Amy Artisan

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One Community: May 2014

Connecting with One Community to share unique perspectives on the same words. For May, the words are FIVE | MOTHER | RECIPE | REMEMBER

In the Artisan family, May has always been “Mom” month. In addition to celebrating our Mom through Mother’s Day, her birthday is later in the month. So each year we do our best to appropriately spoil her during the month for all that she does for us every day of the year.

When I saw the One Community words for this month, I had a slight lightbulb moment for capturing the majority of them. Now that spring is here and “good” strawberries are once again in the store it is the perfect time to make Mom’s Strawberry Pie. When I think of this recipe, it is Mom through and through. On Mother’s Day morning, I went through the steps to make a delicious pie that had me remembering Mom from afar.

Making the base

Making the base

REMEMBER…I’ve mentioned that Grandma’s house in California included fabulous gardens…in those gardens were the most delicious strawberries ever…strawberries always make us think of Grandma’s place (in fact, for Christmas my sister gave me a strawberry ‘bead’ for my memory bracelet to remember Grandma)

Assembled & ready to chill

Assembled & ready to chill

RECIPE…this recipe is simple in it’s preparation and stunning in it’s ruby presentation…among the things that Mom has taught throughout the years is that you can’t go wrong with simple, good food.

Ready to enjoy with homemade whipped cream

Ready to enjoy with homemade whipped cream

MOM…as with many Mom recipes, we use it as a guide versus a precise instruction…in making this yesterday, the pie didn’t setup nicely once I added the strawberries…in texting with Mom about it, she commented that as she also adds more berries than called for she has decided that we need to up the cornstarch in the base. So much of my approach to the kitchen is based on what I learned (& continue to learn) from her.

Here is our simple recipe…in FIVE easy steps:

  1. Crush 1 pint of strawberries.
  2. Combine them in a saucepan with 1 c. sugar, 4 T cornstarch and 2 T lemon juice. Stir constantly until thickened and clear.
  3. Cool the mixture.
  4. Slice another pint (or more) of strawberries and fold into the cooled mixture.
  5. Transfer to a graham cracker crust and chill until serving. (Excellent when served with whipped cream!)

It turns out that Mom made Strawberry Pie at home yesterday…while the best scenario would have been to be at home enjoying pie with her, it was almost like being with her to have us both enjoying Strawberry Pie across the miles…

What are some of your favorite Mom Recipe Remembrances?




One Community: April 2014

The words chosen for One Community to celebrate the start of April are perfect for this time of year – they celebrate the arrival of spring and the promise that the new season holds: SPRINGFLOWERSPURPLERISE

Now that all the snow is finally (!) gone from around here, signs of spring are starting to appear. Among all of the downed trees and limbs from the winter, there are glimpses of green and buds pushing through the dirt an onto limbs. The most evidence so far is the light coating of pollen on my dark colored car. In the absence of grabbing local pictures, I’ll pull some pictures from my March travels to Washington DC & London.

Spring | While enjoying some sight seeing via double decker bus on a Monday afternoon, I saw numerous green parks in London that just seemed to “scream” spring is here – the lush green lawns, the bright yellow of daffodils in bloom, people out & about in the parks.

Flowers | My quick trip to Washington DC last month was just ahead of when the famous cherry blossoms are in fully bloom explosion. While walking past the Native American museum, we saw this bit of bloom starting to emerge.

Purple | The only purple in this travel collection is a blurry shot of huge orchids in the Conservatory at the National Botanic Garden.

Rise | Amelia Earhart’s plane at the National Air & Space Museum. Pretty much every where you looked in the museum, “rise” was an appropriate word.

Connecting with One Community – to learn more about this monthly photo blog link-up, Sarah’s host entry has all the details.

One Community: February 2014

I had several different ways I had thought of representing the February One Community words: STYLEHEIRLOOMHEARTBEATWARM. In the end, I decided to go with one picture that I think sums up the words.


The fireplace & mantel are obviously a focal point of my living room. And as I have looked this space “a lot” this winter, especially the last week of snow & ice & a bit of no power & 5 days of no connectivity, I see a representation of each of these words together in one spot.

Style – The plates on the walls are from adventures with family & friends – each tells a story. The street markets in Florence with my sister. A favorite potter from my time in Marinette. A plate from Rebecca’s trip to Turkey. A tile from La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, CA – a favorite place to go when we lived there. And more.

Heirloom – The pewter candlestick is from my great grandmother’s boarding house. These days, it houses an LED candlestick that comes on every evening. A connection from the past housing “the newest” light.

Heartbeat – The picture frames capture moments with those most dear to me. Times with these folks definitely top the highlight reel.

Warmth – This fireplace provides all sorts of warmth: both actual heat and visual warmth. For the most part, I rarely turn my heater on – instead, I turn this on for a few minutes & before long all is warm and the more minutes it is on the toastier the room gets & the heat flows back to the other rooms. Last Wednesday morning I had the fireplace on while watching the news about the ice storm when the power went out – I kept the fireplace on until power was restored 8 hours later – at times the apt was “too hot” & I might have had the windows open on a winter day, but I knew that I would want the heat that night if the power didn’t come back.

Connecting into One Community hosted by Sarah.

One Community: January 2014

As one way to be blogging on a regular basis, this year I’m participating in some blog link-ups. After “following” this one for last year, today I’m jumping into the “One Community” photography project that asks us to photograph words in our lives and communities. This month, the words are TREASURE – SILVER – RESOLUTION – WINTER.

Treasure…While home for Christmas, I snapped a picture of a family treasure that surely doesn’t look like much. This ornament has been in the family since Dad was a baby. Dad was born during WWII and this ornament seems like a snapshot of the era to me – the glass has not been metallic glazed and the top and hook are paper and string because of the metal rationing in place during the war. While this may not be the sparkliest or priciest ornament on the tree, it is one of the most treasured by our family.



Silver…A bit of shine (and “hidden JOY“) on my Christmas tree. I had several silver stars on the tree that provided extra reflection and sparkle during the holiday glow. Not on the tree this year…silver icicles that were so tarnished they were almost brown. (Note: need to get the silver polish out & shine up several pieces…) 



Resolution…As I refocus on fitness & nutrition this year, It’s time to keep the sneakers active – walking around the neighborhood with an audio book, a lap around the office park at lunch, taking advantage of the Y membership.



Winter…Winter arrived early here in Pennsylvania this year. Before the first day of winter in December, we had already seen 4 snow events & almost a foot of snow on the ground. This week, another six inches followed by dropping temps and bitter winds. So far, we’ve had more winter this season than we did all of last year. After several winters in Marinette (& the Chicago-Marinette white knuckle winter commutes), this is still a “mild” winter for me. However, I am enjoying my 4 mile work commute in this weather, the ability to work from home, the rumbles & beeps of the snow removal in the apt. complex, the covered carport.



I’m linking up with other bloggers today through One Community – a monthly photo project that is all about the connections between us even though we all live in different places. Sarah is hosting the link-up here.


Knit the Season!

It’s that time of year when many of us are frantically finishing up the hand crafted gifts that we plan to give. In a few days, I will reveal what Artisan Knits were under the Christmas tree this year. In the interim, I wanted to tell you about the latest installment in Kate Jacob’s Friday Night Knitting Club series…Knit the Season.

Knit the Season!

As the title suggests, the story is set in the end of year holiday hustle and bustle – starting just before Thanksgiving and going into a New Year. In the midst of “all” that the holidays bring, the women of the club are faced with many other events…celebrating Christmas with the family or pursuing an internship…continuing to run the yarn shop or signing on with a European designer to manufacture your products…planning a wedding in the midst of family discord…getting caught up in capturing children’s memories versus experiencing the memories…and more…

Once again, Kate draws you into a circle of friends. Grab a mug of coffee or tea and settle in to catch up with friends and enjoy the holidays with them in New York City and Scotland. As I was reading my advanced copy, I was brought to tears as Dakota and her grandmother were knitting – the memories of Grandma teaching me to knit and then me teaching Mom to knit last Christmas Eve at Grandma’s bedside made that a very poignant scene.

As with the other FNKC books, Kate includes some of the recipes and patterns from the story at the end of the book. In fact, I have a feeling that the knit garland in the book will be adorning my tree in the coming years…


Kate has been touring in support of this new book. She was in Chicago in November, in fact it was on my birthday – it made for a fun birthday celebration with good friends to have dinner at a favorite restaurant and then attend Kate’s reading.

Kate’s publishers have once again provided me 2 copies of her book. This hardcover edition is beautiful in it’s red metallic book jacket – like a holiday present. So, let’s have another contest. Take a moment to share a favorite holiday memory with your family or your “own FNKC friends” in the comments for this post. The contest will run through the New Year’s Day.

I look forward to hearing your memories!

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