Monday, July 30, 2018

Peach Pie!

A few days ago, my daughter's best friend phoned me; she was in town on break from medical school, and would I like to come to her parents' house for a little dinner party?  Of course I would, and could I bring anything?  "Oh, no; my father is cooking Persian food so we're all set."  My translation: Mediterranean food likes fruit for dessert, so how about a pie? 

Now, the original recipe calls for you to peel, pit and slice fresh peaches.  That's so much fun that I decided to leave that task for some other person, and just used frozen.  I also changed the spices a little to suit my tastes.  Oh, and I also doubled the recipe, so we would have a pie at home.  No sense disappointing the boys, now is there?


1 batch of the Best Pie Crust Ever, for 2 crusts (see sidebar for link)

About 2 pounds of peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (or frozen, if you're like me)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Stir together the peaches, sugars, salt, cinnamon and almond extract.  Sprinkle the flour on top and stir in well.  Scoop the mixture into a pie crust, and spread it out evenly.  Gently lay the second crust over the top of the fruit, trim the excess crust off the edges and crimp the crusts together.  Cut 5 or 6 long slits in the crust for ventilation; then brush whipping cream lightly over the top of the crust and sprinkle turbinado (sanding) sugar over the top.  Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375F (don't open the oven door), and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes.

Note: Don't be a dope like me!  Put your pie on a baking sheet so the filling doesn't boil over onto the bottom of your oven, set off your fire alarms, and have the alarm company calling to ask you if everything is OK, or if you need the fire department.  It makes the whole baking experience less than fun.

This pie was a great hit at the dinner party; the honoree's brother in law is a chef, and teaches at a culinary institute, and he quizzed me about my pie crust because it was so good. Everyone else raved about the filling.  So I guess this recipe is a keeper. (And of course I forgot to take a picture of the cut pie.  It happens.)

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

I had chopped an entire head of cauliflower for dinner last night, and my boys didn't finish it.  Foolish young men!  So, despite the fact that they laughed at me, I wrapped the very considerable leftovers, and saved them for lunch today.  Hello, fresh soup!


1 cup water
1 teaspoon vegetable base
1/4 cup sherry
1 cup milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup cauliflower
fresh ground pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil, stir in the vegetable base, then add the cauliflower.  If it's been precooked, just heat it through; otherwise, cook until tender-crisp.  Add the sherry and milk, and return to a simmer.  Using a hand blender or a blender or food processor, blend the soup until the broccoli is in very small bits; the soup will thicken up magnificently.  Add the cream, stir for a minute, then season with fresh pepper to taste.  Serves 2.

I didn't take a picture of this soup, because, frankly, it looked like white glop.  It surely did taste great, however.  I shared with Ryan (Mark stated that if he wanted white glop, he would eat oatmeal), and he agreed that this was excellent soup.  So, instead, how about a picture of Thatcher sitting beside me on my newly refinished breakfast room floor, waiting for me to share my soup?

Silly dog; it's not possible to drop soup on the floor without making a terrible mess!

Happy Weekending, everyone!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Little Getaway

My daughter was taking her family to Cape May, a lovely beach in New Jersey, for a couple of days, and invited me along.  Well, what else did I have to do for those couple of days?  So I drove to her house, hopped into her car, and adventuring we went.

I had never been to any of the Jersey Shore beaches before.  Honestly, as a teenager in Connecticut, I knew that all metro-New York teens went "down the shore" as they say, and truly wanted no part of it.  But Cape May is just far enough south that only families venture there; the rowdies stay a few miles north, where there is more entertainment.

Without further ado, pictures of my family and me (including 2 of my 3 daughters and my daughter's mother in law) enjoying, or hiding from, the sun:

I'm going to try to return more often; I'm trying to get my life on schedule, but it's really turning out to be very difficult re-centering my life, when I've lost the man who was my sun, moon and stars.  But look how happy that baby was playing in the sand!  Days like that help immensely.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!