As Galentine's Day approaches, my heart brims with gratitude for the incredible women who have graced my life with their presence. In a world that often emphasizes romantic relationships, there's something extraordinary about the bond between girlfriends – a bond that withstands the tests of time and enriches our lives in profound ways.
The Importance of Female Friendships:
Valentine's Day might be for the lovebirds, but Galentine's Day is where the real magic happens. It's a time to honor the women who stand beside you through thick and thin. In my life, these friendships have been a source of strength, solace, and unbridled joy.
Some of my dearest friends have been by my side for over four decades, through thick and thin. We've weathered storms together – divorces, health crises, loss, moments of crisis, overwhelming happiness, and transformative change. Regardless of the circumstances, one thing remains constant – their unwavering support. There's a unique beauty in having friends who have witnessed the tapestry of your life unfold. They've seen the raw, unfiltered version of you, and yet, their love remains steadfast. It's a testament to the strength of our bonds and the resilience of true friendship.
Lifting Each Other Up:
Female friendships are more than just a source of companionship; they are pillars of strength that lift us higher. In times of despair, these women have been my refuge, offering comfort and understanding without judgment. In moments of joy, they've celebrated alongside me, turning the ordinary into extraordinary.
Celebrating Galentine's Day:
This Galentine's Day, let's take a moment to celebrate the incredible women in our lives. Send a heartfelt message, plan a virtual gathering, or even surprise them with a small token of appreciation like what we've done in making heart-shaped hand pies (recipe is at the bottom of the blog post).
Life is unpredictable, and sometimes we lose touch with friends. Galentine's Day serves as a poignant reminder that it's never too late to reconnect. Reach out to that friend you haven't spoken to in years, reminisce about old times, and relish in the joy of rediscovery.
As the world prepares to celebrate love in its various forms, let's not forget the enduring beauty of female friendships. In a tapestry woven with the threads of time, shared laughter, and shared tears, our bonds with our girlfriends remain resilient and everlasting. This Galentine's Day, let the women in your life know just how much they mean to you – it's a celebration of friendship that transcends time and enriches the soul.
Sending you oceans of love,
Heart-Shaped Hand Pies
Makes 12 - 14 hand pies (depending on the size of your cutters)
1 cup applesauce
1 cup strawberry preserves
1 egg, mixed with 1 tablespoon water - to use as egg wash.
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 recipe all-butter pie crust, see below.
All-Butter Pie Crust Makes 2 discs
12 ounces all‐purpose flour (about 2 2/3 cups)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces cold unsalted butter, grated.
5 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into small dice.
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 to 12 tablespoons ice water
1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Mix well. Add the grated butter and mix until well incorporated using your hands until the flour is heavy with the butter and resembles the texture of grated Parmesan cheese, stop mixing once incorporated. (Do not leave any large chunks).
2. Add the diced butter and mix until the butter is just softened and incorporated, about 1 minute.
3. Add the lemon juice and 6 tablespoons of the water, fluffing lightly (with open hands) until flour takes up liquid added. Add remaining water by the tablespoonful until a rough dough is formed, stop mixing and make 2 equal sized discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes.
4. You may refrigerate for up to 3 days, or rolled dough can be frozen for up to 3 months.
To make individual hand pies:
5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll 1 disc of chilled dough to a 10-inch round that’s a generous 1/8 - inch thick.
6. Cut the first disc with a 3 to 4-inch heart-shaped cookie cutters, refrigerate cut pieces. Repeat with the second piece of dough and refrigerate the cut-outs for 30 minutes.
7. Place oven rack in center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
8. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling (either applesauce or strawberry preserves) in the center of half of the dough hearts. Spread filling evenly leaving a ¼ -inch border around the edges for egg wash. Do not overfill or they will be difficult to close and seal the pies.
9. Using a pastry brush, brush the border of the pies with egg wash, and top with another cut-out, pressing firmly on the edge to seal. You can crimp the edges with a fork, if you like. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar continue with remaining hearts, placing the finished pies all on the sheet together.
10. Use a sharp paring knife to cut a small slit or X in the top piece of the pie. This will allow steam to escape, so your pie doesn’t burst open while baking.
11. Bake until golden and evenly brown, about 25 - 30 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
12. Store at room temperature overnight or refrigerate if not eaten by the next day.