Just got back from a visit with family in Las Vegas. Vegas – a place with so many things to do. Spend money, gamble away money, walk the casinos. Repeat. Everything’s big, bright, colorful and distracting.
And yet, the best part of each day was gathering back at my sister-in-law’s house for a huge family dinner. Moms, grandmoms and the occasional male would converge on the kitchen to contribute a piece or two to the meal.
The process went from setup to cleanup, but was more fun than work, proving that food and fellowship really do go together.
One day my other sister-in-law showed up with a huge bag of peaches from an aunt’s backyard tree. Now there’s bounty you don’t get in Hawaii. She was all charged up about making peach pies.
First step: peeling. Tedious, but when you have many hands that fellowship thing kicks in again. There were eight of us around a table, from a 7-year-old girl through teenage boys and up to 80-year-old grandmas, surrounding a giant pile of peaches, wielding paring knives, peeling away and only occasionally complaining.
The result was beyond delicious. If you’ve never had a fresh peach pie, you haven’t really lived. I plan to do this at home with supermarket peaches, even if it costs a fortune.
I won’t have as much help with the peeling, but I’ve since looked up an easier way (why none of us thought of Googling, I don’t know). If you blanch the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds or so, then drop them in an ice-water bath, the peels just slip off. This works when I boil potatoes, so I trust in the process.
Here’s the filling recipe we used, out of an old Betty Crocker cookbook. It makes enough for a 9-inch double-crust pie. If an entire pie is too ambitious, just get a few peaches together, adjust the proportions and make the filling – bake it at about 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Eat it over ice cream, with your morning yogurt or over cereal. The taste is enlightening.
Peach Pie Filling
5 cups peeled sliced peaches
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
Combine ingredients. Makes enough for a 9-inch double-crust pie. Bake at 425 degrees until bubbly, about 30 minutes.
A good dessert compromise if a pie seems like too much trouble is a crisp. Use the filling above with this topping:
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
Combine ingredients; sprinkle over peaches in pie pan or 9-inch square cake pan. Bake at 375 degrees until browned, about 30 minutes. Nutritional information unavailable.
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