Posts Tagged ‘Independence Day Recipes’

Liza’s Red, White, and Blue Pie

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

In her signature red, white, and blue pants, Liza cooks fennel over the campfire. (I'm working on getting THAT recipe!)

My friend and neighbor Liza Pyle made this festive pie for Independence Day. The recipe originally described a strawberry pie—although I don’t see why it couldn’t be used for just about ANY berry.
Liza’s notes appear at the bottom of the recipe pretty much as she typed them.
The recipe hailed long ago from Liz Simonds, a friend of Liza’s grandmother (and my honorary grandmother), Mary Parker, known to all local children as Gam. 

If you bake the crust early in the morning, you won’t have to bake anything later in the day—a definite advantage in July. 

The pie awaits the berries........

The Pie
for the crust:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (I’d use salted since Liza doesn’t specify)
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
for the filling:
1 cup cream
4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 quart berries—in this case, whole or thickly cut strawberries mixed with whole blueberries
2 tablespoons currant jelly
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Use a pastry blender or knives to combine the crust ingredients. Place them in a LARGE pie plate (see notes below). Bake for 15 minutes. Watch to make sure that the crust doesn’t get more than a bit brown. Allow it to cool.
For the filling whip the cream and blend in the cream cheese and sugar. Place this mixture at the bottom of your pie shell. Artistically arrange the berries on top. (Liza is MUCH better being artistic than I am!)
Melt the jelly. While it is still warm brush it lightly over the tops of the berries. Let your pie stand, gently covered, in the fridge for several hours. Liza reports that 4 hours are ideal; at 8, the jelly starts to bleed unattractively but deliciously into the whipped cream.
Serves 8 to 10.
Liza’s Notes:
1) Unless you use a large and deep pan (or use a tart pan), you will have too much filling and too many berries………so you could reduce the filling and berry measurements by 1/4, or move a small amount to a smaller pan, or just use a big pan (a big tart pan….even a 13 x9 will work)!
2) Just blueberries are great too………. 

3) My favorite variation is to use an easy chocolate crust, made by crushing to dust in blender/processer 2/3rds of a box of Nabisco chocolate wafers and mixing it with 1/4 cup melted butter.

Pat that into a buttered big pie plate on the bottom and halfway up the sides….or use a springform pan….and bake at 375 for 8 minutes.

Cliff’s “I Have No Fear of Cholesterol” Potato-Chip Chicken

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

This chicken recipe strikes me as appropriate for July 4. Something about its excess of fat and good nature is very American.
I was inspired to seek out this recipe by Ginny Ray, my editor at the Shelburne Falls and West County Independent. (This long name represents a very small paper. It’s a good paper as well as a small one, however.)
Ginny told me that Cliff and Kelly Phillips are making a culinary splash these days in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, with Cliff’s Smokin’ Backyard Barbecue. Every Friday night they offer a special meal at the local VFW post, and in warm weather one can find them there on other days as well offering simpler fare. 

Cliff parks a huge smoker outside the VWF building and generates wonderful smells. I was fortunate enough recently to buy some of his pulled pork.

I asked Kelly for a recipe, and she responded with a family favorite that she described as “yummy in your tummy.” The secret ingredient in Cliff’s chicken recipe may surprise you. In fact, I had never purchased Miracle Whip before making this dish. Overseas readers may not even be familiar with it! Basically, it’s a lot like mayonnaise. It’s sweeter, however, with extra vinegar and spices. 
I admit that I strayed from the recipe A LITTLE when I made it. I had no onion or garlic powder so I used the real things (very finely chopped) and added a few dried herbs. I think Creole seasoning might be nice in the sauce, too.

Cliff’s chicken came out just a little crunchy and very moist indeed, thanks to its high fat content. I wouldn’t make it again immediately: although you might not guess it from reading this blog, I do try to keep my diet reasonably healthy. The chicken is a fun occasional dietary extravagance, however.

The Chicken
1 cut-up chicken
1 cup Miracle Whip (plus more if needed)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
hot sauce to taste
1 large bag potato chips, crumbled (These can be any flavor you like; Kelly says ridged ones work best. I used about half of a 14-ounce bag, but one could use a few more, I suppose!)
Pat the pieces of chicken dry. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine the rest of the ingredients (except the potato chips), adjusting for taste with the pepper and hot sauce.
Coat the chicken pieces with this mixture and then roll and press well into crumbled chips. Arrange them on a baking sheet, making sure not to overcrowd.
Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken juices run clear. 

Serve with your favorite salad and barbeque sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

Happy Independence Day! Don't forget to wear red, white, and blue....

A Glorious Fourth

Monday, July 6th, 2009
Liza ALWAYS dresses appropriately.

Liza ALWAYS dresses appropriately.


At Singing Brook Farm in Hawley, Massachusetts, we celebrate Independence Day in a low-key but festive manner.


Our impressaria for the occasion, Liza Pyle, organizes an annual pot-luck lunch near the Dam (where the water forms a lovely if frigid pond), followed by what she terms “hijinks”–games for the young and the not so young.


This year it started to rain just as the time came to light the fire by the Dam so we moved to the Play House, a building constructed by Liza’s grandfather just for days like this one. We had enough chairs, enough food, and eventually enough sunshine for everyone.


The edible offerings included things one couldn’t be without on July 4 (hot dogs, baked beans, devilled eggs, farm-fresh tomatoes, brownies), plus a new dish to me, grilled baked potatoes supplied by Liza and her brother David. I can’t wait to make them. I’m not much of a griller, but honestly I think even I could manage these!


Before I get to the semi-recipe (it’s more of a narrative), here are a few pictures of the hijinks.


This is a relay race in which participants must don clothing as they switch off. For some the shoes and hat were just A LITTLE big.

This was a relay race in which participants had to don clothing as they switched off. For some the shoes and hat were just A LITTLE too big.

Our National Game

Our National Game

Away from the water the annual rubber-duck race had to get creative.

Away from the water the annual rubber-duck race had to get creative.

Alice was the queen of the egg-and-spoon race (and much else).

Alice was the queen of the egg-and-spoon race (and much else).

Water balloons provide plenty of summer fun.

Water balloons provided plenty of summer fun.

We had occasional (short-lived!) displays of attitude.

We had occasional (short-lived!) displays of attitude.


As you can see, a good time was had by all (mostly!). The day revolved around community, the fruits of nature, and future generations. In short, our July 4 was almost iconically American. And now here is how one fixes the potatoes:


Bake several potatoes until they are almost done. A fork should be able to penetrate them, but they should still be firm.


Cut them in half lengthwise; then brush (or rub!) extra-virgin olive oil on both sides of both halves.


Grill the potatoes until they brown nicely (this won’t take long!).


Serve with sour cream into which you have mixed chives, salt, pepper, and anything else that takes your fancy (mustard, other herbs, horseradish–whatever!).


Don’t forget to sing “Yankee Doodle Dandy.”


Grilled Baked Potatoweb