Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Coolest Small Town

Lewisburg, WV

My little town Lewisburg, WV is currently in first place in Budget Travel's contest for America's Coolest Small Town. I agree it is the coolest town to live in, raise kids in, and visit. If you have a few minutes, click on the site and add Lewisburg to your ballot and vote. It's that easy. You can vote every five hours. We only have six more days to secure our title as America's Coolest Small Town.

When we win the title, all of you are welcome to come and visit. Our town is full of amazing, locally-owned eateries, great shops, and beautiful scenery. Start planning your visit now.

Also on the ballot is the town of Wiscasset, Maine. This fall, I attended an internship at The Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb, Maine. I spent a fabulous week learning from Nancie Atwell. Ms. Atwell is to reading/writing instruction as Paula Deen is to butter.

Nancie Atwell's classroom

Soaking in all the information at the school was exhilarating and tiring. In the evenings, I only wanted to crash into bed, but how many times was I going to be in Maine? Each evening, I went out and explored the small towns along the coast. I stayed at Sheepscot Harbour Village and Resort which was centrally located to Boothbay Harbor, Darmiscotta, Rockland, and of course, Wiscasset which was just on the other side of the river.

One of my favorite desserts was had at Sarah's Cafe. I had eaten dinner that evening at Le Garage, which was stupendous but still needed something for my sweet tooth. This Apple Pecan Upside-Down Pie was scrumptious. When I came home, I knew I had to make one in my kitchen. I found this recipe in my recipe folder, and it was pretty darn close to Sarah's pie.

Apple Upside-Down Pie
Southern Living, September 2009

1 c. chopped pecans,
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 (15 oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts, divided
4 medium-size Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 large Jonagold apples, peeled and cut into 1" chunks (I used Golden Delicious)
1/4 c. sugar
2 Tb. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together first three ingredients, and spread onto bottom of a 9" pie plate. Fit one crust over pecan mixture in pie plate, allowing excess crust to hang over sides. Stir together the apples and the next four ingredients. Spoon mixture into crust, packing tightly and mounding in center. Place remaining pie crust over filling; press both crusts together, fold edges under, and crimp. Place pie on an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Cut 4 to 5 slits in top of pie for steam to escape.

Bake in oven on lower rack 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes or until juices are thick and bubbly, crust is golden brown, and apples are tender when pierced with a long wooden pick through slits in crust. Shield pie with aluminum foil after 50 minutes, if necessary, to prevent excessive browning. Cool on wire rack 10 minute.

Place a serving plate over top of pie; invert pie onto serving plate. Remove pie plate, and replace any remaining pecans in pie plate on top of pie. Let cool completely.


Ben said...

I really want to zoom in on the pie! Looks yummy.


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