January, 2014 | Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for January, 2014

Linda Kucera Window Restorations

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Bettina Network, inc. copyright 2014

Windows in historical homes can be a problem! Very few of us know anything about restoring, renovating, fixing windows.  We do know a lot of choice names we call windows when they stick, leak, break, let in too much cold or hot air and more.

We met someone and had work done by her which turned us 180 degrees around because the work was done exceptionally well; the windows look as they did 100 plus years ago.  They  have been restored, not replaced.  It was a hassle-free time during which we gradually became very confident that the work done by Ms. Kucera was and would be top of its field.

Before we met Ms. Kucera, I tried to restore one of our windows which was in really poor shape.  Then I had to decide if we would do replacement windows, try restoration, who to call, what to expect, pricing – could we afford to have 53 windows restored? – and on and on and on.

We tried calling a window restoration company.  They were highly recommended and I met the owners while taking a class in Window Restoration.   It was a disaster. The man put stuff around my window panes to keep the air out that looked as though it was coming out of an oversized tube of toothpaste.  The goop itself was a mess.  I watched in horror as this guy squeezed this toothpaste-substitute onto my historical 100 plus year old windows that looked like wet crinkled up cement.

The stuff dried and clearly was doing nothing to keep the windows a bit more air tight, so I had to take out the window and spend several days trying to get that material off my windows.

I bought all kinds of merchandise from the Home Restoration stores and from web sites and was becoming more frustrated by the day.  Everything sort-of worked, nothing pleased nor met the standards of a really perfectionist historical house nut like myself.

Providence sent us Linda K.  She took one look at my windows and announced the screws were not right for the period of the house and its windows.  She would make no other comments except to look fairly disgustedly at me.  She looked around, saw that one pair of window sashes was completely out of the window.  I tend to be a person who would rather do nothing than do the wrong thing in a historical home because I believe the right process and person will show up and we won’t have to undo and redo with this method.

The weather was being held outside -sort of –  by a storm window alone.  Ms. Kucera asked where were the 6 over 6 windows which should have been in front of the storm window.  I hauled them out, she took them home and said we would talk again when she had restored and installed the window.

Well, it took a while, but when Linda returned with the windows, they were exquisite and beautifully restored.  She installed them and the window looked right!  Except the storm window didn’t add anything, but that is for another day.  The six over six was restored, copper chains looked quietly elegant and the windows went up and down with the touch of a finger instead of feeling the need to take a hammer to the sash to get it to move.

I don’t know how we will pay for those 53 windows that need restoration, but no one will touch them except Ms. Kucera and somehow we will get this house restored correctly.

As we talked, I realized Linda was not just someone who restored windows, but her knowledge of whole-house restoration was extensive.  We talked about things no one else ever seemed to notice or feel was relevant.  She was not into  part-restoration, part- renovation. Cutting corners was not in her vocabulary.  I remembered a conversation I had with a Preservation Consultant who was restoring windows for a large University and complaining bitterly because the heads of that institution didn’t realize the advantage to putting new glass into those old windows.  That old glass was so squirrely!  I told her she was in the wrong business and should consider a vocational change.  No reaction!  An old historical house needs to be respected and restored as it was built.  I loved every minute of the conversation I had with Linda.  Old glass is quite beautiful!  What can you say about the old glass on Beacon Hill which has turned purple and dreamy.  And who would replace instead of restore those windows!  One needs to be very careful about who you hire to do restoration work.  You are, after all, then promoting people and keeping them in business when they are really slowly, but surely, moving historical houses away from what made them special in the first place.  Brattle Street in Cambridge is beginning to look more and more like Sudbury.

The last time I talked to anyone about restoration was when I had someone replace a ceiling in one of my rooms.  We talked about the difference between restoration and renovation;  the pseudo-restoration jobs being done all over the country which were really renovations; and he agreed with me and added his own condemnation of those who were flying under a restoration banner and were really renovating houses.  He went ahead with the ceiling job and when I walked into the room the ceiling was down – he cleared everything out of the space between the lower ceiling and the floor above and to my utter horror put up blue board which he then skim coated with plaster and called it restored.  I cried all night and didn’t get much sleep because what had been a sound proof room was now so noisy that if one flushed the toilet in the room above you could hear a toilet flushing as though it was being flushed in the same room with you.  You could hear people walking and talking and I was a wreck.

He is touted for being a great restoration plasterer.  He is good as a renovation plasterer and talks a good game about restoration, but that job was amazingly fraudulent because it did not do what he claimed it would and he destroyed a part of the integrity of the house.

Having had that experience and holding the hands of many friends who have had similar experiences, Linda Kucera was the answer to a prayer.  She consults on restoration jobs and works nationally as a consultant, although her major interest is in windows.  Hopefully, that will change because the world needs someone with integrity restoring these old historical homes and she has that in spades.

Ms. Kucera can be reached at 781-561-5411 or visit her web site at www.lindakucerawindowrestoration.com.  Linda lives in Hingham, Massachusetts but her business is not geographically defined.

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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Bettina Network, inc. copyright 2014

We sent out a holiday greeting to those who are members of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.  The greeting included a password at the very bottom which allows our members to access Bettina’s Menu of Events.  If you have used the services of Bettina Network, inc. and have not received your “Happy Holiday” greeting with its password unique to you, please let us know.  Some of the emails sent out have gone astray or wound up in “spam” mail even though we have never sent out spam mail.  All of our emails go to those who have used the Bettina Network or have requested to be on our email list.  We do not send out emails to the world,  but that has not stopped our emails from being sent to the spam pile by the various server companies.

What is Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community and how does one become a member?

It is and they are a group of people who have used Bettina Network, inc. in the past and who Bettina Network, inc.  thinks would be fantastic as givers and receivers of the information, ideas, lifestyle, elegance, graciousness which pervades the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community and who would benefit from coming together to have first and sometimes the exclusive use of the different and interesting services being added to Bettina Network, inc.  As members of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community they have a password which will  allow them deeper and more extensive access into the Bettina Network, inc. web site as well as other always increasing benefits of membership.

There are no costs to the members of being associated with this community.  Members have complete privacy since Bettina Network, inc. does not share any of its membership or other information with anyone – neither commercial, private, non-profit nor other organizational structures, groups or individuals. Membership in Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community comes exclusively from the fact that its members are brilliant, elegant, want to stay close to their human roots and so chose to use the services of Bettina Network, inc. For that vote of confidence, we have chosen to include them in Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community!!

It is a way for us to move along and expand from Bettina Network’s Blog, which is attracting many readers and to which members of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community may make contributions;  to Bettina’s Menu of Events;  to the next great service offered by Bettina Network to members of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.

As we move along, and with a little help from our friends and members as to what they would like to see and the direction in which they would like to see us develop, you will see other offerings to those who are members of Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.

Bettina Network’s Blog will continue as usual.  Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by those who follow us.  Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.  We are working on a way for you to be able to add your blog to Bettina Network’s Blog directly, but in the meantime send us your additions and they will appear in the Blog.

In our marketing materials, in our writings, as well as in actual Bettina Homes,  you find a Lifestyle which reflects choices we have made as to how we will develop this concept. That is the direction in which we will continue – especially by being careful and thoughtful about the earth on which we live;  being careful from birth to death to not leave a trail that could poison or trip up another life; being a giving and caring group; being elegant and gracious in all that we do; being a diverse group ignoring those cultural and racial and religious and economic and all the other ‘differences’ which have traditionally separated us; being careful not to tread on another persons lifestyle, belief system or other choices they may make different from our own; reaching back-down-up-around to help those who need a way to live a more gentle and comfortable life; passing our ideas and actions around for all to see-hear and benefit from.

There are no meetings, elections, membership dues, institutional structures etc. which go along with this Community.  This is a way to inquire about living elegantly – to travel efficiently and graciously – to gain ideas about designing your home with many small additions which make life easier and more beautiful – to learn about people from Bettina Network, inc.’s perspective –  to continue those interesting breakfast conversations which took place at the Bettina Homes in which you stayed – to grow spiritually and to understand other people, their lifestyles and choices – to open ourselves to people we would not meet otherwise – to be able to go into depth with others as to the why’s and how of their lifestyle choices – and so much more.

Bettina’s Menu of Events, which has been around for quite a few years has been expanded to give access to people in Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.  With the password you received with your”Happy Holidays” message you are able to search the Bettina Network database for events happening in a particular place, over dates of interest to you.  You can also search by category – i.e. early music concerts, organ concerts, plays, symphony concerts, art exhibits, and more.  All events have been entered into the database because we feel they reflect that ‘Bettina Lifestyle.”

With the password members of Bettina Network Lifestyle Community received, they are able to enter events into Bettina’s Menu of Events which they would like others in this Lifestyle Community to know about and to patronize.

So much goes on around us that we would like to make sure does not get lost.   Ideas, events, places to visit, design possibilities, human interest, people doing things we all want to know about and more including points of view not generally reported by the public media.  You will be participants in all of it – it will be your choice as to when and how.

Likewise with what you have to share – use Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community to bounce your ideas around -= look for people of like minds – share books you are reading whose ideas need to be more widely spread around – stay in a Bettina Home to see how someone else lives and moves and has their being.  You set your agenda and influence ours as members of Bettina Network Lifestyle Community.

This is a brief explanation in just a few paragraphs of what has been brewing within the Network for several years.  We have had an informal community of people who have traveled Bettina Network, inc.  They have called for advice – have shared their lives with us – we have married, buried, celebrated life with many of them – have discussed everything you could think of – ideas have been flowing like pure water from an unadulterated stream.  We are just formalizing the process so more of you can share what is happening.

Please don’t hesitate to send us your feedback – your ideas as to where you would like to see us go – what form some of this could take – and currently, especially, use your password to enter the events you know about which are places to go you want others to know about.  It will take time for the Menu to cover the globe, but as events are coming from members of Bettina Network Lifestyle Community they are high in quality, many are not otherwise known by the general public and their geographical locations are varied.

If you received a “Happy Holidays” message – your password is at the bottom of the greeting.  Keep it in a safe place and use it frequently.  It is good for one year from the date you received it.  If you have not received a “Happy Holidays” message with its password at the bottom of the email let us know and we will respond to you.

What is in the future?  We are currently working on two additions and one expansion to Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community –

……….1) Estate Sales, Moving Sales, House sales managed by Bettina Network, inc. to which members of Bettina Network Lifestyle Community will have first entrance.  We have been involved with such sales for many decades and we have been changing what, who and how these will be handled by Bettina Network, inc. and how Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community can be involved with first preference in everything

–  and –

……….2) Bettina Network Foundation – a pending 501(c)3 corporation.

……….3) We continue to look for Bettina Homes to join Bettina Network, inc. as host families.  We are always looking for people who want to share their homes with serendipitous travelers who are thoroughly checked out by Bettina’s.

________________________________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

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______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Spencer Morgan Rice, In Memoriam

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

by:  Marceline Donaldson, 2014

We were saddened to hear of the death of Spencer Rice on January 15, 2014.  He was a larger than life figure as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in the city of Boston from 1982 to 1992.

There is always that extra amount of grief when someone you know dies, – someone who was your mentor for a period of time, especially at a life-changing moment of your life. and that is who Spencer was to me.  He was very insightful and could put his finger on what you were going through without long discussions to wear out the problems and sometimes without the fact that you were experiencing a problem with all its particulars even discussed.

Spencer ministered to a lot of people on the fringes at Trinity – people you would not think the rector of such a large Church would even notice – and he did it quietly with no fanfare and only those closeby noticing his good works.  In conversation with several people who knew Spencer, one thing was mentioned by every one – his generosity.

The best way I could think of to remember Spencer is to reprint one of his sermons which I feel encapsulats his core beliefs.  This sermon was preached on John 1:43-51. .    The Rev. Dr. Spencer Morgan Rice was powerful, conflicted, with a raging internal war which produced sermons that reached the hearts and changed the lives of many.

“WE HAVE FOUND HIM, COME AND SEE”     (John 1:43-51)

Preached from the pulpit of Trinity Episcopal Church in Boston, MA.

“This is a time of crisis.  It is not only a time of crisis in the political and military affairs of the nation, but it is also a time of crisis in the soul of our nation.  The Gospel this morning is appropriate to this crisis.  Philip said to Nathanael, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses and the prophets wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’  Nathanael said to him, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and See.’

This morning, I would like to reflect with you upon dogma, upon the peace of God, upon the treasure of God.

‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ We have heard the text many times and felt of ourselves that we readily understood Nathanael who gave this despairing, perhaps even cynical response to Philip.  Yet the matter presses upon us this morning as we, in this country, find ourselves often divided from those around us in terms of our convictions as to what should or should not be done in world affairs.  It is a crisis.  Men and women in every day and time, in every circumstance of life, are tempted to slide easily into Nathanael’s trap with a generic, doctrinaire, despairing, myopic point of view.  Those who differ from me, are they not from Nazareth?

We have seen in the life of our country many instances in the last fifty years in which these matters have been tested.  Those of you who are old enough to remember the days before World War II can well recall that the America First Committee was very powerful in the United States.  We were a nation that described herself as isolationist.  Charles Lindbergh warned us that if we entered this war, which was none of our business, we would find that we had lost our freedoms at home.  Franklin Roosevelt was saying in the same time frame, ‘We must become the arsenal of democracy.’ For us, this was a crisis, as difficult as war itself.  There were many opinions.

During my undergraduate studies, I and many other young men saw the beginning of the war in Korea, having just been discharged from the Armed Services.  Many of us were called back.  Open protests at that time were not common; our opposition was a seething, underground, resentful condition that existed among men and women.  Korea was called a police action, an undeclared war.  The sides were there; the crisis was there; the difficulty was there.  We have all seen the difficult circumstances surrounding Vietnam, overseen by three different presidents of both political parties.  We have seen men and women of conscience throughout the life of the republic differing passionately with one another.

In our enduring credit, our Congress before hostilities began in Iraq, had the freedom and the courage to witness to the world open, passionate, heartfelt debate.  It is a time when we must examine closely the temptation to join Nathanael in characterizing those who disagree with us as from Nazareth.  Christians are called, as indeed we are called as citizens, to hear those with whom we passionately disagree.

We all seek peace – peace in the world, peace in our souls, peace with our God, and Philip comes to us and says, ‘We have found Him.’ I ask of myself in the context of this Gospel, why then do men and women (including myself) under stress and in trauma, resort to rigid, doctrinaire, inflexible, unhearing positions?  I know, and I suspect that you know, that we are a lonely, frightened people.  In our aloneness, in our fright, we are given to protecting ourselves.  We are searching all of our lives for someone with whom we can share our most intimate fears, with whom we can find peace.  We search at work, we search in church;we search at parties; we search on the streets of life.

Thomas Yeomans, poet, fellow parishioner and clinician, in his recently published book The Flesh Made Word, talks of our searching.  He says,

‘In airports, or in shopping malls,

we probe each face for some relief,

some soul to recognize our grief.

But crowd averts its eye, inmeshed in time and always late.’

‘We have found Him’  It is personal.  We have found the person who can look into our souls and recognize our grief.

As we look for peace in the world and in our own souls in every conceivable way, we hope to be those people, those Christians, those citizens who can be open to their fellow citizens, whatever their stance may be.  One thinks of the verses in May Sarton’s poem ‘Now I Become Myself’ in the recent anthology ‘Cries of the Spirit: A Celebration of Women’s Spirituality.’ She writes,

‘Now I have become myself.

It’s taken Time, many years and places;

I have been dissolved and shaken

Worn other people’s faces,

Run madly, as if Time were there….

Now to stand still, to be here.’

‘We have found Him’ To stand still and to acknowledge this Jesus, the Christ who calls us to be open to hear our fellow citizens.

The measure of God is a person.  And Philip says to us, as he said to Nathanael, ‘Come and see.’  We ask ourselves, what is the treasure that this Christ brings us, that treasure that is beyond tolerance? We are called of God beyond patience, beyond tolerance.  We are called to a condition of life that is open to those with whom we disagree, to reach out intellectually, and indeed even emotionally, to see why they perceive things the way they do.  We are called of God.

How do we get there? What do we find in this treasure?  What do we find in this Christ? We find forgiveness.  We find acceptance of ourselves.  For nineteen and a half centuries of Christianity, the preponderance of people understood forgiveness as something that they allocated and accorded to another.  It took the social scientists of your generation and mine to reach into the intimate lives of men and women to remind us, in the voice of the mystics through the centuries, that forgiveness in life begins with my acceptance of myself, my forgiveness of myself, given to me by this Christ.  Only through that forgiveness can I open myself to hear, to respect someone with whom I passionately disagree.

No. we are not called to a new condition of doctrine or dogma, we are called not to those defensive constructs of mind that wall us off and say of the world, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ What we are called to is personal; it is trusting.  It is trusting that we have been forgiven; it is trusting in the spirit of the disciples when they come and say, ‘We have found Him. Come and see.’

In 1973 I was invited to a luncheon on Telegraph Hill in San Franciscol  A modest home, perched on the side of that artistic community, looking out over San Francisco Bay, with all of its majestic, physical glory.  There were only two guests at that luncheon given by a parishioner.  I was one of the guests and the other was the recent widow of the late Jacob Bronowski, internationally renowed scientist and poet, famous for his work at Cambridge University in England, later at MIT and at the Salk Institute at the time of his death.  He wrote a book entitled The Ascent of Man that many read, and I presume many more saw on public television the BBC-produced documentary series with the same title, which Bronowski wrote and presented.  In one of the last programs of the series he is standing by a pool of water and he turns to the camera and says:

It’s said that science will dehumanize people and turn them into numbers.

That’s false, tragically false.  This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz.  This is where people were turned into numbers.  Into this pond were flashed the ashes of four million human beings.  This was not done by gas.  It was done by arrogance.  It was done by dogma.  It was done by ignorance…..This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

A few sentences later, he quotes Oliver Cromwell: ‘I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.’

In the crucible of our Gospel this morning, as we hope and pray that we can hear our fellow countrymen in their convictions, whatever they may be, we acknowledge that doing so is not a renunciation of your convictions or mine; it is the humility born of forgiveness, and in that forgiveness is the capacity to let go of our dogmatic categories of mind and soul.

Alice Walker, in one of her poems, says,

Looking down into my father’s

dead face

for the last time

my mother said

without tears, without smiles

just with civility

‘Goodnight, Willie Lee,

I’ll see you in the morning.’

And it was then I knew

that the healing of all our wounds

is forgiveness

that permits a promise of our return

at the end.

The treasure that God brings to us in the Gospel this morning is that you and I are forgiven and healed, and that whatever our convictions may be about this war, about the difficulties and complexities that surround us, you and I can find peace of soul.  That is our treasure.  We can be open to our fellow citizens.  It is personal. ‘We have found Him.  Come and See.’

Let Us Pray:

Heavenly Father, our nation stands on the precipice of a crisis.  Passionate convictions clash and contradict.  Lift us above the dogma, the “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ mind set to a place of Christian listening.

We seek peace in the world.  We seek peace in our souls.  We are searching.  We have worn many other people’s faces.  Now, let us stand still to be here.  We have found Him.

Finally Heavenly Father, this Jesus, our Christ, brings us the treasure of forgiveness that we may forgive and accept ourselves, that honoring our convictions, we may have a new humility born of forgiveness, that we may hear and respect one another.  It is personal.  “We have found Him.  Come and See.’  Amen.”

Spencer –   May your soul rest in the knowledge that it is healed, forgiven and is in that place of peace which passes all understanding!  May the God we worship be with you always and may your soul continue its journey as it seeks its eternity! We are listening in the stillness to hear that you have found that treasure  and know without contradiction that it is personal! – We will, one day, come and see!

________________________________________________________________

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

[give_form id=”3763″]

______________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE about Bettina Network, inc. try www.bettina-network.com

IF YOU ENJOY OUR BLOG, USE OUR SERVICES TO BOOK ACCOMODATIONS WHEN YOU TRAVEL!

1-800-347-9166 inside the U. S. or 617 497 9166 outside or inside the U. S.

Organic Peanut Butter Pie

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2014

 

for crust:

organic graham crackers (14 crackers)

One stick organic butter

for filling:

One 8-ounce package organic cream cheese

Four tablespoons organic butter

Two cups organic turbinado sugar

12 ounces organic peanut butter – freshly ground, if possible

16 ounces organic heavy cream

Organic Hazelnut syrup to taste

Prepare crust:

1.  Put the graham crackers in a food processor and spin under turned into crumbs

2.  Melt butter, turn on processor and gradually pour butter into the graham cracker crumbs

3.  Pulse until the entire contents of the processor look well mixed.

4. Butter a deep pie plate, pour in crumbs and push them around until the crumbs are generally covering the

bottom and sides of the pie plate.  Press them down all around, packing them tightly in the pie plate to create the pie crust.

5. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes.  Let cool before pouring in filling.

prepare filling:

1.  Whip Cream Cheese for at least 5 minutes in an electric stand mixer

2.  Add 4 tablespoons butter and continue whipping for another 5 minutes.

3.  Add sugar and continue to whip for another five minutes.

4.  Add organic Hazelnut syrup and peanut butter and whip until mixed.

Be careful at this stage

Do not over mix as the peanut butter will separate from its oil

If that happens, it is not a disaster – just continue and ignore the oil, it will reincorporate into the pie filling when you add heavy cream.

5.  Slowly add heavy cream and continue to mix until the filling is light and fluffy and all the ingredients seem to be one.  A good filling resembles light brown whipped cream.

Pour the filling into the pie shell and freeze for at least two hours.

 

MY NOTES:

There is no such thing as a free lunch

To make good food it takes an investment of time, thought, energy and the very best organic ingredients one can find.

You can tell the level of a persons ability to care and take responsibility by how well or how ill they cook.  Beware the one who burns lots of things and whose food comes out tasting pretty awful.  Stay far – far away from them.

 

Some Random Thoughts

If you have to buy peanut butter in a jar, it will be separated into oil (on top) and butter (on bottom of jar).  Don’t let the health nuts get to you – resist the temptation to discard the oil.  That action will ruin your pie and it will be far less nourishing.

Did you know the combination of peanut butter and milk makes for a complete meal?

You can use organic peanuts and grind them into peanut butter.  I am dedicated, but not to that extent.  The taste, I conjecture, would be far superior.

Try smooth or crunchy peanut butter.  Either makes a great pie – it depends upon your taste.

Or use smooth and grind a few peanuts saving a few to sprinkle on top of the pie before serving.  That might satisfy the need to grind your own.  And it says to whoever sees the pie what kind of pie it is.

While mixing this pie, make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Since the pie has to be refrigerated and/or frozen for several hours before you can cut and eat it, this should satisfy the craving to instantly cut and taste.

Have a cup or organic tea with your sandwich while you make notes about the pie that you don’t want to forget or that you want to incorporate into your next pie.  I like half Earl Grey and half peppermint leaf.  It is a nice accompaniment and also helps you to digest the pie, especially if you are over 60.

If there is no one around to take away your mixing bowl to get the leavings – instead of the sandwich, scrape the bowl yourself onto graham crackers and have that with your tea.  It makes just as nice a treat as the peanut butter sandwich.  You can’t do this when others are in the kitchen because you will only have enough left in the mixing bowl for one.

While eating the pie and drinking the tea, write a few notes leaving your thoughts to posterity.  Your notes could be about the process, an improved technique, your changing the ingredients or totally unrelated thoughts which you had while making and eating the pie.  All are relevant to the creative cooking process.  A book could be created just with such notes.

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