I’ve put away my winter clothes twice now, forgetting that a Puget Sound summer doesn’t begin until after July 4. In the process, however, I piled up four bags of “will I ever wear this again” clothes. I could have dropped them off at the Lacey Goodwill, but a trip to Granny’s on Vashon sounded way more fun. Ginny and I fueled up first at the Burton Coffee Cart with a latte and a scone, then on to Granny’s to trade stuff.
Granny’s Attic was started by volunteers in 1975 in a vacated gas station next door to Sound Food. Locals scraped and scrubbed oil off the floors, placed long tables over the open grease pit to keep shoppers from falling in, hung pipes from the ceiling to serve as clothes racks, put cash boxes on TV trays, and on June 13 the the double garage doors were rolled open for business. Granny’s, created to provide financial support for the Vashon-Maury Health Center, has raised over $2,000,000 and in the process created a volunteer community of like-minded friends, a consistent source of low-cost clothing and household goods for locals, and the Thursday morning thrill of “What will I find that I didn’t know I needed?” I know someone who, when shopping for jeans, a raincoat, or walking shoes, doesn’t turn to Amazon but heads straight for Granny’s. Why pay $40 when you can find just what you want for $5?
Anyways, over the years Granny’s has furnished our house, hung paintings on our walls, and been my source for flower pots, kitchen tools, garden equipment, and in general—good stuff.
Here’s George Carlin’s take on stuff.
I am always on the search for the perfect strawberry pie—just like Muth used to make. Here’s this year’s version from the New York Times, it may be the one.
FOR THE CRUST:
11 ounces/300 grams shortbread cookies (two 5 1/3-ounce packages)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup/55 grams unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING:
2 1/2 pounds/about 1 kilogram strawberries (about 8 to 10 cups), hulled
⅓ cup/65 grams granulated sugar
3 tablespoons strawberry preserves
1/4 cup/30 grams cornstarch
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
FOR THE TOPPING
1 cup/240 milliliters cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- Prepare crust: Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine shortbread cookies, sugar, flour and salt and blend until you have fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a medium mixing bowl. Add butter and mix with a fork until crumbs are evenly moistened. Tip crumbs into a standard 9-inch pie plate and press them in an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Bake until golden brown and set, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Prepare filling: Cut each of the strawberries in quarters or eighths, if they are large. Transfer 2 cups berries to a small saucepan and crush completely with a potato masher. Set aside the remaining berries in a large bowl. Add the sugar, preserves, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon water and salt to the saucepan.
- Bring strawberry mixture to a boil over medium heat and then cook it an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add strawberry mixture and lemon juice to the strawberries in the bowl and stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared crust and gently tap it down into an even layer. Transfer to the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
- Just before serving, whip cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, if using, to soft peaks. Top pie with whipped cream.