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August 25, 2005

Summer Pie

It's nearing fall now, and the time for pie-making to begin. I'm honestly not a big fan of pie--most of the time I would rather not have dessert than have pie. Seriously. There's a few exceptions (the most obvious being pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving time) and one of those is peach pie in the llate summer time.

Before I get into the topic of peach pie, though, I just want to say that my history with pie goes way back. When I was in elementary school, I was a latch-key kid (except I didn't actually have a key because our house was never locked). When I got home, there wasn't much to do, but I noticed early on that the apple tree in our back yard was dropping apples and I wanted to figure out something to do with them. My dad taught me to make a simple pie crust (it was something like a half a cup flour, a quarter cup crisco, and a quarter cup of water), and soon I was making apple pie. These days, my dad and I both cheat and buy the already made pie crust, and I certainly don't know how to follow a recipe when it comes to pie. I wouldn't want to.

Much later in life, I discovered peaches as a pie-making fruit. I'm somehow always attracted to their sudden appearance in stores--I guess that unlike most other fruits peaches are truly seasonal and that's exciting. I always buy more peaches than I can eat, and not many people around my house share my interest in these fuzzy fruits, so it's best to turn them into pie. After all, peaches aren't a procrastinator's fruit. Apples last forever, it seems sometimes. But, peaches are different. They start to go bad once you put them in those plastic produce bags. They get moldy and rotten and bug-ridden.

So it goes that tonight I was working on my syllabus for this coming semester when I felt like eating a peach. Except that I discovered that one of the most beautiful peaches among the group had a big moldy crown on top. Time for pie. In the same rhythmic motions of my childhood, I got out the crust and laid it gently and carefully in the pan. I cut up the peaches, washing them carefully first, of course, and placing them in the pan. I discovered that some peaches I bought more recently were actually not very good at all; not moldy, just tough and fibrous so I threw them away. Since I didn't have very many peaches in the bottom of my pan, I decided to make a custard. A little of this and a bit of that along with some eggs...and now the pie is in the oven. In a little while the pie will be done, and it will be all I can do to hold back from eating a piece while it's still hot, even though I know custard pies are never really good until they've cooled down.

Although my family won't eat the peaches fresh, they'll undoubtably eat a few slices of pie. Soon it will be gone, and the empty pie pan will be just one more sign that apple pie time is just around the corner.

Posted by chri1010 at August 25, 2005 12:05 AM


Dear Laurene

How was the peach pie? It sounded so delicious!
I miss those American pies and I remembered the
ruhbarb (how difficult its spelling is)
pie that I had while I was there in June.

Posted by: Akiko Kodama at October 2, 2005 4:32 AM

I live in Illinois now for many years. However, I grew up in Minnesota and am still a big fan and lover of Ruhbarb. OH! How I love Ruhbarb Pie! I make it at home, but wish I could find it in restaurants when I travel, especially to Minnesota and the Twin Cities in June.

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