Sunday, October 31, 2010

Indoor Peppers, Giant Asparagus, 2 Pies For The Plumber, Apple Pie Recipe

It is the last day in October and we still have green! Such an amazing fall. Tomorrow, I hope to get out in the garden and replant Iris. With all the compost I added to the flower beds, I think I have them planted too deep, hence poor flowering.
Last year I tried to grow indoor container peppers and Red Robin Tomatoes.
The peppers and tomatoes sprouted and grew but stayed only about 6 inches tall. In the spring I planted them out in the garden where they did well.  In September I repotted 2 of the peppers and brought them in before the freeze. I also started 3 new little Red Robin Tomatoes and already I can tell they are doing much better this year than last year. Here is what I did different: Last year I used one aquarium wide-spectrum fluorescent bulb and 1 ordinary bulb. This year I have the aquarium bulb and a daylight bulb. The plants are only a couple of inches away from the light fixture.
The plants sit in a south facing basement window. On the far left is also an Eggplant that was very small in the garden. Already it is setting a flower. Notice the lower leaves of the pepper. Grasshopper or hail probably caused the holes. I left the leaves on as the plant needs all the help it can to access nutrients.  As it flowers I will need to use a tiny brush to pollinate.  The pieces of board are used to bring the pots closer or farther to the light. I use this same system in the spring when I start plants. You can’t tell but I also have a small string of little lights. They are cheerful and maybe give a little bit more warmth to the plants.
IMG_1520 See it is a “bookcase” with a space for fluorescent lights
This is an Asparagus plant. The fronds are beginning to turn golden and fall. After harvesting Asparagus for a few weeks in the spring, I let the plant grow so that it can grow stronger roots for next year. Asparagus like nutrients so I feed it a bit of compost and well rotted manure.

When your home gets sewer problems there is no more welcome face than that of your local plumber.  Last week we had need of his services.  So Ted said he thought it would be nice is I would make them a couple of pies.  A few mornings ago I sent Ted down to them with two just-out-of-the-oven Apple Pies.  When Ted went by a few days later to pick up the dishes, the owner said the men gathered around the warm pies and ate them like a bunch of hungry wolves!

Early Morning Apple Pie
You prepare the pie crust and line the pie plate. Roll out the top crust and leave on the counter in between loosened parchment paper. Place the lined pie plate in a large Ziploc bag. Since the pie crust is made with butter it will chill if you leave it in a cool kitchen overnight.  Make up the apple pie filling in a separate bowl and keep in refrigerator. Reserve 1/4 cup sugar. You will put the pie together in the morning.

Pie Crust Recipe

About 4 Crisp Apples
1 cup sugar (reserve 1/4cup)  Less if the apples are sweet
1/4 teaspoon or more cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
Craisens – 1/4 cup
In a large bowl add 3/4 cup sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Mix well.  Add apples and Craisens – Keep in refrigerator until morning.
In the morning remove pie crust lined pie plate. Add 1/4 cup sugar, shaking the pie plate so that the sugar covers the bottom.  (Sugar on the bottom of the pie helps caramelize the bottom crust so that the bottom is not soggy.  You can also use instead of sugar a light layer or cornflakes)
Pour filling into pie.  Place top crust on pie.  Sealing the edges will look a bit imperfect because the butter has made the top layer a bit firm. Don’t worry, it will still be yummy. Make some slices on top of the pie so that it will not bubble over the sides. I like to sprinkle just a tiny bit of sugar on top of the crust.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, then bake for another 40 minutes at 350 degrees until golden.
Notice the pie in front has a T on it.  That was Ted’s pie. It had just a bit less fruit than the “company” pies.


  1. Those pies look delish, Gloria. My asparagus is beginning to turn too. My sister is also growing Red Robin tomatoes indoors. It must be a good variety.

  2. Yum, beautiful looking pies Gloria!


  3. Wait, Ted's pie has less filling in it? tsk tsk. But the plumbers sure must have been happy with their wonderful treats. Those pies are works of art! Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Hi Grace - I hope the little tomatoes will do good inside. I grew these outdoors in pots. It sounds like you are from a family of gardeners. I think it is in our DNA

  5. Hi Eileen - Thank you! Ted loves pie!

  6. Laurrie, you know how it is. I filled the other 2 pies first. But it still wasn't too wimpy and he ate it. I try not to make too many pies...we'll eat them.

  7. Yummy looking pies! I'll come plumb for your for a taste of those. Garden still looking good in Nov!

  8. Hi, Gloria!
    I'd take a crack at the plumbing if you'd bake me a pie. :))

    Hey, I was thinking about you yesterday. When you visited me there was a giant pile of mulch in the driveway. When was that? August? Well I finally get it into the garden yesterday. And, it's only November.

  9. Kate and Kelly - Ok - I bake pies on command :) Kate, when you come pie will be on the menu, or if we are ever your way again I can make a pie in a flash -But, I don't know a bit about plumbing! not a bit! Hey Kate, I am wishing for some wood mulch. I can't believe this amazing weather. I am able to go out and move plants! Some of the leaves are still on the trees!

  10. Very yummy pies!
    and so cool indoor vegetable patch! It sure proves you can always grow something anywhere

  11. You're the second person I noticed posting about bringing pepper plants inside for the winter. I never thought they'd survive being dug up and put into a pot.

    I'm trying to remember if I still have the pots like your two on the ends. They were my mother-in-law's.