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Warm Pie Happy Home

Hoedowns and Sweet Berry Hand Pies

Written by Aunt Ruthie on January 31st, 2013


Howdy Sugar Pies! Hooray for Lindsey @ Farmhouse Porch for winning the giveaway! Thank you so very much to all of y’all for joining in! I so enjoyed reading every one of your comments! Thank you for sharing about the things that you do at home that reflect a vintage way of living to bless your family. I’m so proud of all of you for doing those sweet things to preserve the warmth and goodness of home, sweet, home!  You are making a positive impact on your family, our society and our nation!  Keep up the good work! I was also excited to discover a few new blogs to check out that you shared for even more vintage inspiration! If you haven’t had a chance to read the comments on my last post ,please do, you’ll glean a happy harvest of wonderful old fashioned ideas!

img_0071Well, this week I got a hankerin’ to make Berry Sweet Hoedown hand-pies! You see, on Sundays we always take my spunky 80 year old Mama-in-law, Ruth, to church with us and then we usually head on over to Cracker Barrel for lunch(unless I’m making dinner at home). Well, this past week Mama Ruth shared a few stories with us, over a plate of steaming chicken n’ dumplings, about her happy childhood days growing up in the small farming town of Bennington, Oklahoma (close to the Texas border). She told how her mama, Jennie Mae, was quite a cook and of course made everything from scratch. She had chickens, hogs, a milk cow and a huge garden. She grew everything her family of TEN ate! The only food items that she purchased in town at Jake Brown’s Mercantile store were only the things she couldn’t grow herself (sugar, flour, salt, and clean, white lard for her pies). She made do with what she had, was very resourceful and would often say, “I use up everything but the squeal of a pig”.  Jennie Mae’s specialty were her delicious cakes and pies that she baked every Friday. In her bustling household, the weekends always meant “company was comin'”. So the flour would fly and the rolling pin kept busy as she whipped up 6 pies…two fruit, two chocolate, two cream, along with 2  three-layer cakes and a couple dozen or so sweet berry hand-pies.

img_9970Here is my hubby’s sweet grandma, Jennie Mae Archer Cox standing with her hubby, grandpa Maynard Cox.


Ruth said her mama, Jennie Mae, had a huge berry patch that stretched 30 yards in the back of the house. They had such an abundance of berries, that Ruth couldn’t remember a time there wasn’t a bowl of fresh, juicy berries on the table at supper time.


She said her mama canned jars and jars of berries and stored them in the cool underground cellar…the place they ran to for safety whenever the dark, looming storm clouds gave an eerie hint of a possible tornado.  The berry preserves, canned soups and vegetables provided the family nourishment through the winter and were always accompanied at the table with fresh n’ hot homemade biscuits and cornbread from the wood cook-stove. She made berry jams, berry syrup, and berry pie filling. With all this talk about berries my mouth was watering!


My mama-in-law Ruth told how every Saturday her family would hitch the horse to the wagon and head into town to catch up on neighborly news with friends and buy supplies at Jake Brown’s Mercantile. She  remembers  sometimes getting 10 cents to spend on some goodies and an ice-cream cone. They had to make it back home before nightfall to feed the chickens, milk the cow and get ready for the hoedown held weekly on Saturday nights at their homestead.


(Jennie Mae’s home looked very similar to this old farmhouse on the Oklahoma Prairie. This one has seen better days, but oh the stories it could tell!)

Company was comin’ so the whole family would pitch in to carry their table, chairs and even the beds outside in front of their farmhouse for the folks to sit on when they arrived. Jennie Mae would set out her delicious pies and cakes on the long harvest table. Almost every family brought an instrument to play…fiddles…banjos and guitars.


Every Saturday evening on the Cox’s homestead was filled with music, laughter and dancing under the Oklahoma stars in that little town of Bennington. Farm-folks knew how to have fun! Don’t you just know that Jennie Mae’s homemade pies, cakes and berry hand-pies were the talk of the town!


In honor of Grandma Jennie Mae, I whipped up a batch of berry hand-pies to brighten the grey of winter with a little summer sweetness! If only there was a happy hoedown to bring them to!


Berry Sweet Hoedown Hand-Pies

14 oz. package (or 4 cups) of mixed berries (or blackberries) Fresh or frozen

1 cup of sugar,

1/4 cup corn starch (sifted into pot)

1/4 cup water.

Stir well. Bring mixture to a boil until it thickens, stirring constantly. Let cool. Then add;

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

1 Tablespoon butter

While the berry mixture is cooling, make your pie crust. Trim and cut pie dough into quarters then fill each piece with 2 Tablespoons of berry filling. Seal, crimp and cut vents, chill hand-pies for 1/2 hour in fridge. Then baste with egg wash and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake at 425 for 15-17 minutes, until light golden brown.

Here’s how I made my berry hand-pies:

img_9994Bring the berry mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until it thickens. img_9997

Turn off heat to cool.


Stir in 1 Tablespoon of salted butter. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest…I learned this yummy hint from the Queen of Pies, Linda Hundt, owner of Sweetie-licious bakery cafe in DeWitt, Michigan. The orange zest adds a bright, happy ray of sunshine to the flavor of the berries!


You’ll need a double crust (two single pie crusts) click here for my recipe or use your own favorite recipe. Roll out crust into two 12 inch circles, trim off the jagged edge with a knife.


Cut the pie crust circle into quarters and  add two Tablespoons of  the cooled berry filling in the center.
Seal the edge with water and fold over, pressing the edges together.


Make a pretty ruffled edge with the end of a wooden spoon by pressing firmly all around the hand pie, or you can use a fork.


With a sharp knife, make three cuts to let the steam vent. At this point it’s best to chill the hand-pies for a half hour in the fridge.

You can also freeze them at this point until the day you want to bake them, then follow the next few steps:


Whisk one egg and a tablespoon of water.


Baste the tops of the hand pies with the egg wash.


Generously sprinkle sugar on top. I used raw Turbinado sugar because its chunky and crunchy, but you can use what you have. Bake at 425 for 15 to 17 minutes. That’s it!


You might have a couple tablespoons of the filling left…if so, you can keep it in the refrigerator to spread on an English muffin or toast on another day… or just grab a spoon, sit yourself down and go to town sis-tah!


This recipe makes 8 hand pies. They are perfect for road trips, picnics and…hoedowns!


I found these sweet Glassine Wax Paper bags here and added a cute heart sticker. These bags are so old fashioned and would also be cute to package cookies too! I stacked them in this cute vintage red and white enamelware pan for a fun, farmy presentation.


Here’s to sweet Jennie Mae for blessing the hearts of Oklahoma farm-folks so long ago!

Thanks for stopping by for some

Berry Sweet Hoedown Hand-Pies!

Sending Sugar and hugs!

Aunt Ruthie

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Warm Pie Happy Home

A Fresh New Year!

Written by Aunt Ruthie on January 8th, 2013


Well, Happy New Year Sugar Pie Darlin’! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! I so wanted to do another blog post before Christmas but I had soooo much to get ready for… lots of company comin’, food to cook, places to go, people to see and my little shops to stock!


I wanted to share with y’all my itty-bitty booth at Spring Creek Antique Mall. I had lots of farmy goodies for sale!

dsc08122I hung these sweet little stocking ornaments on a string of twine over  the vintage wood burning stove to ” warm and dry” the frost on the toes.


Guess what?! Right here in my hometown of  Branson, Missouri I got to meet Joey and Rory (squeal!!)… hubby and wife country music stars! Their show “A Farmhouse Christmas” was just darling ! It was so fun and they are just as adorable as they look! I also bumped into one of my Sugar Pie Sista’s there too! (Hi honey!) Joey and Rory’s song and video “It’s Important to Me” is one of my favorites! It reveals the essence of  the American Dream and honors our American values…God, Family, Country…the things we need to preserve in our nation!! (I think I heard some “Amen’s!” out there!!)


Well, for Christmas our home was bursting at the seams with family and friends for Christmas dinner…25 in all. We had lots of food, an old fashioned sing-along and skits that bubbled with fun and laughter. Then just a few days after Christmas my son JJ, and his adorable wife Tiffany, flew in from California to visit for a week. My heart was so blessed seeing my whole family sitting around the supper table once again! We all gathered every night for a home-cooked meal and played rip-roarin’ games by the crackling fire. It was so fun cooking in the kitchen with all my daughters too!


This is my family! Including my 4 kids, son and daughters-in-love and grand-babies! Having our whole family together doesn’t happen very often so having this photo is precious to this mama! Later this year we will have two more babies to add to the family photo!


We got a light dusting of snow here in the Ozarks! At dusk that evening a few of my kids couldn’t resist breaking out the sleds for a brisk ride down the frosted hill. They didn’t stay out for long because it was soooooo cold!


We had plenty of hot cider and a glowing fire to get ‘em toasty warm when they came back inside with their teeth chattering!

securedownload-3In the afternoons we braved the cold and went out to lunch with the gang. Here are my boys J.J. and Dusty! It warms my heart to see that after all these years they are still best buddies!

dsc05465Here they are back in the day…Dusty trying to console his little brother! (J.J.’ snow-boots crack me up! I think they were the boy-version of Hello Kitty! Ha! They were greatly needed in sunny southern California weather don’t-cha-know! Hee hee!)


Here in Branson one of our favorite places to eat is my dear friend’s restaurant, Danna’s BBQ!  It’s been so much fun being with my kids! JJ and Tiff left just two days ago to go back to California and everyone has gone back to work and school… now my house is too quiet! My only consolation is looking forward with excitement to my goals, dreams and adventures of the new year ahead!


A brand New Year is always fun to dream about with a Susan Branch Calendar! I get one every year! She is perfectly adorable! I love her artwork and writing so much…you know what I’m gonna say…I WANNA MARRY IT!

img_9940-1Each brand-spankin’ New Year I so look forward to sitting down (with something yummy to drink of course!) and making a list of my dreams and goals! I take time to really think and pray about the direction the Lord has planned for me. Well, in the last few years I’ve come up with “a word for the year”…a word that sums up my focus, it seems to just pop in my heart. This year my word is…

bucks-county-antique-images-and-prints-carversville-cottage-farm-original-size-10x12Yes, BLESSINGS! I really want to be a blessing to everyone that God puts in my path, to you and of course to my family and those I meet along my pathway. Galatians 6:10 says to “be mindful to be a blessing”. You know that old saying “It’s better to give than receive?” Well, I think it’s because it truly fills your heart with sparkling joy when you’ve blessed someone. When you’ve offered comfort and encouragement. When you’ve filled a need or offered a solution. When you’ve brought warmth and love into your home by taking good care of it and your loved ones.

oct2008-ashley-trail-ride-vintage-141Every day I want to think of ways to be a blessing to my hubby. To be more mindful of the little things that I can do to make him feel loved and appreciated. That includes praying for him and with him.


I also want to be mindful of my blessings. To be in constant thankfulness to the Lord for His goodness. I know that doing so will  keep a song in my heart, which will put a happy spring in my step. A thankful mama is a happy mama. A happy mama makes a happy home!


Mother Teresa said “Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor…let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”


I want to speak blessings to everyone I talk to. Our words have the power to lift someones heart or tear it down and crush it. I remember as a little girl hearing the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me”…boy is that untrue! Unkind words and name-calling does hurt! I think we need to live by what our mama’s used to say…”if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” We must keep in mind that we never know the hardships that someone is going through…whether it’s the checker at the grocery store,  a neighbor, a relative, a friend, anyone we meet along our path.  I want to be thought of as someone who is kind, thoughtful and encouraging,  rather than someone who is hurtful, negative and critical. Let’s speak sweet!

“When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need–words that help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.” Ephesians 4:29


In order to be a blessing to my family I have to be careful about my time by not accepting too many obligations and commitments. If I’m too busy tending to my own things then I run the risk of neglecting what really matters…taking care of my family and home…and being the best wife, mama and grammy that I can be! Sometimes we think we can handle a little bit more, here and there…but then after a while we find out that we are stretched to the limit! Way too busy!  We feel like we have too many pots on the fire and they’re all bubblin’ over! Things can get messy! Recently, I had to say good-bye to my friends at The Feathered Nest, where I was renting a booth.  I began to realize I had too much on my plate. (Even though I don’t have a space there anymore, if you are ever in Ozark, Missouri, I encourage you to stop by The Feathered Nest…it is always filled to the brim with fabulous things to decorate your vintage style home!) I will be keeping my itty-bitty booth at Spring Creek Antique Mall and Tea-room for now, and will see how it goes.  I have lots of new ideas for this ol’ blog of mine and I need more time to devote to them…ideas that I hope will be a blessing to you! Things that the Lord has placed on my heart!


Speaking of the Lord…He is the source of our blessings. To honor Him and all that He has done for us, we must not gripe and complain about things. I know that is not easy to do sometimes! Especially when things don’t go as planned…or like when the washing machine breaks down and the laundry is looking like Mount Everest and your child comes in and tells you that for a special event at school they need to wear their “Sunday Best”  and they need to bring 4 dozen cookies…today. The dog is barking, the phone is ringing and…oh yeah, and you realize you forgot about your dental appointment, yesterday. We’ve all had those “Calgon take me away” days! (I’ve been married 34 years and have 4 kids…been there…done that…got the T-shirt!) When icky stuff happens, tell yourself that in a month (or 20 years from now) you’ll look back and laugh at this or you’ll have forgotten all about it. Inconvenient things happen. They are a part of life. Tell yourself “This too shall pass”. You know, there are so many people facing tragedies that if they could turn back the hands of time and go back to a day filled  with the normal, everyday things of life they gladly would!  We need to keep things in perspective and keep looking at the sweet, good, and beautiful  that the Lord has brought into our lives. All day long keep thanking the Lord for His blessings.

“If you believe in goodness and if you value the approval of God, fix your minds on the things which are holy and right and pure and beautiful and good. Model your conduct on what you have learned from me, on what I have told you and shown you, and you will find the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8

winter-snow-vintage-buttermilk-pie-074In order to feel the joy of God’s blessings and to bless others with tender, loving care, anger cannot live in our heart. We need to forgive. Forgiveness is like lifting the dark shades and opening the window to see and feel the warm sunshine and sweet, fresh breeze of a spring day. We are in charge of lifting that shade and opening that window. If there is someone you need to forgive, do it now (ask God to help you)…you will feel so much better.  Your heart will then have room for joy, peace and the thrill of hope for a happy future!


Oh yes and we need to cancel the pity-party! This will steal your joy!  We cannot be a blessing to anyone if we live in the land of discontentment. We can’t even see our blessings when we feel sorry for ourselves.


Everyday I say this verse out loud: “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118:24. It’s sets the tone for the day. I also think it’s a good idea to put a smile on our face, as we dab on our lipstick, and think about what we can do to bless others.


And now I want to bless one of my Sugar Pie Darlin’s with a special GIVE-AWAY!! Woo hoo!


Well, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that I love everything vintage and farmy! So I thought I would bless one of you with what blesses me! I’ve gathered 6 goodies to bring you a spark of joy!


1.  A darling Farm Fresh flour sack towel and hot pad set,(and the cute hanger too!) created by my adorable, dear friends Sara and Abbey of Sweet Magnolia’s Farm!  Sara and Abbey advertise here on my Web site and have a wonderful Etsy shop with so many cute farmy things!  They also have a blog  that I know you would enjoy and they have over 15,000 followers on Pinterest with the most wonderful, inspirational pin-boards ev-ah!! These gals are super duper talented and are my farm-girl-at-heart kindred sisters!


2. One of my favorite things! A chalkboard! I sell this at my little shop in Ozark, Missouri. It is galvanized metal with a cute scallop edge!img_9957-1

3. A vintage style white enamelware candle holder.

4. A cute battery-operated candle…so sweet to tuck in a little corner somewhere for a golden glow.

5. One of my favorite, yummy smelling 1803 candles! “Grandma’s Kitchen”. The little story on the label says: “Grandma’s kitchen is filled with needful things for baking; cookie tins, spices, rolling pins, dough bowls, recipe books and boxes.”


6. The Farmer’s Wife Harvest Cookbook! LOVE IT!! It’s filled with vintage recipes, photos and darling illustrations from back in the day and down on the farm!


As I mentioned before, I LOVE all things vintage and farmy…things that remind me of sweet old fashioned days and ways….so if you would like a chance to win these goodies please share something you do in your home that reflects a vintage way of living to bless your family (like making your own laundry soap, cheese, bread, pies…while wearing a cute apron of course… etc) AND a web site/blog that inspires you to live a vintage life…a web site/blog that thrills your heart with all that is adorable, good, wholesome and old fashioned!! (For me, one of my faves is Susan Branch’s blog!!! Love her!!!)  This way everyone will be blessed with ideas, inspiration, and new resources  that will bless our hearts! I will announce the winner on January 31!


For lots of  New Year inspiration please head over to The Lettered Cottage for the WORD OF THE YEAR  linky party! Over 160 bloggers have chosen a heartfelt word to focus on this year…read all about it!


(I know, hay is for horses!)

I need to say one more thing!! Follow me on INSTAGRAM!! @sugarpiefarmhouse

AND…if you have a question for me ask me on Facebook! It’s easier for me to answer there!

Well, I want to thank you dear Sugar Pies

for always blessing me with your sweet-as-pie comments!!

I can’t tell you how they lift my heart and make me want to keep blogging!

God bless your darlin’ heart!

Aunt Ruthie

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