Summer = Pie

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I love to bake and have had lots of great teachers in my mom, sister-in-law, friends and my TV obsessions…Great British Baking Show and the America’s Test Kitchen.  But, living in the south, means hot summers and no one wants to stand over a hot oven, so I turn to quick baking or, no-bake-at-all, pies!

It’s become my gifting tradition in my family to bake whatever the birthday person wishes for and this June my mom chose coconut pie.  It turned to the Test Kitchen for a recipe and used my mom’s old pie plate to truly make it special. It was delicious!

 

Coconut Cream Pie

(From the Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook)

Their notes: Don’t use low-fat coconut milk here because it doesn’t have enough flavor. Also, don’t confuse coconut milk with cream of coconut. The filling should be warm–neither piping hot nor room temperature–when poured into the cooled pie crust. To toast the coconut, place it in a small skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes. It burns quite easily, so keep a close eye on it.

FILLING
1 (14oz.) can coconut milk (see note)
1 cup whole milk
½ cup (1 ¼oz) unsweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup (4 2/3oz.) sugar
¼ tsp. table salt
5 large egg yolks
¼ cup (1 ounce) cornstarch
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust, baked and cooled (below)

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
8 whole graham crackers, broken into 1” pieces
5 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 Tbl. sugar
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Process the graham cracker pieces in a food processor to fine, even crumbs, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle the butter and sugar over the crumbs and pulse to incorporate.
2. Sprinkle the mixture into a 9” pie plate. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake until the crust is fragrant and beginning to brown, 13-18 minutes.

TOPPING
1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled
1 ½ Tbl. sugar
1 ½ tsp. dark rum (optional)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbl. unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted (see note)

1. For the filling: bring the coconut milk, whole milk, shredded coconut, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
2. As the milk mixture begins to simmer, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, the egg yolks, and cornstarch together in a separate bowl. Slowly whisk 1 cup of the simmering coconut milk mixture into the yolk mixture to temper, then slowly whisk the tempered yolks back into the simmering saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until the mixture is thickened and a few bubbles burst on the surface, about 30 seconds.
3. Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla. Cool the mixture until just warm, stirring often, about 5 minutes.
4. Pour the warm filling into the baked and cooled pie crust. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling and refrigerate the pie until the filling is chilled and set, about 4 hours.
5. For the topping: Before serving, whip the cream, sugar, rum (if using), and vanilla together with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute. Increase the mixer speed to high and continue to whip until the cream forms soft peaks, 1 to 3 minutes. Spread the whipped cream attractively over the top of the pie and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.

A very good friend of mine introduced me to buttermilk pie and it was love at first sight! It’s one of those pies that goes great with fresh summery fruits like peaches and berries.  I’ve had it with strawberries and even cranberries. It’s so versatile and easy and I think I may need to bake one asap! I’m a huge fan of Joy Wilson, of Joy the Baker, and was given my first cookbook of hers while pregnant with my son, and I think that’s where he and I both became obsessed with Joy and baking in general! Here’s a recipe for her Buttermilk Pie with Blackberry Sauce. Go get you some!

Pies don’t have to be all about fruit…chocolate and pie go hand-in-hand! One of my favorite recipes is from Real Simple Magazine’s November 2004 issue.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

(Real Simple Magazine, November 2004)

PIECRUST
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbl. sugar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 ½ Tbl cold water
½ tsp. vanilla

Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the water and vanilla. Pulse until the dough just comes together. Form into a disk. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill 15 minutes. Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a 12” circle. Fit the dough into a 9” pie plate. Refrigerate until needed.

FILLING
1 ¼ cups light corn syrup
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3 Tbl. unsalted butter, melted
3 tsp. dark rum (optional)
½ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. salt
1 ¾ cups pecan halves
¾ cup chocolate chips
Whipped cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients. Stir in the pecans. Scatter the chocolate over the prepared piecrust and cover with the filling. Bake until the center is set, 45-50 minutes. Let cool completely. Serve with the cream, if desired.

There are SO many amazing pie recipes out there! I hope you enjoy these three and feel free to point me in the direction of your favorite pie recipe! If you’ll excuse me…I’ve got some butter to cut!

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Vintage Treasures

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Whether you’re tackling some spring cleaning, or just want to focus on fixing up your latest vintage score, the tools you need are right in the kitchen!

Recently, my husband accidentally placed a still-wet bowl on our vintage wooden sideboard table, leaving a white ring behind. At first I panicked, and then after a surprising online search, discovered that the mayo in our fridge could remove it! I learned from Bob Vila that the light mark is actually a sign that the moisture is trapped in the varnish and hasn’t gotten through to the wood yet. He suggests ironing, which I don’t recommend. It left more marks, rather than removing the ring. I followed his steps for using mayo, “Dab a bit onto a rag, then gently apply the mayonnaise directly to the stained area. Let it sit for at least an hour or as long as overnight, reapplying the mayonnaise if the initial coating dries out.”  I left my mayo for a few hours and it did the trick. You can’t even tell where the stain happened!

Photo of vintage wooden furniture with vintage baskets

Personally, I’m team patina, but I know not everyone likes their brass that way. So, if you’re team shine, there’s an easy way to bring it back! Using Apartment Therapy’s guide to cleaning brass, you can mix the juice from 1/2 lemon with 1 teaspoon or so of baking soda, creating a paste that you can apply with a rag or toothbrush. What I love about this technique is that it doesn’t completely strip the brass of it’s vintage patina, making it look brand new.  You buy vintage because it’s vintage…not something that can be easily found at any big box store.  Also, as a sidenote, the Oxo brush is amazing…small head, firm bristles and this little rubbery pointy nub on the other end that’s great for crevices.  Be sure to check to see if your piece is actually brass first! Use a magnet…if it sticks, there’s probably another metal at play, but if it doesn’t, then you’ve most likely got a true brass piece.

Cleaning vintage brass with baking soda and lemon juice

Finally, some folks are wary of taking home a vintage piece that has a less-than-pleasing odor, but there’s a remedy for that too! When it comes to containers, or things that have been closed and left for long periods, an odor naturally develops.  As long as there are no signs of mold or other serious issues, I typically have found that some baking soda, coffee grounds or even tea tree oil can nip that stinch in the bud! For plastic containers, like Tupperware or thermoses, I’ll simply shake a good amount of baking soda into the container, covering the bottom, and let it sit with the lid off. I’ll even put a layer on the underside of the lid, as I don’t want to trap the scent back in there next time it’s closed.  For jewelry boxes or wooden furniture, sometimes I’ll put sprinkle baking soda directly on the piece and later vacuum it up, or you can put the baking soda, or even coffee grounds, on a small plate inside the piece to soak up the scent.  If it’s something washable, like glass, I’ll use diluted white vinegar if the dish soap doesn’t do the trick.  Another great trick, I learned when my kids were babies and I was using a Diaper Genie to dispose of their diapers, is a little dash of tea tree oil on a piece of cloth left in the container.  It’s a great odor neutralizer!

Vintage red yellow black plaid thermos

Alright friends, I hope this was helpful! Happy spring cleaning!

The Posy Post

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I’m so excited to share some fun news I’ve been working hard on! The Posy Post, Posy’s new monthly newsletter, went live today!

While researching ideas, I came across this quote about the difference between a blog (in Posy’s case a journal) and a newsletter, and realized it’s exactly my goal with both.  Mack Collier writes, “A blog is a tool you use to meet new people, whereas a newsletter is a tool you use to make a deeper connection with people you already know.”

My hope with the March newsletter is to let folks know about Posy’s journal, here, so if you want to dig in on all things vintage, you’ve got a reliable resource.  And then moving forward I’d like the newsletter to be a way to get into the nitty gritty of hunting vintage, owning a vintage shop and the ups & downs of both!

So, sign up if you want to join the fun (check out the right hand toolbar or click on the image below) and let me know what kinds of things you’re interested in finding in the newsletter. Cheers!

Posy Joins the Tiny Greenhouse

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So very happy to announce that Posy’s vintage wares can now be found at the lovely Tiny Greenhouse (@thetinygreenhouse), owned by Suzanne and Edgar, in Greensboro, NC!!  I’ve delivered them a whole host of creative vessels to compliment their huge plant selection: a vintage chicken feeder, mini wooden cabinet, tool caddies and a big, beautiful red metal tool box.

I first met this amazing duo at the Patchwork Market in Durham when Munny was a baby and my booth backed up to theirs. They’ve got young twin boys & were completely understanding of the chaos and challenge kids can bring at a market and to life in general.

Their sweet shop is a lush oasis (Our State Magazine calls it an “urban jungle!”) on a city block, filled to the brim with plants, local art, their own paper goods (ps. they’re wonderful artists to boot!) and eclectic vintage. It’s a heartfelt mash up of all their talents and passions under one roof. Speaking of that roof, the building was abandoned, windows broken, crummy carpet, etc and they took down walls, added windows and made a happy nook for all to enjoy!

There are so many fun gift ideas, like the little nook of quirky erasers, local jewelry, design books, vintage brass or beautifully modern ceramics to go along with their lush greenery.  Please stop by if you’re in the area, or even passing though, you will be all the better for it. I certainly am!

Benefits of Going Green With a Vintage Twist

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Did you know that house plants can lower your stress levels? They can also help you be healthier and heal faster. Other green benefits, as mentioned in this HGTV article, include: make our air fresher by removing pollutants, bump up our creativity and concentration, add oxygen and there’s evidence that plant owners are more caring and empathetic. Domain magazine mentions, “Plants help to increase our levels of positivity and make us feel more secure and relaxed. They can also help with loneliness and depression. Caring for a living thing gives us a purpose and is rewarding…”

Yes, please, to all of the above! I like to amp up the happy factor that plants bring into our home with either a classic terracotta pot for texture and simplicity, or, more often, a colorful vintage planter.  Succulents really pop against a cheery yellow McCoy planter! Over the last year, when I’m on the vintage hunt, I’m often drawn to planters…particularly, quirky animals or retro heads. Double the fun and dose of positivity in my opinion!

Posy has a whole stash of creative, colorful or classic planters now in the shop!

In case you need a little guidance when planting succulents, which seems to be the trend that just won’t quit, I found this article by Southern Living Magazine to be helpful. My local nursery walked me through the basics and my succulents have been rocking it! I started with a layer of charcoal and then filled the container with soil meant specifically for succulents (took away the need to mix in sand) and then I only water when the soil’s dry.

Now for the fun part! Pick out your plant and a fun planter and you’re on the way to healthier and happier days!

Here are some planter options in Posy’s shop…ranging from quirky ducks to classic McCoys:

New Year, New Finds

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One of my goals for Posy this year, is to have a very full inventory on Etsy, as well as a good stash ready for market.  So, even though it’s only January, I’m mapping out my buying trips, mostly for this summer and beyond. Late winter/spring is a great time for nearby estate sales and auctions.  I enjoy occasionally thrifting, but as I’m still limited on time with a preschooler, I find it’s more effective to go where I can buy a lot at one time. Another Posy goal, is to hone my “elevator pitch” regarding my vintage aesthetic and focus my buying and shop to fit.

There are things I’m always drawn to…books, planters, brass, linens, kitchen and those one-of-a-kind conversation starters…and I want to use this website and my shop, in general, to give you ideas on how to incorporate these pieces in your own decor and home. Vintage does the soul good, in my opinion, and gives your space a layered, lived-in feel which makes everyone comfortable…those living in it or your friends and family visiting. I never know what I’ll find, but as long as it fits under my “vintage comfort” umbrella, I’m going to do my best to get it into my shop to share with you!

A few lovelies currently in Posy’s Etsy shop to help you get cozy, entertain your guests and bring a little green into your space!