Margaret Furlong Blog | Everyday Life & Porcelain Design Inspiration



Pumpkin Pie-Margaret Furlong

I really enjoy cooking and baking for Thanksgiving dinner.

The favorite family pie is the classic pumpkin! I use the recipe on the Libby pumpkin can. I follow it exactly except for the spices, these I cut in half. This is what my mother did and I am carrying on the tradition. By lessening the spices, the rich and delicate pumpkin custard is enhanced by the spices, but not overpowered.

Another alteration to my pie is the proportion of fat to flour in my crust recipe. Most recipes call for a 1 to 3 ratio of fat to flour, but I use 1 part fat (1/2 Crisco and 1/2 butter) to 2 parts flour. This makes a rich and very flaky crust.

I measure the flour, salt into a mixing bowl, add the cold Crisco and butter and then put the bowl in the refrigerator while I make the pumpkin filling. Cooling and keeping all the crust ingredients very cold including the bowl makes for a tender crust.

I then do the final crust mixing with my hands until the fat is incorporated into the flour in about pea sized pieces. The last edition of ice cold water moistens and finishes the dough, I add just enough so the dough holds together to form a ball. Once it is rolled out, transferred to the pie plates and filled with the pumpkin custard – into the oven it goes.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I spent the last day of my Nebraska trip visiting dear friends that live on a farm near Seward. I have visited them many times, but each time I visit I am impressed with the stunning beauty of their home and surrounding landscape.

Allen and Lynn are both artists. Allen farms and Lynn teaches at Concordia University in Seward.

Allen designed and built this house during the winters from 1996 to 2000. His background in sculpture and farming influenced the design of the house and are inherent in the form and materials. Poured concrete shapes create the main structure of the house inside and out. The cement surfaces are raw and unfinished, reminiscent of natural stone – honest and powerful! Corrugated metal commonly used in farm and storage outbuildings connect and enclose the sculptural cement forms. The façade is interrupted with windows of traditional glass and others of recycled glass bricks. The tension in the overall design is at once dynamic and classic.

There is nothing shy or reticent about this structure, it stands as a monument of commanding presence in the wide open country and sky of the Great Plains.

Most of the inside walls are concrete, the floors are recycled slate from old school black boards that Allen cut into large tiles. The entrances are detailed with polished black river rock set into cement. The furniture and art are contemporary and the overall effect of the interior is subdued and elegant. Allen and Lynn worked together to design the interiors and the yard and garden.

One of the joys for me as an artist and designer is to enjoy the unique vision and work of other artists. What a pleasure it is to visit Allen and Lynn’s and see the beauty in the work of their hands.

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