apple pie

Five mistakes to avoid when making your
Independence Day

It’s not in the Constitution that every
Fourth of July party has to have at least one
good apple pie, but it probably should be.
This Fourth of July, be sure that your pie is
the one everyone is talking about by
avoiding these five mistakes that people
often make.
1. Not tasting everything along the way. If
your apple filling tastes bad before it goes
in the oven, it will probably taste bad
coming out. Be sure to add a pinch of salt
to your apples — not so much that it will
taste salty but enough to bring out the
apple flavor.
2. Not chilling your dough regularly
or thoroughly. A good pie crust is
all about keeping the butter cold.
Little morsels of solid butter
should be suspended in layers
throughout the flour. That’s how
you get a soft, yet flaky crust. If
your butter melts, you’ll lose those
3. Not putting your pie on the bottom
rack of the oven. There are few
things worse than a beautiful pie

whose bottom is undercooked. Cook your
pie on the lowest rack in your oven to be
sure that the bottom is close to the heating
4. Forgetting the egg wash. To get a shiny,
appetizing crust, mix a little water with a
beaten egg and brush it over your crust
before putting it in the oven.
5. Opening the door too often. Don’t let the
hot air out of your oven! Good pie comes
to those who wait.
Make the country proud this Fourth of July
with a perfect apple pie!

Trip Continued from Page 15
red feathers. I told Zeb that there was a naughty raccoon who liked to play tricks
on other animals living in the woods. The raccoon one day found a wolf sleeping.
(Wolves sleep a lot in the day time.) The raccoon got this sticky stuff from the
pine tree called, “tar.” When it gets hard it is like glue. The raccoon put this
sticky tar glue on the wolf ’s eyes and sealed them shut. The wolf when he woke
up, he couldn’t open his eyes. He stared howling and crying because he was
blind. An ugly little bird heard him and flew to help the wolf. The ugly bird
picked all the tar from the wolf ’s eyes so he could see again. He was so grateful.
The wolf told the ugly little bird he could make him into a beautiful bird. The
wolf took the bird to a big red paint rock and told him to paint all of his feathers
red. So that’s how the red bird got his red feathers. Zeb rolled his eyes and
grinned a little disbelief grin and said “Good story Grandma.”
Elderberry blossoms were growing along the creek. I told Zeb these blossoms
will soon turn into hundreds of shiny wine colored berries. These berries are so
packed full of good medicine it is sometimes called “the country medicine chest.”
A patch of Echinacea not yet in bloom caught my eye. I told Zeb I would
show him some that were blooming at Earth Mother. I told him this was the
medicine our family always took as a natural antibiotic which is also antiviral. I
told him it was an awesome medicine.


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When we arrived back at the house, a volunteer Sweet Annie (one of my
favorites) looked like it was saying please don’t forget me. I touched its delicate
fern like foliage and allowed Zeb to smell my hand. I asked him what it smelled
like. He said, “It smells like your house Grandma.” I proceeded to tell him how
special “Sweet Annie” was to me. I told him 100 years ago in 1910 a little boy 10
years old, named Johnny Magre, walked with his Cherokee grandma, Mary
Cahow Bettis. She had for several years took Johnny on walks to teach him to
recognize the plant medicine. They walked on Calico Island on the Illinois side
of the Mississippi River where they lived. Forty years later Johnny, now a grown
man, took his little niece, Marylee, on walks in the woods and fields to help her
learn plant medicine. Now in 2010 Marylee takes her little grandson, Zeb, on his
first field trip to also learn the plants that are medicine. I told Zeb the Sweet
Annie that grows on my farm came from Calico Island where my great grandmother planted it so long ago. She was a medicine woman and used this herb to
doctor malaria (a disease caused by certain mosquitoes).
Zeb and I saw a lot more herbs on our trip, more than we can mention in one
story. I asked him if he had learned anything on our field trip. He said, “You
really got a lot of flower medicine growing on your farm Grandma.” I will continue to take Zeb on herb walks to educate him. Maybe one day Grandpa Zeb
will take his granddaughter (Mary Sara) on a herb walk to educate her. I pray we
continue to pass on the passion we have for these God given medicines from one
generation to the next.
Zeb and I colored the white Queen Annes Lace with food coloring into a
beautiful colored bouquet. My mom did this every summer. We pass on another
This story is also dedicated to all the other little people who enjoy having my
stories read to them. Until next time……God bless! – Marylee Visnovske


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