I had an interesting adventure last night: I baked a peach pie. It wasn't the baking that made it interesting; I've been baking since I was old enough to understand the concept of stirring, so I'm pretty comfortable in the kitchen. What was new was the peach, lemon rind, and home-made crust factors.
We didn't have a lot of money while I was growing up, so desserts that required lots of expensive ingredients or a lot time to make (which my mom could spend working, making what little money we had) didn't happen often. Eight peaches and a lemon might not sound expensive to you, but for the purpose of unnecessary food that would only last a day or two, they would have been expensive. And the two hours it would have taken to make the pie from scratch? Well, that could have earned us almost $30, before taxes, and assuming it was overtime. Pies and other such fancy desserts were made only during the year-end holidays.
So, for the first time, I made a pie using all fresh ingredients last night. At 9:00 pm. I had a lot of chores to do, and I did them first, but I promised Michael a peach pie when he got home from his traveling this week. So I made a pie at 9:00.
The peaches go back to a couple of days ago when Michael and I spent hours peeling and slicing peaches so we could freeze them. Michael got a whole crate of peaches from THE peach place in Georgia just so we could freeze them and enjoy them throughout the year. For the first time in my life, I actually froze fruit. It was messy and strange and I can't wait to do it again. Fresh fruit, any time of the year, who knew?
So, I had to let the peaches thaw before I could actually use them. Then I had to make a crust. Something I have also never done before. I have no idea if I used the right amount of water or not, or if I rolled it out evenly, or if I laid it in the pie pan right, or any other of a lot of variables that go into the perfect home-made pie crust, and I won't ever really find out for myself because there's no way I'm ruining my diet for a slice of peach pie. If it was pumpkin pie, maybe, but not peach pie. I know I did the lattice on top correctly, though. It wasn't fun, but I know I did it right.
Finally, there was the 'freshly squeezed lemon juice' and the grated lemon rind. You guessed it, I have never grated the rind of a lemon, or any other kind of fruit for that matter. I had to buy a grater just for the lemon rind, and it didn't work well. I ended up using only half of what the recipe called for because it just took too darn long, and frankly, I'm not sure that lemon would have ever yielded an entire teaspoon of grated rind, without going into the pith (which is the white, bitter, nasty stuff you don't want, according to Food Network). And, I managed to grate the skin on the side of my thumb in the process. Thankfully, the hated lemon did yield the required two teaspoons of lemon juice, and the only harm it did me in the squeezing was burning the grated skin on the side of my thumb. Hey, no pain, no pie, right? Or something like that...
Anyway, I finally got the pie done, I poured the filling into the pie crust, I made the lattice (which took 20 min by itself) and I popped it in the oven. Then I looked at the recipe. 50 minutes? In the oven? 50 minutes?!?! It's now 10:00, and I would have to be up for at least another 50 minutes. Great. So, what did I decide to do? Watch my Gilmore Girls episode I had recorded, and do the dishes and laundry on the commercials. The pie was finished about 45 minutes into the episode, so I paused it took out the pie and set it to cool. Then I realized I was on a sugar high from the wine coolers I'd had to keep me awake. So I finished the GG episode and put Enchanted in. Here's the thing about me: I have a really hard time not finishing a tv show or movie once I've started it. Therefore, I was up until 1:00 this morning, and I'm blaming it all on the pie.
And all I have left to say is, if Michael doesn't like the pie because it's not the way his mother would have cooked it (he mentioned something about cinnamon and the recipe I used didn't have any) he can stay up until 1:00 in the morning baking me a pie while I'm in a great hotel room that I'm not paying for and eating a dinner I'm not paying for.
But, I know he'll like the pie. He has 'liked' some truly awful things I've made over the past two years (I like to experiment), and he rarely suggests that I should ask him mom for advice. Very, very rarely. :) One of these days, I'll have him trained and he won't suggest it at all. :P