The beauty of Autumn is all around me in my New England home. Along with the beauty of the fall foliage for serenity and inspiration, I also enjoy the delicious beauty of the fruits of spring blossoms, most especially apple blossoms. These delicate spring time blossoms have become a wonderful variety of apples. What a wonderful way to celebrate fall than with Mom’s Apple pie! Actually, this is not Mom’s apple pie, but rather her recipe for the pie crust. This recipe is over 100 years old and was given to my Mother by a pastry chef when my Mother was a cook in a Retirement facility. “Mamie” was one of the residents and enjoyed coming into the kitchen every now and then to make a treat for her friends in the home. This recipe makes a foolproof, flaky and delicious piecrust. You can add any filling of your choice for a really delicious pie. I hope you enjoy it!

Mamie’s Pie Crust Recipe
From Ourania Samaras and “Mamie”, Manchester New Hampshire
It is a foolproof recipe and makes a very flaky and delicious pie crust.
I hope you enjoy it. Faye Labanaris

Makes 4 - 9” pie crusts. Cut recipe in half for just one pie.
5 cups flour
2 ½ cups Crisco sticks
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk

1. Cut Crisco into flour and salt with a pastry cutter until it is in small pieces.
2. Add milk and handle just enough to hold together. (Too much handling makes the crust tough)
3. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill about 1 hour. Hint: I like to remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in piece of plastic wrap before chilling.) Mold the dough in the shape of a flat ball.
4. Flour a pastry cloth lightly ( or use a clean linen dish towel) and roll out to the desired thickness.
5. Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. It also can be frozen.
No matter what pie filling you use, you will always
make a delicious pie with this wonderfully flaky crust!
Please Enjoy It and Share It


This month can be a sad month with the passing of a beautiful season of spring, summer flowers and the spectacular fall foliage in New England with a long cold winter ahead. But on the bright side of things, it is a time to rest and reflect on all the good and happy times we’ve had this past year. Be thankful for family and friends that enrich our lives with their individual personalities and their support. Be thankful for all the wonderful fabric out there for us to enrich our fabric collections and quilt making. Let’s drink a toast to our blessings one and all and be thankful are quilters!

Hot Spiced Percolator Punch
From Carole Evans, Dover NH

Makes about 12 servings

1 can (12 oz.) unsweetened frozen pineapple juice concentrate
1 can (12 oz.) frozen cranberry juice concentrate
7 cups of water
¼ cup brown sugar
2 Tsp whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks

1. Place the juice concentrates, water and brown sugar in an electric percolator.
2. Tie the cinnamon and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth before placing in the percolator basket.
3. Turn the percolator on and let it run its full cycle.

If you do not have a percolator, combine all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer. Remove the spice bag after the punch is hot and to your taste. Enjoy!

Note: If you are not using concentrated juices, you may substitute 40 oz. of regular pineapple and 40 oz. of regular cranberry juice, but the flavor may not be as full bodied.


Holiday greetings to one and all!

This month I do not have a recipe to share with you, but rather offer a sneak preview of what the future will bring.  During this busy holiday season, I can’t help but think of ribbons. Not in the way you might think, with lots of packages to gift wrap, but in a flowery way. I am in the final stages of completing the manuscript of my latest book with AQS, which is due on the editor’s desk Jan 2. It is a revision of my first book Blossoms by the Sea, which tells the life story of Celia Thaxter and her garden,  has been out of print for over 10 years The revison will contain lots and lots of ribbon flowers and a wonderful grand finale chapter of ribbon roses. Every ribbon I see wants to become a flower. I am excited about this project and share this news with you as a gift to come. The book is due to be released fall ’08. I will have information about the book closer to its release date.

In the meantime, I have a busy December ahead of me, trying to do baking and shopping in stolen moments away from working at the computer and preparing the sample displays for the book. I won’t complain as I am keeping the final result in mind.

I wish you a wonderful holiday season. Take it at a slower pace,
enjoy the moments and save those pretty ribbons!!
Copyright © 2012 Faye Labanaris. All Rights Reserved.