Woah. The last weekend in August? I think my heart may have jumped into my throat, just a bit. While I’m not quite ready for summer to be over yet, I’m definitely looking forward to what the fall has in store!
Here’s what caught our eye online during the week of 27.August.2016.
How fantastic would this be? Three different companies that help to work from home, anywhere in the world! The ultimate work-abroad program.
On Moby News (aka Sprinter Van Conversion):
We’ve started ordering a few of the big-ticket items! We’ll be doing a little road-trip in September to pick up our Lithium batteries from EAS Power (based out of Victoria, BC), and hopefully our inverter and other bits and pieces will be coming shortly thereafter.
One of the next jobs on the to-do list is to model the curvature of the van shell, so that we can cut the wall panels. Going back to the basics, for this one! The old contour-with-a-wheel-and-pen actually did a pretty good first draft.
Our shipment of 80-20 was delivered this week, too! Jonty started making a few cuts to see how easily the channel is to fasten together. So far, so good! It will be exciting to see this frame come together inside the van.
I love pie. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I can’t help it. I’m a pie person, through and through. The Okanogan peaches are a steal right now, and blackberries seem to be hitting the markets too. So, when nature hands over two wonderful fruits at the same time, you eat as many as your tummy will allow, and then you make this Peach-Blackberry Pie!
I try to make a pie once every summer. Let me clarify that: I try to make a fancy-pants, double-crust pie once every summer. It’s not like it takes a lot of effort, but limiting ourselves to a hefty pie like this, only a few times per year, ensures it still feels like a special treat.
Like most stone-fruit pies, there is a tendency for them to be quite juicy, and this one is no exception. To minimize this, toss the fruit with a generous sprinkle of flour, and then spoon only the fruit onto the bottom crust.
This is important! Try to leave as much of the juice behind as possible.
Trust me, your pie will not be dry! And a great way to use up the juice is to use it in your next smoothie!
For this once-a-year, fancy-pants pie, I like to make a lattice top (feel free to do whatever pattern you’d like though). The pie dough recipe below makes enough for a double crust pie. Once put together, into the oven it goes, for about 45 minutes, until the top is nice and golden, and the insides are bubbling away.
The trickiest part of this whole pie-making event is the waiting. You need to let the pie cool completely before cutting into it! To make things easier, I bake the pie in the evening, and then go to bed, to minimize the temptation 🙂
The cherry pie I made last summer, felt like the perfect height-of-summer pie. This peach-blackberry pie feels like the perfect end-of-summer pie. The stone fruits are so sweet, and the blackberries add the perfect amount of tartness. Really, it’s a match made in pie heaven.
So don’t fear making the pie. Honestly. Nobody will judge if the pie is lopsided or springs a leak (mine often do). They will be busy enjoying a wonderfully delicious, late-summer peach-blackberry pie!
225 g (2 sticks) very cold, unsalted butter, cubed
15 g (1 tbsp) granulated sugar
3 g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
120 mL (1/2 cup) ice-cold water
For the Filling
900 - 950 g (~4 large) peaches, cut into 2-cm chunks
280 g (~2 very full cups) blackberries
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
25 g (2 tbsp, packed) brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
25 g (3 tbsp) flour or cornstarch
For the pie dough
Pulse the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough starts to stick together. Knead gently on the counter top to bring the dough into a ball. Divide in half, tightly wrap or seal in a container, and refrigerate for at least 30 mins or until you need it. It will keep in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for a few months.
For the filling:
While the pie dough is cooling, slice the peaches into thick chunks and place in a bowl, along with the blackberries and lemon juice.
In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and cornstarch. Sprinkle the cornstarch mixture over the fruit and very gently toss, to thoroughly coat. Place in the fridge until you have the bottom crust rolled out.
To assemble the pie:
Pre-heat your oven to 400 F and place a tray at the bottom to catch any juices that might spill over when the pie is baking.
On a lightly-floured surface, roll out one half of the pie dough until it is about 3 to 4 cm larger than the pie plate you are using. Gently lay the pie dough into the pie pan and press it into the edges of the pie plate.
Spoon only the fruit into the pie pan. Make sure to leave as much of the juice behind as possible. The fruit will continue to soften and release even more juice as the pie bakes.
Place this pie back in the fridge for about 10 minutes, while you prepare the top pie crust layer.
For the lattice top, roll out the second piece of pie dough to the same size as the bottom crust. Cut the dough into strips. Start layering the strips onto the pie. Weave them through each other to form the lattice top.
Trim the edges of excess dough (top and bottom crust), leaving about 2 cm of dough overhanging the pie plate. Brush the rim of the bottom crust with milk or water, then press the edges of top crust onto this. Roll the bottom crust over the top crust and pinch into a fluted design.
Brush the top with milk and sprinkle with a bit of turbinado sugar, if desired.
Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top of the pie turns a golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a baking rack.
For best results, place the cooled pie into the fridge for a few hours, or overnight, before serving, as it will most-likely be quite juicy.
Our summer has finally come, mid-August! The mornings have been lovely and warm, and the heat of the day makes us glad for our east-facing apartment. I think our weekend is going to be filled with a bit of power-endurance training and a bit of cycling, most likely a bit of work on this guy, and then the weekend rewards of and this and probably a little of this. Hope your weekend is just as enjoyable!
Here are the snippets that caught our eye online during the week of 20.August.2016.
We pick up a roasted chicken from the store on a weekly basis, cut it up and keep it in the fridge to eat throughout the week. It’s so handy, and easy! Here are 12 easy dinners to make with a roasted chicken. The Thai Chicken Pizza is catching my eye…
How common is your birth date? The infographic is pretty neat! Apparently mine is quite a common day (35⁄365). Lots and lots of September babies!
On the Moby Project (aka Sprinter Van Conversion):
We started framing a mock-up of the interior, with the same size of 80⁄20 we’re planning on using for the actual construction
It took a few days of work to finish, but ultimately was much easier to do in wood, than in the cardboard we had started working with
And now we have the benefit of visualizing our living space, we know exactly how much 80⁄20 we need to order, and we can figure out the little tweaks we need to make before doing the actual construction!
Next step? Figuring out refrigerator⁄freezer options and the Lithium ion batteries we’ll be installing. Progress!
Summer is finally starting to hit the Pacific West Coast and we should have blue skies and warm temperatures through the weekend. Given that it’s the middle of August, I feel like we’re due, and what better way to celebrate the warmth of summer, than to make ice cream! This was my second attempt at this Roasted Cherry Ice Cream, and Jonty thinks it might be the best ice cream I’ve ever made. We’re entering lofty-statement-zone here… 😉
The first time I made this ice cream, I simply roasted the cherries. The end result was pretty good, but I thought it could be improved. The second time I made this ice cream, I roasted the cherries with balsamic vinegar. So much better! I didn’t even bother to pit the cherries. After about 15 minutes in a hot oven, they start to soften enough that you can prick them and mash them up with a fork, and the cherry pit comes right out. No stained fingers, just lovely, super-sweet balsamic cherry pieces.
We don’t have an ice cream maker but, given how easy our no-churn ice cream is to make, I doubt we’ll ever buy one. All you need is a high-speed blender (ours is a Blendtec), a metal loaf pan and a fork, and you’re good to go, seriously-super-easy.
Like most of the ice creams on our site, this recipe requires only a handful of ingredients, with no artificial sweeteners and lots of great, healthy fats; I could almost argue it’s basically health food! 🙂
We’re at the tail-end of cherry season in B.C., but if you can get your hands on a few cups of these berries, I urge you to make this ice cream and enjoy the remaining hot days of summer!
This easy no-churn ice cream is sure to please. Vegan, gluten-free and unbelievably tasty.
350 g (~3 overflowing cups) cherries, pits still in, stems removed
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
140 g (1 cup) raw cashews, soaked in water at least 4 hours, or overnight
1 can (14 fl.oz) full-fat coconut milk (I like Thai Kitchenbest)
2 - 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup dark chocolate chunks or cacao nibs (optional)
Soak the raw cashews in water for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Place the can of coconut milk in the fridge to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 F. Remove stems and wash the cherries, but leave the pits in. In an oven-proof glass or ceramic pan, roast the cherries, whole, for 15 minutes. Remove the cherries from the oven and, using two forks, prick and shred the cherries apart, removing the pits as you go. Toss the cherry pieces with the balsamic vinegar, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes, until soft. Allow the cherries to cool before making the ice cream.
To make the ice cream, drain the cashews from their soaking water and place into the high-speed blender. Add the chilled coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla and a few of the roasted cherries into the blender. Puree for a few minutes and taste. Add more maple syrup, if necessary. Puree again until completely smooth.
Pour the liquid into metal loaf pan. Stir in rest of cherries and dark chocolate, if using. Place the pan into the freezer.
Every 30 minutes, stir the mixture to loosen up the frozen bits. Make sure to scrape around the edge of the pan, to fully incorporate the ice cream. Repeat this 3 or 4 times, until the ice cream really starts to firm up.
You can eat the ice cream at this time, or leave it to freeze completely. If frozen completely, remove the ice cream from the freezer at least 15 minutes before you plan on serving it, to make it scoopable.
We find the flavours really start to develop over a few days, so make this mid-week to enjoy on the weekend! Remove the ice cream from the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving.
It was my first full week after a bit of vacation, and I must say, I’m definitely ready for the weekend to begin! We survived a few days of cool temperatures, a few days of rain, and now the sun is finally starting to shine. I see pie in our future. Peach-Blackberry pie, to be exact 🙂
Here’s what caught our eye during the week of 13.August.2016.
The Instagram Era of Climbing (and of most things, really!). How easy it is, to showcase only the best parts of life with a simple, well-cropped, snapshot.
Will this be your new bike? Starting at $10,000 it’s a steal. Yikes!
What do you think of a soda tax to try and reduce people’s consumption of sugary pop? If you’re a big pop-drinker, would a tax actually make you consider not buying it? Somehow, I don’t think it would.
Are you in need of a good Netflix documentary? Here’s 15 that might fit the weekend bill.
… and on the Moby Project (aka Van Conversion)…
Now that we’ve got the hydronic floor heating working, we’re able to move onto other jobs. We’ve been consulting with the PYS group in Vancouver, regarding our electrical wiring and having them look over our plans. They’re going to confirm we’re not burn down the van 😉
During the back-and-forth discussion with PYS, we started pulling off the van trim, sealing all the plug holes, and putting the trim back on. It was a bit of a pain, but we had a good system down. This should prevent any water from getting into the van and minimize the chance of rusting.
We’ve started to put in the insulation. We’re going with Thinsulate insulation. Yes, the same company that makes your warm cozy coats 🙂 It’s warm, flexible, non-toxic, hydrophobic, easy to install, and meets automotive safety standards, making it a great choice for van conversions like this.