Saturday, July 11, 2009
Reports of My Death Much Exaggerated (Oh, and Do You Like Peach Pie?)
Wow. What a hiatus THAT was! I knew I'd not be blogging while on our mid-June family camping trip to Idaho, but I didn't really expect to be gone for a MONTH. Just before we left for camping, our friendly local floor guy, Devin, and his crew started work on a major floor replacement for the entire ground level of our house. This necessitated moving out of the ground level entirely -- down to the pictures on the walls (I guess we COULD have left them, but I LIKE them ...). The computer was relegated, with everything else, to the garage.
Now I'm back in business, I have reconnected to the cyberworld (I've missed it!), and maybe I'll be more in gear. Our floors are nearly done -- enough so that we are sort of half-moved in, and half still camped out (our stuff, I mean) in the garage. Currently, the connection cable for my camera is AWOL somewhere out there, so I cannot put up pictures of our camping trip -- they're coming! I'll also post pictures of the result of the remodel. For those of you who have been in my home in your live bodies, imagine hardwood in the living/dining/kitchen area and tile in the mudroom. I'm very happy with how things have gone. Devin is a perfectionist and a craftsman. His business is called Advanced Tile (although he does any sort of floor covering), and I am unabashedly advertising him right here. He does a very high-quality job.
I've also discovered the joys of remodeling in an older house. Ours is a 1913, and we had (drumroll, please) FOUR layers of subfloor and two actual floors below our carpet and linoleum in the living room, dining room, and kitchen. We also had a creative assortment of floor levels, flooring substance, and a rat (thankfully, he's actually confined to UNDER the house, but I really didn't want to know he was there). Devin nobly refrained from swearing all along, but I was beginning to despair.
And since we're talking about despair, how about dessert?? We have some early RedHaven peaches on in our area ("we" meaning someone down the road), and I want to share a really great and unusual peach recipe with you. It's from Mom, of course. All my really good recipes are (well, almost!). The hugely important thing to remember in this is to use a 8 x 8 inch METAL square baking pan. Did I mention to use metal? If you use glass, one of the steps involved will cause your pan to break, and egg and cream custard to spill all over your oven. Ask Mom how she knows this. Otherwise it's easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.
** Homestyle Peach Cream Pie **
2 c all-purp. flour
1/4 t. baking pwd.
1/2 t. salt
2 T sugar
1/2 c butter or cube margarine
6 medium peaches (you may end up using fewer if they are large)
3/4 c sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
3 egg yolks (or 1 whole egg and 1 egg white)
2/3 c heavy cream/half and half (you can even use Mocha Mix coffee creamer in a pinch)
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar together; cut in butter with a pastry blender until it's the size of small peas. Press the crust into the 8 x 8 METAL baking pan (it will be crumbly). Pat it down well into the bottom, and up the sides of the pan as best you can.
Peel, halve, and pit peaches. Arrange them CUT SIDE DOWN (i.e., rounded sides facing up) on crust. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over fruit (it will seem like a lot, but just trust me). Put in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, blend egg yolks with cream well. Do not knock it onto the floor. But if you do, bring the labrador inside and have him lick it up for you. Slide the oven rack out with your pie on it, and carefully pour the cream/egg mixture into it. It will mostly cover the peaches. Carefully slide the rack and pan back into the oven so you won't slosh the cream everywhere.
Continue baking for 30 mins. or until set on top when you gently jiggle the pan (it will still move some -- you just don't want raw egg in the middle!). Cool for at least one hour before eating.
Hoo, mama, it's good!