It’s time. Time for summer to drift away. I can see it happening – the mid-afternoon light is no longer harsh. It’s turned soft and watery and golden. It’s my favourite light to sit and watch – I don’t know why. It’s one of those things I find hard to explain except that it feels peaceful and lazy, like there is no rush.
The temperatures are still hot but the evenings have a new chill that makes me grab a sweater before leaving the house. Sam and I have moved his evening walks back an hour so that we’re not getting caught out in the dark. There are leaves turning… I credit that to lack of water and not fall though.
And tomorrow, the new year starts. The real new year. This weekend is new year’s eve – where everyone celebrates by squeezing in one more BBQ, one last trip to the fair, one more visit to the beach before it all comes to a close and we go back to our routines.
Even though I haven’t been in school for a while, I still love this time of year – it signals fresh starts. I love crisp new notebooks – old school, I know. But honestly… cracking open a new Word file is just not the same as opening the first page of a new notebook and scratching something on the first page with a brand new pen. It’s just not… you miss the whole tactile act of creasing that cover open, of feeling your hand on the page and wondering what will fill up all those pages over the next few months. Not to mention the satisfaction of seeing that notebook filled up so you can start a new one.
This year I’ve managed to resist the urge to go buy all new coloured pencils and sketching pens and pads. But I did buy a new notebook with a birthday giftcard to Chapters. I love it… it opens totally flat, which I love. I’m incredibly picky about notebooks! I already have a plan for it 🙂
So how about a very simple blueberry pie to celebrate the new year. I love making pie – it is such a simple dessert if you ignore the pastry, which you all know by now that I do.
But I’m kinda proud of this pie because all the blueberries in it came from my garden – the first year I’ve been able to pick enough in one go to make a pie!
I am also proud of it because even though I used pre-made pie shells, I managed to make a lattice, which I never do. And yes, I’m very aware that it looks like a dog’s breakfast but does my stomach care? Not even in the slightest!
This was one big ol’ juicy pie. I probably should have used cornstarch instead of flour as a thickener but I didn’t really think of it at the time. I was in a rush to get some pie in my tummy!
If I had had a lemon in the house, which I didn’t, I’d have totally added a little lemon zest to it as well. (yes, I used prebottled lemon juice… look, my fridge is not packed with everything ALL the time!) And if I was the type to make pastry, I’d add that lemon zest into the pastry before rolling it. (I have no idea if that would do something horrible to it but wouldn’t it be tasty??)
Add a few mint leaves for decoration and then, just like out of an old movie, I put it outside on my deck railing to cool. I’d tell you I was wearing a ruffly gingham apron and pearls while I was making this as well except none of you would ever believe me (and rightly so!).
- pie crust pastry for 1 pie, with lattice or full top (if using store bought pastry you will need two pie shells)
- 4 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup flour (perhaps a wee bit more)
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp butter
- preheat oven to 450F
- combine berries with sugar, flour and lemon juice stirring gently to just combine
- let berry mixture stand for 15 minutes
- pour into pie shell and dot with butter
- top berries with a lattice or full top (be sure to prick a full top well or create cut outs in it to vent the filling as it cooks)
- bake at 450 for 10 minutes
- lower oven temp to 350 and continue baking for 30-40 minutes - keep and eye on it at the 30 minute mark to make sure your crust doesn't burn.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about the photos but I did want to draw your attention to the first and last photos of the whole pie.
Photo 1: 1/200, f/3.5, 100mm macro lens, ISO 200, Exposure compensation +1/3
Photo 2: 1/1000, f/3.5, 50mm lens, ISO 200, Exposure compensation +1/3
Both were shot outside on my deck at the same time of day but look how dramatically different the light is and what a difference it made to the colours of the fruit! The first was shot on my patio table with the umbrella up and a piece of foam board to the right. The sun was also to the right. The light and colours are soft and muted and it’s very pretty photo (if I do say so myself!)
The second one was shot on the deck railing with direct sun to the right. Both photos were shot at 4:30pm so the sun was angled lower in the sky. This shot is harsh, there is more contrast and the purple of the berries is a darker more purple hue.
I like both but they’re very different. It’s a great example of how diffusing your light source can make a huge difference in the photo!