A Pie Assignment

Last week I asked Mr. N what he wanted for this year’s birthday meal. He thought for a while and wasn’t really coming up with anything. Then he said, “I’d like pie.”

birthday boy

Great! What about for dinner? “Pie.”

little sister

Then he laughed and said, “Pie for dessert and I guess something that goes with that Brazilian cheese bread from the blog.” Okay. Easy enough. I can handle pie. In fact I love making pies. As for dinner, I needed to work around the Pao de Queijo (which incidentally was the recipe where we first came upon our good friend Sally for which we have been grateful ever since). That’s when we came upon Eva’s recipe for Barbeque Sauce and the plan all came together.

new bike

But you remember that old saying…best laid plans. It was one of those weeks. It started last Friday. The kids wrapped up school for the summer. What’s normally a happy celebration for Mr. N and Miss A, was a touch more bittersweet this year. Mr. N wrapped up elementary school, saying goodbye to his familiar classrooms, friends, teachers, hallways and bus friends. He’s now off to Middle School, which also means he and Miss A’s years of schooling together are finished. While the end of each school year is always a mix of happiness and a pinch of sadness for Mike and I, the kids felt it this year too.

schooling sibs

Then we entered the last weekend of Mr. N’s show. Each show of the weekend was sold out. Friends and family, old and new came to cheer him on. But all good things come to an end and so too did his second big show. It’s always hard to say goodbye to people you work closely with (particularly in acting where you really get to know people on an emotional level), but even more so when you’re only 10-going-on-11 and aren’t used to these types of goodbyes. Fortunately we still had the birthday to look forward to and it was only a few days away.

scissortail cast

A few long days away. Mr. N ended his Monday evening on a high. He was congratulated by someone from a local news station who told him, “You can really act. I mean really act. It was amazing.” So, you can imagine his absolute elation. Someone from tv!!! Mike and I too were on a bit of a high – proud of our baby boy, wound up from closing night and also a tad bit relieved that our trice weekly trips into the city were over for just a bit. It was a late night. Mike and I couldn’t sleep, so stayed up far too late watching tv. We finally turned in only to be woken two hours later by the doorbell. last day of school

Now this in and of itself was slightly alarming. Who rings a doorbell at 2:30 in the morning? We both creeped down the stairs and saw people shining flashlights in our door and window. We turned on the lights, hoping that would send them running. No such luck. I now understand the saying, your heart is pounding out of your chest. I thought it was about to bust its way right out of my chest. We heard whispering, and then the door knob jiggling. I ran for the phone, called 911 and breathlessly explained the situation. The calm operator took my name and information. She said to give her a second and to stay on the line. When she came back, she said, “Those are my officers at your door. Your alarm sounded.” What? No it didn’t. We hadn’t even set our alarm that night. How on earth could it have gone off? Besides we would have heard it. So after a few minutes of assuring the 911 operator that we were unarmed, we were told to open our own door. Everything was quickly sorted. Mike headed back to bed and was snoring within minutes. I, on the other hand, was full of adrenaline and not able to sleep a wink. So after 20 minutes on the phone with the alarm company, I headed to bed. I was asleep for maybe another 20 minutes when the alarm went off again. This time audibly. Fortunately (or disturbingly) the kids slept through it. Mike made sure the house was safe and returned to sleep. How does he do that?! I spent the next 45 minutes sorting things out with the alarm company on the phone. Not happy. No sleep for me.

middle schooler

Then I went to work. It was one of those non-stop days. We’re short-staffed and I’m feeling the pinch. Not to mention there were some unnecessary political issues. Just what I needed on no sleep. I finally made it home. Late. Upset. I fired off an email and wound down slightly watching Miss A’s hoola hoop show. She does not like when I’m stressed or upset and always puts on some kind of show to cheer me up. It worked. So we went in the house and began to wind down for the evening. That’s when I noticed Hobbs didn’t come to greet me at the door. Both cats always greet me. Odd. So we started looking. And looking. And looking some more. At this point the kids are panicking. Mr. N is near screaming, Miss A is crying, and I was about to lose it. Mike got the kids outside to look, so I could concentrate inside and listen. Really listen. I thought I had heard him a few times. Hobbs

Now, you might imagine the thoughts running through my head. Especially so soon after we lost our little Charlie last year. What now?! Not on Mr. N’s birthday week! Then he appeared in Miss A’s doorway. I ran to pick him up and instantly knew something was wrong. He was wet. He was breathing with a rasp and his eyes were not right. More than that, he clung to me. Something was wrong, but what?! I grabbed a blanket and my keys, stopped to show Mike and the kids I found him, and I was off to the vet ER.

Hobbs

After several hours at the vet ER, it was determined he’d need to stay overnight in the oxygen bed. They didn’t know what was wrong, but something had happened and he was in severe respiratory distress. He either choked on something, nearly suffocated in something or ate something he wasn’t supposed to. This made total sense. This cat eats everything. Truly. I’ve found him in the bag of spinach trying to sneak away with a leaf. He’s eaten through bags of lentils, powdered sugar and rice when the pantry has been left open. He even makes off with Mr. N’s LEGOs on a regular basis. Not surprising at all, but scary nevertheless. Remember this pic? He’s one that will keep us on our toes.

my tree!

Fortunately, after two nights at the hospital and sleepless nights for me, he returned home. It was great to have him home, but that too presented problems. He wouldn’t eat. He needed rest and our other kitty, Chipper, was not so happy with Hobbs getting so much attention. So it turned into two more nights of sleeplessness as we had Hobbs shuttered in our room so we could keep a close eye. He spent much of the night kissing my face or nibbling at my hands to be cuddled, all the while Chipper was head butting our door to try and get himself in the room (we had to keep him out so we could tell if Hobbs was eating or not). Seriously? They look so innocent don’t they?!

chipper

Well, it was finally Mr. N’s birthday. Hobbs was home and eating again. All was right with the world, which is when I of course woke up sick. It’s no wonder. It was bound to happen. You can only be pulled so far in so many different directions. Probably a sign that I should slow down. But I powered on. We got through Mr. N’s laser tag extravaganza with his friends and were finally ready for the birthday meal. I wasn’t going to let this special dinner go by the wayside. He needed this. That pie was still on his mind. No wonder – a week of goodbyes, I’d need pie too. husking

We stopped at the farmer’s market in the morning and Mr. N decided on a peach, rhubarb and blueberry pie. Done. Mr. N and Miss A spent the day playing while Mike and I organized the house. If you can imagine how cluttered a house can get after weeks of not really being home and everything coming home from school…it’s not pretty. So first floor accomplished. Then we started dinner. The kids husked the corn to go with the slow cooker pulled pork that I knew would pair well with the Pao de Queijo.

pao de queijo

We served our slow cooker pulled pork with a sauce, inspired by Eva, next to the Pao de Queijo, adapted from Sally, corn on the cob and our balsamic fingerlings. We ate our BBQ dinner on China, because, well, why not! It was a celebration after all and after the week we all had, we were ready to celebrate. The kids even busted out their Goose Watch Grape Juice, while Mike and I enjoyed a Lamoreaux Landing Estate Red (a perfect match with the BBQ).

fancy bbq

The true highlight of the meal though – what we all had been waiting for – was dessert. Our pie. While Mr. N may have needed a little pie, it turns out it was just what I needed too. You may remember, I (rather oddly) find therapy in making pie crust. Today’s pie crust was no exception. It was probably the equivalent of a few spa treatments or hours with a psychologist and at least three yoga classes. Whew! Do I feel better!

pie ingredients

We tossed together the peaches (peels on), rhubarb and blueberries and soaked them in sugar, flour and Verjooz.

fruity cobbler

We poured them over the first layer of our pie crust. We opted for the 9-inch by 13-inch pan and made this more like Grandma’s Blackberry Cobbler than a traditional pie. Incidentally, this was the first year, in many years, Mr. N didn’t request the blackberry cobbler for his birthday. I guess he was feeling a little more adventurous this year! Perhaps it’s the 11-year old in him now!

cobbler fixins'

The top layer of crust was laid over the fruit and the cobbler (or pie) was baked in the oven for 60 minutes at 375F.

cobbler

The pie came out of the oven bubbly and golden brown. We could all barely wait to dig in. We again broke out the good dishes and settled in for some serious dessert time. The kids chose to have their cobbler with milk (same way they eat Grandma’s). Mike and I chose without.

peach rhubarb cobbler

Cream or ice cream is probably more common to serve over cobbler and pie, but in my family it’s been tradition to serve it with milk. Everyone eats it with milk. Admittedly I’ve never eaten it that way and never will. I prefer mine straight-up so the sweet and sour can shine. The kids, however, have taken a page from a long line of milk and cobbler eaters. They never eat it plain.

cobbler and milk

One thing we did all agree on – this was a four spoon dessert. All. Around. Four. Spoons. Maybe it’s the sour bite of the rhubarb and Verjooz or the sweet bite of the peaches and blueberries. Then again, maybe it’s just that this is just what the doctor ordered for us all. Whatever the case, this is a bright, happy and filling summer cobbler. Fresh fruit macerated in sugar, served warm with a crispy, shortening crust – delicious!

peach rhubarb blueberry cobbler

And tonight we’ll all tuck in with full bellies. Summer is here with lots of fun in store. Hobbs is rapidly improving, although, still trying to eat everything in sight. Apparently he learned nothing from this ordeal…

no no Hobbs

Our little boy is happy, healthy and now 11 years old. Speaking of health, this cold appears to be the 24-hour variety and I’m on the mend. And barring all emergency room visits and silent alarms, I think I’ll make a point to take this week a little easier. And if things don’t go according to plan, at least I have this left over pie to shovel in my face, I mean eat gingerly and ladylike.

Print this recipe: Summer Cobbler

Truthfully though, tonight we’re sitting around happy and full. While it was a trying week, we’re all here together. Healthy(er) and ready for a fun summer. I think we’re all even ready for the next adventures that are fast approaching. I believe I mentioned a while back that we’d be sharing some news shortly. Well, we’re just about ready now. Stay tuned…Until then, this Summer Cobbler is waiting to be made. Even if you’re not in need of a little therapy-by-food, it’s just darn delicious.

summer cobbler

38 thoughts on “A Pie Assignment

  1. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    oh my, what an eventful week and a tiring one too. So scary about Mr. Hobbs but thank goodness he’s alright. I must confess I was smiling ear to ear when I got to the part about sequestering one cat who was face pecking you through the night while the other one was head butting at the door. I know exactly what that’s all about! :D. I hope you are feeling better Kristy and have been able to catch up a little on your sleep. Happy Birthday to your young, talented man — I hope it’s a wonderful year for all of you and this birthday cobbler looks absolutely delicious! (wait, is that Hobbs going after the cobbler…?).

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    • Kristy says:

      Why yes, that is Hobbs trying to eat the cobbler. This little guy is trouble. 😉 I’m feeling much better now. Thanks Kelly. As for sleep, someday I’ll catch up. Ha!

      Like

  2. Karen says:

    Congratulations to Mr. N on his 11th birthday. The cobble that ended the celebration sounds like a great combination of flavors. Hopefully, now that it is summer life will slow down for your all.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hotlyspiced says:

    My goodness. You certainly have had a time. Congrats to Mr N on his acting skills and for getting through the season of all those performances. He has maturity and talent beyond his years. And now he’s off to middle school – I can understand the bitter/sweet emotions. Happy birthday to him and what a beautiful pie. And as for your cat! What a drama and I’m glad it all ended well. Enjoy the holidays xx

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  4. Three Well Beings says:

    Oh Kristy! My goodness! I can’t believe the highs and lows in such a short period of time. You have gained my admiration that you did all you could to give Mr. N a wonderful birthday, despite being worried, exhausted and sick! And what a special thing for him to move on to Middle School having gained accolades for his acting ability. How awesome! And your little Miss A is growing up so quickly as well. Lots of incredible transitions in your lives right now, but these milestones are very special. Now it’s time to regroup and have a wonderful summer. No more illness or missed sleep for anyone…even the pets. 🙂

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  5. Bam's Kitchen says:

    This week deserves a glass of wine or maybe 2!!! Bless your heart. Well I am glad to hear there was some positive news threaded in the midst of everything else. I am so proud of your son and a very happy birthday to him. I am glad your kitty is on the mend and for you little mama sending some positive thoughts your way too. Maybe have yourself a couple extra slices of that delicious pie you made as you deserve it. Take care

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    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Bam! It was quite a week, but after a day off mid-week, I’m feeling much better! I needed that! And yes, the pie was helpful too. 😉 Thank you for the good thoughts my way!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Norma Chang says:

    Whew, what a week!!!!! So glad it ended well and you are on the mend. Congratulations to Mr. N and a belated happy birthday. Love his blue t-shirt. Those are precious photos of brother and sister together lovely, just lovely.

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  7. Eva Taylor says:

    You had me on the edge of my seat Kristy! What an ordeal! Thank you, thank you, thank you for the links and shout outs, so generous of you. I’m so glad that the alarm wasn’t anything more…& just so you know, JT can do that too…but he’ll always claim he doesn’t sleep! Poor kitty, glad he’s better.
    The pie looks gorgeous! I’ve never seen it made in a rectangular dish, but it totally makes sense when you’re feeding a crowd! I’ll keep in in mind when we have the pie-side of the family over (JTs side) because I usually make two, and this is so much less work.
    Thanks again for the link and shout out❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kristy says:

      It definitely serves quite a few people. It doesn’t look quite like a traditional pie, but it tastes just as good. Thank you Eva for the BBQ sauce recipe. We adapted it slightly but all agreed it was the best pulled pork we ever made!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Eva Taylor says:

        I had no doubt Kristy, I just never thought of it, very clever! We’re now into week 2 with The Hungarians and I have MANY revelations! My first is, holy cow, so much food (is eaten), second is we put on the dishwasher EVERY day!! JT and I: once per week!!!! I had no idea.

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  8. sallybr says:

    I don’t know where to start, reading your post was like a thriller that kept me on my toes, and I was soooo relieved when Hobbs finally recovered from whatever problem he had. It is horrible to see a pet suffering, they cannot tell us what is wrong, so it’s a guessing game. A tough one to go through.

    “You can really act” – that is the invisible medal on his chest forever. So cool, so amazing, and I can imagine the thrill of hearing that made you burst with happiness!

    I am of course beyond touched that you all love the Brazilian pao de queijo… a favorite here too… a nice way to have our homes connected in a way, virtually through food

    I hope you are fully recovered by now, you’ve been through a lot, and the alarm thing was the pathetic icing on the cake. Icing NOT needed.

    😉

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    • Kristy says:

      Speaking of cakes, at least he didn’t request one of those! Eek! Can you imagine? (Yes, I believe you can!) It was quite a week Sally. And you’re right the pet guessing game is horrible. I doubt we’ll ever know what happened. We searched the house for clues high and low. Happy he’s home now though. And would you believe, we all slept in today!!! It was joyous!

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  9. Dawn says:

    Oh my gosh, what a week you have had!! I hate when the alarm goes off at night – especially when Rich is away. Talk about a sleepless night. So glad your kitty is ok – and that you are as well! Maybe you need a sabbatical too?? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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