A piece of home: Sending the holidays overseas

As the holidays approach, the nation’s servicemen and women could receive the season’s joys and a taste of home even when serving overseas.

As the holidays approach, the nation’s servicemen and women could receive the season’s joys and a taste of home even when serving overseas.

One homemade item that’s easy to make and send is a pie in a jar. And what holiday celebration isn’t complete without mom’s homemade apple pie or grandma’s pumpkin pie?

Here are step-by-step instructions to make a single serving pie in a jar to send:

You will need: wide mouth half-pint canning jars, lids, bands and ingredients for pie.

Before you begin: make sure the jars and bands are clean and sterilized. The lids should be new. Inspect your lids and make sure the middles are raised just slightly. Don’t press the raised part down.

Step 1—Make the pie crust Using store bought crust will work, but it’s more difficult to work with. Here is an easy recipe for homemade pie crust:

1 cup flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup Crisco 2 tablespoons softened butter (not melted)

2 ½ tablespoons water Mix flour and salt together.

Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in Crisco and butter until mixture is crumbly.Add water and stir until mixed. Dough will become sticky and form a ball, something like the consistency of Playdough.

Step 2—Line the jar On a floured board, roll out a portion of the dough about ¼ inch thick. Use one of the bands for the jars to cut toppers. To line the jars, press little balls of dough to the bottom and sides of the jar. Make sure it’s not too thick and that you don’t have any holes.

Step 3—Fill the jar Make the pie filling and fill the jar.

Here’s an easy recipe for Apple Pie filling: It makes about four jars.

2 cups peeled and diced apples

1-2 tablespoons white sugar (Amount varies according to the tartness of the fruit.)

2 tablespoons of flour

½ teaspoon cinnamon Mix all ingredients together and fill jars. Fill almost to the top of crust leaving just a little bit of space.

Step 4—Top it Place the circle of dough you cut out on top of the filling. Use your finger to press the lining dough and the topper together. Use a knife to cut slits in your crust for steam vents while cooking. Feel free to experiment using different toppings such as crumble. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place jars on a cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until middles are bubbly.

Step 5—Seal them As quickly as you can when pies are done, place lids on the jars and screw the bands on while the jars are fresh out of the oven. Be careful and use hot pads as the jars will be hot. Let sit and pay attention. After a few minutes, or it could take up to half an hour, the jars will begin to seal themselves. When a jar seals, you should hear a popping sound. When the jars are completely cooled check the lids of your jars especially if you did not hear a popping sound. If they sealed, the middles of the lids should be flat or even sunken in just slightly.

Step 6—Decorate This step is optional but is so fun. If you would like to decorate the jars, remove bands and place a circle of cloth over the top of the sealed jar and screw the band back on. It may take a few tries to get the cloth to sit properly. Lightweight cloth such as cotton works best. Add bows, charms, tags and other decorative items.

Step 7—Ship them Send the jars to your loved ones with a note. Make sure to pack them securely so they don’t break during shipping. For shipping directions visit: www.anysoldier.com/HowToSend.cfm. For other recipes in a jar visit, www.tipjunkie.com/jar-homemade-gifts/ Food in jars are great for gifts here at home as well. Items such as soup, bread and cake are other great ideas you can “giftwrap” in a jar. Keep in mind that whatever you send overseas must be fully prepared and ready to eat.

—compiled from personal experience and www.ourbestbites.com/2009/09/single-


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A piece of home: Sending the holidays overseas

by Contributing Writer time to read: 3 min