Friday, June 26, 2009

Squirrel Invasion...

Okay, if you follow my blog, you know I am a jeweler, with a side job of squirrel wrangler. I have spent the past 2 years fighting those evil little furry monsters... attempting various techniques to keep them from digging up and eating my garden. But as this spring started, I didn't really notice any around. I started my herb planters without much trouble, so I thought I was in the clear. Until Wednesday.

So, I was having company the other night and decided that it is the perfect time of year to bake a strawberry rhubarb pie. Actually... this pie...

I had taken a photo of it because I thought I would post the recipe (and I still will at the bottom of the post.) Pretty huh? It smelled good, too. And apparently it smelled so good that it drove a neighborhood squirrel INSANE!

As I put my pie into the oven, I noticed a squirrel scratching at my kitchen window screen. Now... my apartment is on a 3rd floor and my kitchen window is 10"x10" square. So I yelled at him and he scurried away. A few minutes later, there he was again, this time, hanging upside down and glaring at me. This time I yelled and slammed the window shut... and watched him run across my deck. I thought this was over.

So about an hour passes, the pie comes out of the oven. It is really warm in the apartment, so I opened up the window again, and started to vac the vacuuming the apartment. After a few minutes, I walk in the kitchen and there he was, crawling through my kitchen window! I started screaming bloody murder! And he started freaking!

He kept jumping up at the window, but couldn't get back out the hole. Then he ran for the screen door, to the deck, and kept throwing himself at it and bouncing off... I could just see his little squirrel brain thinking 'maybe this time.' I didn't know what to do... so the logical thing to do was to scream! When I finally pulled myself together (or, actually, Sal talked me down) I ran down the front stairs, closing all of the doors behind me, ran around to the opposite side of the house, up the back stairs with the intentions to open the back door (to the deck.)

When I got up there, he wasn't at the door anymore and it was REALLY quiet. I thought that, just possibly, he went back out the window. So I slowly opened the door and peeked in... no sign of him. Then I slowly crept in and it all seemed clean. And right as I started to let my guard down... there he came, flying out of the rafters and landed on the couch! EEEKKKKKKKKK!

I ran back out the door... and finally, about 2 minutes later, he followed me. He didn't really do any damage, except for the screen...

Needless to say, I need to get my screen replaced with metal mesh this time. Damn city squirrels.

But, I will chalk this all up to the fact that my pie smelled OH SO GOOD. So if you would like to tempt the squirrely gods, here you go...

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie...

This recipe makes 2 normal pies... or one huge DEEP pie!

5 cups of flour
1 lb cold Crisco (I used 1/2 plain 1/2 butter flavored)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg + cold water (add enough water to make 1 cup total)

9” pie plates… crust for bottom and for top

After measuring flour, sift into large bowl with sugar. Cut in Crisco until mixture looks coarse (little pebbles of Crisco.) Add ice water / egg mixture gradually until dough is formed; DO NOT OVER MIX DOUGH, IT IS READY WHEN STILL CRUBMLY. Put dough in refrigerator.

But if you are too swamped, Pillsbury makes a great option in the fridge section of the grocery store!

1 lb Rhubarb, washed and cut into 1” pieces
1+ lb Strawberries**
1 cup sugar
3 heaping tsp corn starch

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl for pie filling and let sit for 10 minutes.

Roll out bottom pie crust. Fill with strawberry rhubarb mixture. Top with crust (either solid or lattice.) Brush on milk and sprinkle with sugar if desired.

Back at 375 for until pastry begins to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Turn temp to 350 degrees; bake till fruit is cooked, about 20-30 minutes or until fruit is sort when knife is inserted.

**This time of year, I but lots of random berries (raspberry, blueberry, etc) and if you have a little of something left over, toss it in! It can only add to the flavor of summer!!!


aviva davidson said...

i know how you feel, I have already changed my screen 2x's and the latest with a metal screen and those squirrels keep eating through the screen, i'm ready to kill them,

tracey said...

have you switched to metal screens? i'm finding that if the buggers want in, they can get through the plastic in the matter of a minute. evil monsters!

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