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Sticky Sweet

May 30, 2014

Backyard peony

Hannah holding a peony

Peony after a rainstorm

Ripe & ready peaches

Peaches & cream

Peaches & cream crumble top pie


June hasn’t even started yet, but it already feels like we’re in the middle of those sticky-sweet days of summer.  Those days where the air is so thick you can barely breathe (or maybe that’s the head cold I’m fighting?).  You’re praying for rain to break the heat, but it only seems to come when you least expect it (usually when there’s meat on the grill).  I’m always too hot or too cold, which makes sleeping through the night almost impossible.

My peonies bloomed, and about three days later they withered up.  Last year I tried bringing a few in the house and learned the hard way that, hey, peonies are totally full of ants!  I read the ants are what make them open up.  I had fun showing them to my nieces when they visited last weekend, though.  I don’t think they’d ever seen peonies before, at least not up close.  We also had a hula-hooping competition and made a little batch of strawberry-vanilla jam.  And this time I only burned the jam a little bit!

Today I made a peach pie.  I always say I’m going to bake a pie, and then I psych myself out of it.  Growing up, my mom always made the best pies, especially blueberry, but she never really taught me how to do it.  I’ve been trying to teach myself, but to be honest I really don’t enjoy making pie.  I feel like the best pies — at least, the pies I like best — are made with summer fruit, but in the summer it’s just too hot and humid to make a good crust.  Anyway, peaches were on sale at the grocery store today, so I bought a couple pounds and came right home and started the crust.  I probably rushed the process a little because I just didn’t want to give myself a chance to change my mind.  And lord, I almost did change my mind while I was peeling those peaches.  Pain. In. The. Butt.  Anyway, the recipe is the peaches & cream crumble-top pie from A Year of Pies, by Ashley English.  The only change I made was to use this crust recipe instead of the basic pie dough from the book.  (There are only two things I’ve learned about pie: don’t rush the process, and when you find a pie dough recipe that you like, stick with it!)

That kitty I’m working on, if there’s anybody who missed it this week, is Miss Juniper Kitty from Alicia Paulson.  I’ll probably start working on the mouse this weekend too, if I’m not too tired after stripping wallpaper in the basement.  We’re finally getting some work done down there…I can’t wait to show you!!!  Stay tuned 😉


2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 30, 2014 4:30 pm

    Your photographs are beautiful. It is funny you post about pie. One of my goals for the summer is to teach myself to make a yummy pie. I’ve made pies before but always use store bought crust. I love peaches and really want to make that pie. I just added to the book to my wishlist. It looks like it received very good reviews.

    Your kitty is so cute already even with out her dress or cowl. I love the new animals.

    • whitney marie permalink*
      May 30, 2014 4:55 pm

      Thank you!! I think pie is one of the most personal things you can make…it just never seems to turn out the same for any two people. My mom’s style is very gadget-oriented…she uses a pastry blender to cut the fat into her dough, she uses a special little roller on a special little mat to roll out her crust, etc. And it works for her. My crust is super simple (flour, salt, butter, & water), and I mix it with my fingers and roll it out on a marble slab with a French rolling pin. You know that saying, “you’ve gotta kiss a lot of toads before you find your prince”? It’s like that with pie crust, I think. I’ve probably tried at least four or five different crust recipes and methods, but this is the only one that’s ever worked for me.

      You know, this pie book is funny…I’ve had it for at least a year, maybe two — and it really is a wonderful book! — but this is only the 2nd time I’ve baked from it. The other one I made was an apple cranberry pie (I think?)…I may have made those as hand-pies, actually. Hand-pies don’t scare me as much as a full size one!

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