THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE
If you want to do pie, you better have a fool proof pie recipe! I have to confess that I was not born a baker at all, I guess that practice makes perfect (or at least edible). Pot pies and apple pies are my favorites, and god knows I made a lot of them. The only thing is that, every time I was preparing my crust, there was always something wrong: too hard, not sticking together, too sticky.
So I went to see my Memère Beaudin and told her (yeah I did not ask at all) ''you are teaching me to make your pie crust and we are baking pies, go go go!" The thing with grandma's recipes is that they never have measurements right... A pinch of salt, my special tea cup full of water, a blue package of margarine. Anyway, it gets hard to do the same thing home if you don't have a ''special tea cup'' either! All that to say that, we did the crust and we did a sh*t load of pies, BUT I also measured and wrote down all the quantities. Memère's recipes are no longer a mystery!
You want a big enough and clean surface to work on your dough. Your butter or margarine should be room temperature for a fluffy crust. To mix margarine and flour, use your thumb and fingertips and rub the margarine into the flour in a snapping motion. It should look lumpy. If you want to keep the mixture for later, put it in an air thigh bag in the fridge. It can stay there for more than 6 months if you like to have some ready on hand!
Once you've got your butter lumps, add in cup of lukewarm water. Start mixing with your hands to incorporate all water, without vigorous motions. Do not over mix. For a better dough also easier to roll, shape it in a disk and put in the fridge 30 minutes.
Dough is ready: you can begin rolling. Make sure your work surface always have enough flour on it so the dough does not stick. ALWAYS roll in one direction and rotate the dough to make a perfect circle. Do not flip your dough! Roll on the same face or it until desired circle size.
To put in your pie mould, fold in half for the bottom and lay, making sure that it is perfectly pressed. Memère uses another mold to make sure the dough sticks perfectly to the corners. Cut excess dough and put your filling in. If you want the full pie crust on top, fold your circle in half, then fold again. Cut a design with a knife to allow steam to go out. Brush water on the border of the bottom crust, not too much but just enough so it sticks. Gently lay your top crust on top of your filling, and unfold. Cut all excess dough and press firmly on the borders to make them stick together. Design the border as you want. VOILÀ, you have a perfect pie!
6 cups flour, leveled
1 lb butter or margarine
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. salt
1 1/2 lukewarm water
1. Mix together flour, butter or margarine, baking powder and salt. Use your thumb and fingertips and rub the margarine into the flour in a snapping motion.
2. Add water to the mixture and mix with your hands. Do not over-mix.
3. Shape and cook.
The trend is that the market is booming in the Spring and you should wait for that exact time to sell your home. However, Winter is a good time to put your house up for sale and wait is not necessarily in your best interest! Here are 5 reasons why!
1. Serious buyers: Who puts on boots and mittens to visit houses? People who are serious about moving. They are no tire-kickers or nosy neighbours: They are taking the time to find a home that is right for their needs, they are motivated and ready to make the move!
2. Corporate transfers: January and February are the highest months of the year for employees transferring and relocating. These people need a house, AND QUICKLY! Motivation and readiness also means …… money money money!
3. Less competition: Fewer houses on the market makes your house more desirable! With around 30 new listings per day on MLS during the spring market, the competition is numerous and buyers want to see all their options! By listing in winter, your house is therefore more visible to potential buyers and will stand out more than in a saturated market.
4. Marketing: A less saturated market also means that your house will be more prominent when it comes to marketing. With fewer listings, this gives your agents far more time to increasing the marketing efforts! That means, more open house, ads, posts, etc. Oh.. and it is important to know that the online searches increase during the Winter - Shouldn't the potential buyers be able to see your house too?
5. Your house looks great in winter: Certainly, you may have a beautiful garden and a backyard perfect for Summer days, but Winter is the perfect time to showcase the curbs appeal of your home without having to take care of the lawn and landscaping every week! If you have a fireplace, turn that baby on and show people how good it feels to be at home! All you have to do is make sure that your drive way is accessible and shovel your entrance.
So if you're planning to sell, don't wait until Spring. Be ready now and take advantage of the chilly months. If you want to learn more about the pros and cons of listing your home in the Winter, get in touch with your Realtor. It's never too early to start planning for your sale!