he eats, or the same spot he throws his undies when getting in the shower, then we are doing pretty good! Yeah, yeah, I know what some couples are thinking, “Just wait till you get some more years under your belt, you’ll hate each other.”…..well, I guess only time will tell, but for the time being, we are sure having fun spending every minute together!!!!


So I’m sure that this anniversary will be as great as every single gift giving occasion……but of course, I refer to those occasions pre-Biscuit! Now that we have the Biscuit and have made staying home with her #1 priority, the gifts tend to be random…..But what is consistent is that in myself staying home with her with no career right now, the gifts Colb receives are limited to Birthday and Christmas. Not much has changed in the gift giving department for me however; in fact, he always seems to outdo himself as time passes. FOR MOTHER’S DAY THIS YEAR…..LASIK….WOW!!!! Now I must say that I begged for it, with my new found eye allergies since moving to Hardin County. In all seriousness he is no longer obligated to buy me a gift for any occasion for the next 10 years….said so by me. Lasik is HUGE….and extremely costly, especially for people like me that could probably pass for legally blind!

Well, of course my gift for my birthday a couple of months later was a Brazilian Blowout. He did a fantastic job of getting it considering I had only mentioned it to him maybe once or twice. The result pic is in the WELCOME FALL posting.

So here comes our anniversary, and to be quite honest, we have been especially been busy the past few weeks so I definitely didn’t expect anything. Not to mention the fact that the man had just bought me Lasik 3 months ago and I didn’t’ have the money to get him anything in return.

So we go to dinner and are having a nice typical conversation. All of a sudden he asks ‘So how much money do you have in your Camera fund’ (many of you know that I started a camera fund about a month ago to buy my very first Canon Rebel)….Well, since he asked I informed him that I had $280, but unfortunately had to use $180 of it, which by the way was my birthday money, to put gas in my car, go to Wal-Mart like 8 times as well as any spending money at two fairs and a couple of fun girl swim days. Now, not complaining, but I really don’t think birthday money should be used on gas or Wal-Mart, but that was the only money I had. I figured that when he heard this he would replace some it. But in all honesty, the truth is that he gives me money anytime I need it. So really, what’s birthday money anyway?

But this wasn’t just birthday money…..THIS WAS MY CAMERA FUND!!!!! So now I’m back down to $100 for my fund, which means I was just that much farther away from meeting my goal for purchasing the camera by Thanksgiving.
Okay, no back to my story again……

So he asked me about the camera fund, and then proceeded to ask even more questions, like ‘How much is the camera you want’, etc. Let me tell you, we talked about the camera for about 15 minutes, and even though I was doing most of the talking, he sure was asking a lot of camera questions. Why all of these questions all of a sudden about a camera that he never cared about before. In fact, every time I mentioned the words CANON REBEL, he would roll his eyes and remind me of the camera he got me for a wedding gift???? I’ll tell you why…..of course!!!!.....he was going to buy the camera for us tonight as an anniversary gift!!! That’s why he kept talking about it!!!! In my head I kept trying to tell myself not to smile on the outside…..but secretly on the inside I was practicing my surprise reaction for when he said we were buying it!!!! I already thought up the shots I would be taking the next day of Noa on top of the bales of hay in the field! But for now, I was just going to enjoy my yummy shrimp!!!

So we left the restaurant, and of course he was making excuses to get me to Wal-Mart….he kept asking me ‘Are you sure you don’t need anything from Wal-Mart?’…..and then he found an excuse to run to Sam’s to look for something…..I knew what he was doing. So Sam’s was closed, but not Best Buy….so we pulled up and he said ‘Let’s go inside and you can tell me all about this camera’….I KNEW IT!!! Of course Best Buy would be much more expensive and he would have to take me to Wal-Mart in the end to buy it, but I just knew the camera was mine!

So we went in and I showed him the camera, which by the way was $50 more at Best Buy than Wal-Mart….right across the street….but I showed him, along with the huge lens that I would eventually ask for the next Mother’s Day, Birthday or Christmas. So we walked around the store, and just as we were leaving to go to Wal-Mart to purchase the camera he turned to me and said …….‘Honey, you know that if I had over $500 I’d buy you that camera in a second.’

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! But of course I smiled and said ‘I know baby’!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Applesauce and Apple Butter.....

So, I've included these two together because to get one, you must go through the other. In fact, I could even post the filling, sauce and butter in one. As in my earlier posts, you will do the same as when you make apple pie filling. It is up to you if you want to put sugar in the apples as they are cooking in the stockpot. I do just because I may make all three items with the stockpot of apples. Here's how I would suggest doing the sauce and butter....

Okay, cook your apples in the stockpot the same way you would in the earlier post to make pie filling. However, instead of cooking them in the stockpot for 1/2 hour, I normally will let them cook for at the lest 1 hour. This will help the apples cook down and will make the sauce easier to make. Now once you have cooked the apples and they want to fall apart easily, carefully pour them in a strainer to drain. Now, for the next part you can use a food mill to crank the apples through to make sauce, however, I would suggest an easier route.....USE A HAND HELD POTATO MASHER. Mash those suckers on up!! It's the quickest and easiest way to do it. Tastes the sace and see if it needs 1/2 cup or so of sugar.

You have the option of canning the sauce in the two ways described in the apple filling post. Either boil the jars closed with the tops and lids to seal, or just turn them upside down to cool on the towel....upside down only works if the applesauce is hot.


Take the apples sauce, cool it, then fill your crockpot to about an inch from the top. For example, I have about a 5.5 qt crockpot, so I fill it....then add 2 CUPS OF SUGAR and about 2-3 tbs of cinnamon. So I'm using my crockpot and measurements as examples, so if you are using a larger crockpot or smaller, you will have to do the conversions. Let that cook on HIGH OR LOW for about 10 hours...I would suggest on HIGH FOR 10 HOURS.....this will cook down. Then stir in about 2 more quarts of Applesauce (pretty close to the top of your crockpot) then 2 more CUPS OF SUGAR. Let cook on HIGH OR LOW for another 4-6 hours.

Scrape the bottom of the crockpot every hour or two so that you don't have burn spots. Can in the same way as the applesauce or pie filling.

Friday, September 3, 2010


So, in finding this great purpose, came a love for the great things that the earth can produce naturally! My green-thumbed MIL planted 5 apple trees years ago at the farm...unfortunately 1 didn't survive; still the first year that I was on the farm I noticed I had 8000 apples, and 0 clue what to do with them! My wonderful Mother reminded me of the adventures she and her Mother had canning with the family when she was younger! I guess this instance is how it all began for me! Canning apples was clearly the only thing to do with them! Of course the next year I got an itch to make 30 jars of applesauce for my daughter (who really doesn't eat it too often), then the year after that I decided to use some of the fresh apples, as well as the old jars of applesauce to make the perfect replica of Marion, Kentucky's Amish Communities Apple Butter! The applesauce and apple butter are in a different post.

Core and Peel your apples. (In this case I have a corer/peeler that does the trick and saves some time)
Now, if you are using a corer/peeler hand crank I would suggest leaving the apples as whole as you possibly can. If you are hand coring and peeling quarter your apples. In this case, I love the time the peeler saves me, however, it cuts my apples into corkscrew shapes!

Once you have cut, cored and peeled your apples, put them in a large stockpot and fill with water. The apples will make their own water too so I wouldn't fill the water to over the apples, maybe just under the top apples.

Put on the stove to boil, with about 2-3 tbs of cinnamon (optional) as well as 1/2 to a 1 cup of sugar. Bring to boil, then reduce and let simmer at least a half an hour.

Now, you have two choices, you can either funnel your apples and some juice into the sterilized jars (don't forget to let your tops and lids boil in water for about 10 minutes prior), seal the jars and put in a large stock pot/canning pot and let the jars boil in water for about 1/2 to seal the jars. (I do this with my salsa).

HOWEVER, with apples and tomatoes, I go the quicker route. If your apples and tomatoes are coming directly from the pot, they will be hot enough to seal the jars. So, fill your jars, then put the tops and lids on very tight, turn upside down on a towel to cool....this will seal the jars. If they cool and you see that one or two isn't seal, drop the jar in boiling water for 1/2 hour....that should do the trick!


Well, I’ve never been so happy to say that today it’s under 70 degrees this morning. The storm clouds are comin’ in and Momma just opened the windows and the breeze is flowing through the screen door! It’s definitely been a very hot summer; and two years ago I would have been so excited to run around in my bathing suit just to make sure I didn’t get any tank top tan lines. The summers around here we almost live in our swimsuits, but this summer was almost as hard as the last. Last summer, Noa had just been born, and of course I was never afraid to take her out in the heat. What I was afraid of was the 18 bags that had to follow us everywhere we go. And for this summer, Noa decided she would wait until the last month of the summer to walk. What that meant for the Potts house was a repeat of last year. Who would have ever thought that when she decided to walk, a whole new door would open for us. Now that she’s walking, we no longer have to worry about her not moving off the blanket on the sand bar, or refusal to roam 6 inches from Mom when she’s trying to get something done. Who also would have known that in deciding to walk, that our 18 bags would finally be combined into ONE BAG!!! WHOOHOOO!!!! Now the Biscuit is running around like crazy, which also means plenty of bumps and bruises along the way. She has been walking for about 3 weeks now and we’ve definitely had our share. This includes one fall into the stone fireplace, one running head dive into the coffee table, one standing slide off Mom’s leg onto a picture frame, all wrapped up into one call to the emergency room and two cuts on her face! Everyone tells me that plenty more falls are in store but I really don’t think Momma can emotional handle anymore little bruises! Noa has had so much fun since she started walking. My house has become a war zone for her hands-on learning; which definitely doesn’t coincide with Momma trying to keep the house clean. This month has been so great! With her walking now makes going to place, like the DQ St. Fair so much fun! She loved going to the fair this year and enjoyed all the animals! She didn’t like the goats at the petting zoo, but would rather have watched all the show cattle! She loved them!!! So yesterday we went to the Zeigler Homecoming, and of course Noa had a great time! She loved the parade, even the loud noises!! She was of course adorable all day and has so much fun walking around! She also got to see her Great Aunt Toni and Great Uncle Richard! We always love when they come into town from Michigan!! So also got the see Baby Sylvie!!!....daughter of my dearest hs friend Alli and her husband! Of course Noa was more interested in their adorable dog than the baby! AND KUDOS TO ALLI, she has been successful at BFing Sylvie and everything is going great! WE MOMMIES ALWAYS LOVE IT WHEN BFING IS SUCCESSFUL!!! Many of you know that my birthday is in August….and this year the family and hubby definitely outdid themselves! Mom, Dad and Amber got me a large picture that was taken when Noa was 2 months old laying in her Daddy’s hands. Colby got me a Brazilian Blowout (after pic below). It’s so wonderful not having to flatiron my hair every day and I can even let me hair air dry if I want to. The only downside of course is that it will only last about 10 weeks. So moving on, enough about the hair! But speaking of hair, when I get a wild one and always want to cook something new and exciting, I always look to new ideas on the internet from my fellow Momma’s!!! Of course one of my absolute favorite women in THE PIONEER WOMAN….which is my new Paula Deen! The woman is amazing! Not only does she cook but she also a self-taught Photoshopper! She even posts her PS tutorials on her site, which by the way is the #1 way I have learned new PSing tricks!!! I’m sure that if you look through my pics you will actually a steady increase in PSing quality! Now I’ve even been inspired to purchase an actual pro grade camera….but to start, one on the lower end, and then work my way up to a higher quality once I get back to work! WOW….I started on one path and I completely sidestepped to photography! Back to my original idea….. So I always get some good ideas from the internet but when I actually get in the kitchen I find myself completely remaking the recipe to fit ‘our likes’!! In fact, the only recipe that I ever been able to follow throughout to a ‘T’ of the original is that of my Mom’s and her Mom’s (my always cookin’ Grandma!). So I’ve decided that I should include recipes on my site, as well as some pics of my hairbows that I make for the Biscuit and my friends daughters! So more of that to follow soon!