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Fresh Strawberry Pie { And A Sweet New Beginning}

This week-end is a celebration of sorts in our house.  It’s a period of huge transition and we’re all really excited.

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Let me set the scene for you.  For almost 20 years I have been working with elementary children.  Some with challenges far larger than I or you will ever face.  But they are some of the happiest, brightest and most endearing people I have ever met.   They have taught me huge lessons about myself and the world around me.  And I adore each one of them.

I also own a bakery that I have been running for the last few years in the evenings out of a local warehouse.  A different kind of love for me, but a passion that I’ve had for a long time.  It started as merely a challenge for me.  Could I start a community bakery, sharing my passion for locally produced food, and have it be a success?  Well it certainly was.

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Let me tell you, I have full appreciation for anyone who is running their own business.  It’s such a huge personal investment that comes with amazing rewards and scary challenges.

But I did it and it was embraced by the community.  I’ve met some pretty awesome people and been a part of some amazing celebrations.  And I’ve grown a huge appreciation for  buying locally produced foods and seen the businesses in my community in an entirely different way.

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My children are in their teens so initially I thought that being away from home for so many hours wouldn’t phase them at all.  They are the independent, smart kids that I’ve raised them to be and my husband never complained at doing double duty.   Dinner was often on the fly, running out the door between jobs, always answering calls and emails and checking the to-do list.  I often got in the door at bedtime and poked my head in their rooms to say goodnight.  They were fine, good kids and no worse off for the crazy busy life we were living now.

But I missed them.  I missed our dinners and lazy Saturday mornings.  I missed our camping trips and after school discussions and their sports.  I cherished our Sundays at home.  My babes seemed to be growing up before my eyes and I felt like I was missing out.  So I made the decision recently to close up the bake shop and keep working my day job.  It’s been a bittersweet decision but one this whole house is excited about!  After my announcement the kids seemed relieved and told me they missed me too.

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So today is our Sunday at home.  We have eight more days until we close the bakery doors for good.  I’m so thankful I had the opportunity to show my children that taking a risk can have such a positive pay off.  And I’m so thankful that I get the opportunity to be at home with them again for the next few years until they head out the door for their own adventures.   I already feel far more happy and fulfilled and the best part is that I can still share my love of all things sweet with all of you.

What a sweet new beginning!

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We are celebrating our final week with this Fresh Strawberry Pie using locally grown sweet berries.  Literally 15 minutes to make and no baking required.  Use the strawberries in tarts, a larger pie, or in sundae cups with sweetened whipped cream.  This is hands down my favourite all time summer pie.  Yum!  Happy summer everyone!

 

Fresh Strawberry Pie

  • 1 pre-baked 9″ tart shell or 24 small tart shells
  • 1 1/2 quarts of strawberries (about 6 cups), rinsed and hulled
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 pkg clear gelatin (or 1 tbsp.)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp. powdered sugar

1.  Place 4 cups of whole berries into the pie shell (or however much of a quart that you can neatly fit).

2.  Place gelatin in the cold water and let it sit while you prepare the filling.  Crush the rest of the berries and place them in a small pot.  Add sugar, lemon juice and corn starch.  Cook on medium heat until mixture begins to thicken, stirring often.  Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture.  Mix well.  Poor over berries in shell.  Chill until set.

3.  Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar with a hand mixer until soft peaks form (best to use a chilled bowl).  Serve with the pie.

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