The Pie Notes

A celebration of life with a touch of sweetness

Tag: peach

Gardens, Farmer’s Markets, and Sweet Peach Hand Pies

Aren’t peaches the perfect summer fruit?

They are sweet and incredibly refreshing, especially after working in a garden.

During my little Auburn vacation, I went to SpringHouse to help out in the culinary garden on-site. Matthew goes there every week to  assist the gardener and he invited me to tag along.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. Surprisingly not too hot (probably due to the sprinklers soaking us from head to toe) and clear blue skies.

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Pre-gardening Matthew

All of the vegetables are grown organically, so naturally there is quite a bit of work to accomplish.

We weeded, picked more red onions than you could ever imagine, and staked tomato plants.

Somewhere in between I got attacked by giant ants. I threw off my gloves and ran towards the sprinkler…the sprinkler that was moving in a circular motion. I tried not to get right on front of the stream of water, so I ended up running around the bed of eggplant chasing it while swatting at my arms.

Not my best idea.

I got all of them off eventually, but let’s just say they left their mark on me.

All of that aside, I absolutely love gardening. There’s something about pulling your food out of the ground or picking it off the vine that is so comforting and rewarding.

Plus, it tastes worlds better than the stuff in the grocery store.

They grow black cherry tomatoes there, and a couple weeks before Matthew had called me just to tell me how delicious they are.

He plucked a perfectly ripe one off the vine for me and I was immediately hooked. Best tomato I’ve ever tasted. It’s sweet and plump and juicy, and the color is a deep deep purple.

After our gardening adventures, we headed back to Auburn, but not before stopping at a roadside stand to buy a few peaches to snack on.

We ravenously pulled them out of the bag. I had one, Matthew had five.

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Post-gardening Matthew

They hit the spot.

And our shirts were completely covered in peach juice. Were we complaining? Nope.

Fast forward to last week. The Auburn Farmer’s Market happens every Thursday during the summer and I had never been! I was planning on making roasted chicken thighs with roasted vegetables for dinner, so I needed some fresh local ingredients to make it even better.

We got new potatoes, the most beautiful onions I’ve ever seen, a green bell pepper, and black cherry tomatoes. For the salad, we found bibb lettuce, cucumbers, and microgreens which really sent it over the top.

And of course, we got distracted by all of the sweets.

My sister Sarah had told us about Cindy Cakes a couple weeks ago, saying it was the best pound cake she’s ever had. We took her word for it and bought a peach pound cake. We ended up slicing it and warming it up on a cast iron skillet. The sugars caramelized and a yummy crust formed. Perfect with a cup of coffee.

We also picked up a bag of kettle corn–sweet and smoky–and a couple individual pies that were very tasty.

And in true Matthew/Anna Claire style, we got a couple Chilton County peaches to snack on in the car.

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Post-farmer’s market Matthew

I just realized how many pictures I take of him while he’s in the driver’s seat…

That was one of my favorite experiences I’ve ever had in Auburn. There’s nothing quite like the charm of a farmer’s market, and the opportunity to meet the people behind your food is special. If you have some extra time in your day, stop by and support your local farmers. It’s so important that they have a community to back them up.

And your tastebuds will thank you profusely.

In the spirit of local ingredients and portable snacks, I’ve decided to experiment with some hand pies. Never heard of such a thing? Take a look at my previous post and scroll down to the dessert section of our SpringHouse meal.

Since the peaches have been so wonderfully delicious lately, I made some peach hand pies.

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If you like flaky crust, this is the dessert for you.

Every bite has buttery crust and ooey gooey sweet peachy filling.

I can’t stress this enough–buy fresh, good quality peaches! Every time I have used Chilton County peaches from the farmer’s market, I’ve had good luck. You’re taking a risk if you use anything else.

These are good at room temperature, but even better when warmed up in the toaster oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

It’s the perfect summer bite–go try one at Copper Kettle Tea Bar this week!

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Peach filling adapted from Bakerella

A Sweet Mother’s Love

Peaches are currently occupying a large chunk of my life. The mere thought of the fresh aroma, sweet juices, and glorious texture of this season’s beautiful ripe summer fruit makes me very, very happy.

I thought I’d add to my peach repertoire on the good ole blog.

I’ve made a couple peach pies this summer, but I am still in the process of tweaking the recipe. A girl can only eat so many slices.

So here is an extraordinary Blueberry Peach Crisp. It’s an easy to assemble, easy to serve option for a last minute party or after-dinner dessert. If you already have the oven on for your meal, slide this crisp right in there and in less than an hour, you’ll start catching whiffs of those bubbly blueberries and peaches beneath a layer of warm, crumbly, crispy goodness. Oh, the joy. By the time you’re finished feasting on that roasted chicken or plate of spaghetti, your crisp will be ready!

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Growing up in the farmhouse, all eight of us would be sitting around the dining room table sharing stories from the day, enjoying the wonderful homemade meal that Mom prepared for us (as she did essentially every night…talk about a super-mom!) and right as the plates started clearing, I’d breathe in the scent of her peach cobbler baking in the oven. All seemed right with the world. Even doing the dishes afterwards wasn’t so bad, as long as that cobbler was in my life.

My mom really is a miracle worker. And knowing that she cherished every minute of raising her six kids is comforting and refreshing all at the same time. The love that poured (and continues to pour) out of her every moment gives me a ton of strength to try to better myself in order to help those around me.

I guess what I’m saying is to make everything you do special and enveloped with purpose. Sit at the table with your family for supper. If you’re alone, invite a friend over. Get to know those around you on a deeper level. In the digital age, distractions run rampant, but don’t get sucked into that nonsense. There’s a time and place for everything, and I think it’s about time we all try to recognize what it means to be present. Simplification helps.

As my dear mom always said to me, “Simplicity is happiness.”

I’ve been faithfully saying the same for quite some time now. Every time I make an effort to simplify my thoughts and actions, the reward is exponentially more fulfilling than fleeting accomplishments that further complicate my life. And I am fully aware that the world can throw curveballs without the slightest warning. That’s why we simplify – to be prepared for the unexpected.

Gee, blueberry peach crisp must stir up my philosophical principles.

Just look at it!

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I love this one. An updated peach cobbler I’d say, for the experimental days. The blueberries really add another level of flavor and complexity…a winning crisp in my book!

Thanks Two Peas and Their Pod for the great recipe!

Here’s the printable version for you –

Blueberry Peach Crisp

And don’t forget that you can scroll through all of my other recipes here

Enjoy!

 

 

Peachy Keen

I take back what I said last weekend about wishing it was spring. Winter isn’t so bad when snow is involved.

It is AMAZING!

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rhonda snow

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Looks like we got a couple furry friends visit our front porch last night…

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(that is my footprint by the way)

The snowman fam.

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And now with a bit more sass..

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I’ve found that I am terrible at making snowballs, which means I’m terrible at making snowmen. That was as good as it was going to get!

I’ve been frolicking around all day. Trying to crack the super thick layer of ice on our cars, making snow angels, freezing to death. Yeah, it’s been a good day.

Since we are basically trapped at our house because of the icy roads, we’re running out of food. Not really, but you know how it goes–you always want what you can’t have.

I want chili, but we don’t have any ground beef.

I want chicken parm, but we don’t have chicken.

I want turkey burgers, but we don’t have turkey.

I guess I just want meat. And we don’t have any.

I shouldn’t complain though…I can’t believe all of the chaos that is happening on the interstates and roads across the South. Getting stranded in cars and sleeping overnight in schools are certainly not common occurrences. I hope that all who found themselves in scary situations made it safely home and are warming up next to a fire on this pretty Wednesday afternoon.

So we have peaches, and that’s about it. I was flipping through my pie book and the only other option was an old-time vinegar pie. This was made during hard times when vinegar was used as a substitute for cream and milk. It sounded like it could be good, but not as good as peach cobbler.

peach cobbler

This cobbler is a winner.

Although it’s not summer time, the fresh peaches Sarah bought smelled delightfully sweet and turned out perfectly in this dessert.

Enjoy!

Fresh Peach Cobbler

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