I have a change addiction. Not change like shiny quarters and pennies, but actual change, as in the verb. I find myself always working towards the next big thing. In my 20’s it was easy. Change came around every year or so. A new apartment, a new job, an engagement, a wedding – I was reveling in what life had to offer and embracing new adventures annually. Once we were married, changing partners was off the table, so it was a change of scene. We bought our first house and a year later we bought our second house. It was such a high counting down the days until the landscape of my life shifted dramatically.
Once we moved into the second house, the market plummeted and house-hopping was no longer a responsible thing to do. So what would the next year bring? Babies. Changing it up every year was easy – get pregnant, raise the kid, get pregnant again, raise two kids. Most people would feel perfectly content at this point, but nooo, not us. Off to get a new house….again.
I take full responsibility for most decisions in our life. My husband is always on board, but I push us off each cliff. I can feel it coming and before I know it, I’ve uncovered something new for us to start working towards. I started to panic after we were settled in this last house. I loved my job, I loved our new house, the boys were great…now what? Obviously a dog. A year after the dog, I got the itch again and convinced myself (and my husband) that we needed a third child. And off we went, getting pregnant. It wasn’t until we lost that pregnancy that my change addiction caught up with me. We were sad – we truly were excited and had embraced the idea of a third child. But as we walked out of the doctor’s office, a strange feeling of relief came over me. It was like the universe had stopped me in my tracks and gave me an out – pushed me back a step and told me to sit tight. So I did what any reasonable woman would do in that situation – told my husband to get a vasectomy. And he did what any reasonable man would – he got one.
I thought that was the grand finale of my change addiction. I started baking pies, and was content. Until a year passed and I felt that familiar feeling – I was on the cliff and so I jumped into a new job. Not four months had passed after starting my new job and I was on the edge again, laying down on the ground hanging my head over searching for exciting things below. I tried to get us on board with adoption – I even sat in on a webinar about adopting from the Ukraine. But my husband had the sense to draw the line and not give in to my pleas for an international baby. As a compromise, he resurrected an idea that we had years ago to start hosting exchange students when the boys were old enough. Sold! I threw myself into researching the process and I kid you not, we were matched with a 15 year old girl from Germany within one week. She’s coming in a month and we are so excited. What a fun adventure we are all in for!
About 12 years have passed since I first took notice of my addiction to change. Looking back over what I have acquired through jumping off cliffs, I am grateful for it all. I think it’s time to reframe this addiction I have. Rather than feeling like it’s unhealthy to always be seeking change, I’m going to regard my life as a constant state of forward motion. A forward motion that propels us to to the next adventure and uncovers excitement, joy and shapes what is the life we call ours. If the past 12 years have brought 6 pregnancies, 3 houses, 3 jobs, 2 kids, 1 dog and 1 exchange student, I cannot wait to see what the next 12 have to offer.
One thing that has not changed? Pie. And boy do I have a good pie to share with you.
Black and Blue Pie
This pie takes some time, but if you love summer berries, you must put this on your list. It’s bursting with flavor and delivers on it’s promise to be a forkful of summer in each bite.
One recipe of choice for a double pie crust or Best of Both Worlds
2 pints of blueberries (about 2 1/2 cups give or take)
2 cups of blackberries
2 granny smith apples (grated with moisture squeezed out, should be about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon cold butter cut into pieces
1 Tablespoon water
Extra sugar for sprinkling
Prepare dough into two circles and chill for at least an hour or overnight. Roll one circle of dough about 1/4 inch thick and line a deep dish pie pan leaving about a 1 inch overhang. Place lined pie pan in the refrigerator.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Roll the other circle of dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut circle into 12 strips about one inch wide.
Gently place strips on baking sheet, cover lightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator.
Grate apples, squeeze out moisture and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix blueberries and blackberries with grated apple. Gently toss mixture with lemon juice.
In a small bowl, mix together sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon.
Add sugar mixture to berries and gently stir to evenly distribute. Add vanilla. Transfer mixture to prepared pie plate and dot the top with butter.
Making the lattice crust:
1. Lay five strips vertically across the pie, spaced evenly.
2. Fold back strips 1,3,5 halfway down and lay one strip across the center of the pie horizontally.
3. Unfold the strip and fold down strips 2 and 4. Place another horizontal strip across the pie and continue this pattern until you have covered the entire pie.
Tuck the strips under the overhang from the bottom crust. This is the part I’m not great at, but don’t sweat this – you want your pie to look rustic. Once everything is tucked under as best you can, crimp the edges or you can press the edges down with fork tines.
Combine egg with 1 Tablespoon of water in small bowl. Brush lattice crust lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Place in lower third of oven and bake at 425 for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for another 20-30 minutes until juices and thick and bubbly. Let pie cool for AT LEAST two hours – the more the better. This is a juicy pie and needs the time to cool down and set.
Enjoy the best pie you’ve ever made!