We have kind of had unseasonable weather for this time of the year, but at least the sunny days are sure enjoyable.
The recipe for this week, is a good one for this time of year. This kind of pie, is one of Denise’s favorites.
2 c. all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed, up to 1/4 c.
1/2 c. cake flour (recommended: Soft As Silk)
3 tsp. sifted powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter-flavored shortening (recommended: Crisco)
1/4 c. salted butter
2 tsp. vinegar
1/4 c. ice cold water
2 1/2 c. chopped red rhubarb, fresh
2 1/2 c. de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
1 1/2 c. sugar (1 1/4 c. for high altitude)
2 Tb. minute tapioca
1 Tb. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tb. butter, cubed small
1 egg white beaten with 1 tsp. water
Large granule sugar
Using two pastry blenders, blend the flours, sugar, shortening, butter and salt. Whisk the egg, vinegar and water in a 2-cup measure and pour over the dry ingredients incorporating all the liquid without overworking the dough. Toss the additional flour over the ball of dough and chill if possible. Divide the dough into two disks. Roll out one piece of dough to make a bottom crust. Place into a pie dish. Put dish in refrigerator to chill.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, flour, zest and juice of lemon, dash of cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well in a large bowl and pour out into chilled crust. Dot the top of the filling with the butter. Brush edges of pie crust with egg white wash. Roll out the other piece of dough and place over filling. Crimp to seal edges. Brush with egg white wash and garnish with large granule sugar. Cover with foil and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Decrease temperature to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until the filling starts bubbling. Let cool before serving.
Well this past week, Denise and I were lucky enough to get to go on a nice vacation to Orlando, Fla.
Because of all of Denise’s hard work at her job in Albia for the electronics company she works for, she was one of the five employees and their husbands that got to go on the special vacation.
We left the Des Moines airport last Wednesday. We changed planes in Memphis, and as we landed there you could see the Mississippi River from the air, as it was out of its banks, everywhere.
We went onto Orlando, and were met by two drivers waiting for us. They took the 10 of us in two vans to a really fancy resort called, The Reunion Resort & Club. We each got to stay in our own three bedroom villa, that had a full kitchen, living room and two bathrooms.
After we checked in, a shuttle bus took all of us to five different villas on the property.
We then, had the shuttle come back for us and take us to a fancy restaurant on the premises for dinner. Later, back at the room, some of us even ordered room service for dessert.
About mid-day on Thursday a huge motor coach bus arrived out front to pick up a whole bus load of the company employees and take us onto to our final resort destination, called the Omni Resort Hotel at Champion’s Gate.
The company Denise works for flew a select group of employees from all different parts of the United States, as well as India and England, for this nice vacation.
The Omni Resort was booked solid and could not accommodate everyone until Thursday, so that is why we stayed at the other resort the first night.
The grounds of both resorts were massive and set way in off of the road. Everywhere you looked their were beautiful exotic flowers blooming and all kinds of neat palm trees to see, everywhere.
Once we got to the Omni resort, the 10 of us had a poolside lunch, at an outdoor restaurant. Then, later, everyone dressed for the evening and the company had a pool party around a big beautiful pool, at the hotel They served cocktails and hors’deorves around the pool as steel drum Caribbean music played and then everyone went into a big ball room for dinner.
The owner of the company spoke briefly and then the C.E.O. of the company got up and introduced every employee there and their spouses and mentioned their achievements with the company.
After the dinner, everyone went back out to the big swimming pool for snacks, refreshments and dancing to a D.J., who played music until about midnight.
Each morning while we were there, they had a room set up just for our company members to go in and enjoy a nice breakfast to begin our day.
Then different buses and vans would take everyone to different events and theme parks all over Orlando.
On Friday, we took a big bus with a lot of other people on it, over to Sea World. We saw the Blue Horizon show that had performing dolphins, high flying ladies doing aerial performances and exotic birds flying through the show. We also got to see the Clyde and Seamore, Pirate, Seals show. We enjoyed seeing all kinds of other things during our travels that day also.
Friday afternoon, we were taken back to the hotel to change clothes and get ready to go out for the evening. Two big, coach buses took us to the Hard Rock Café along the River Walk at Universal Studios for supper.
After everyone ate, we were taken next door into a theatre and saw “The Blue Men Show.” It was quite unique and different. They even picked a couple from our group, and had them in different skits on stage with them, so it was entertaining.
When the buses took us back to the hotel that evening, they had a whole novelty ice cream freezer full of treats and you make your selection, for your dessert to cap off the days’ activities.
Saturday morning, after a nice breakfast, we again were taken on a vehicle to spend the day at Universal Studios. We spent the day with another couple from Ohio, that we had met while we were there. Denise had talked to her on the phone, through work but they had never met, until this trip. So, we had good time together.
At Universal Studios, we went on a few different rides. Denise and the other couple went on the Shrek ride, and the four of us all went on the Jaws boat ride and the Disaster Movie ride. They were all fun.
It was neat to see the recreated sets as you walked along through the New York streets, the San Francisco buildings and the resort seashore town area where the Jaws ride was located.
After a fun day there, we were taken back to the hotel. The employees of the company had a get together where they dressed stuffed animals as firemen and nurses. Then a local fire captain and about eight of his crew were there to accept a plaque and the completed animals for the firemen, from the owner of the company, Denise works for. The firemen give out the stuffed toys to children in emergency situations.
Because of a rainy afternoon and evening on Saturday, the outdoor luau was moved inside. They had a buffet dinner in one of the ball rooms and had a band playing songs that sounded like island music.
Then, there were Hawaiian girls in grass skirts that performed and later everyone went outside to see men do fancy moves with lit, big torches. Then, everyone went back inside to complete the evening.
Sunday morning, we had breakfast in that special room, for one last time. They had the most delicious orange juice I had ever had. I guess it does not have to travel far from the tree.
Vans again took the 10 us, from Iowa, to the Orlando airport on Sunday morning. After we got on our jet, we sat for a long time on the runway and did not move. It was real hot in the plane. Finally the pilot said one of the two air conditioners were not working and we would have to return to the gate, for repairs and to refuel.
It took what seemed a long time to do all of that, but finally we got air born. It never did get very cool in the plane during our almost two and half hour flight to O’Hare airport in Chicago.
Because of the delay in Orlando, we missed our connecting flight onto Des Moines. The airline was not very nice and we were stuck in that airport the rest of the day into the evening with a lot of other people that were in the same situation as us.
Two people in our group managed to secure a flight out on the last plane leaving Chicago for Des Moines that night.
The rest of us all went to a hotel next to the airport and stayed all night. The next morning the eight of us took a shuttle bus to a Hertz rental place and rented two vehicles for the eight of us, to all drive back to Des Moines in. Once we got back there, we got our luggage from the airport and then headed for home.
The 10 of us from Iowa all had a great time together. Doing things together at times and then going off and doing other things on our own.
So, we kind of got an extra day out of our vacation, but waiting around at the airport was not much fun. We finally got home, later Monday afternoon.
The annual 4th of July Celebration in Exline is able to be held because of generous donations and volunteers who help to pull this event off each year.
If you would like to be part of the fun and volunteer to help with the many events that are scheduled here in town, you may call the Exline Old Country Store manager, Penny, at (641) 658-2399.
There are a number of things that they will need help with, so there is still time to get involved.
As a reminder, raffle tickets on the afghan that Fern Broshar made, are still available for sale, at the Exline Old Country Store.
The spaces for the flea market that is to be held on 4th of July are free of charge to anyone who would be interested in setting up a booth to sell things or have a craft booth at the celebration. If you are interested in reserving a free spot, you may call (641) 658-2399 for further details.
Chances are still available, on the double red glider that the Exline Community Betterment Committee is sponsoring, for 4th of July. The glider is on display at the store, if you would like to see it. The drawing for the winner of the glider, will be held on July 4.
The time is drawing closer for the Exline School and Community reunion that is to be held on Memorial Day weekend, which in fact, will be next weekend on Saturday, May 28, at noon. You may call and make a reservation with Mary Ann Hurley in Exline at (641) 658-2691. The cost will be $10 per person. This event is open to anyone who would like to attend, even if you did not attend the Exline school.
As a reminder, the Exline Hose Company No. 1 Museum will be open this Sunday afternoon, May 22 from 1-4 p.m. I will be volunteering to be there, so the museum may be open. Volunteers are what it takes to keep the museum open each Sunday. If you would be interested in taking a little time on a Sunday afternoon, to be at the museum, you may call the Exline Old Country Store manager, Penny, at (641) 658-2399. All help would be appreciated.