September 3, 2000
Peach Cream Pies
My only real goal was to make the peach pies for tonight. We managed to get a few things done anyway, on top of that.
Breakfast was some of the boiled potatoes as hash browns with bacon and eggs and whole wheat bagels. Yum. Hearty enough to hold me for a while, and we took Fezzik with us to Walden Ponds and let him paddle his way around. There were geese there, today, and they came over, honking to see if they could get some of the dog biscuits we were feeding Fezzik. Fezzik took offense and started swimming towards the geese, barking as he went. That was really funny to watch, just his head was visible above the water, and the geese were much bigger than that, but he was chasing them off handily by barking. He'd get breathless and suddenly realize how far from shore he'd gotten and he'd paddle back, still barking.
His barking, for some reason, has gotten hoarser, less sharp than it used to be. Not nearly as loud, which is sometimes useful in the mornings as he doesn't wake us up as much, even if he's telling the world his displeasure of a horse racing around a compound or a balloon going up in the distance. He had fun swimming and swimming and swimming and, this time, he actually got out okay, with the incentive of a biscuit. Having all his weight back on his feet made him mildly wobbly again; but he did okay getting back to Borax.
From there we went to Costco and I got my picture put on my card and John had lost his, so they made him a new card. We got dog food and lots of other stuff as well. They were having a sale on Sobe, which I normally drink crates of when I can, but I was really uncertain about all the additives they put into the stuff, zinc and gensing and ginko and stuff that were all food additives that I wasn't at all sure that I should put in my body at the moment. So I had to, sadly, pass it up.
We did, however, eat lunch from the really inexpensive food booth. Hot dog and pop. Yummy and quick and filling and I was already hungry. So it was very useful for me, too.
We piled all the booty around Fezzik and he actually managed to turn around in the midst of all that to look out front as we drove home. He seems pretty content.
I had fun working like crazy getting the pies together. The recipe was for one 9 inch pie, but I only have eight inch pie pans, so I decided to make two pies. Crust was really easy with the food processor, and I then mixed up the flour and sugar for the filling. Then came the peeling and cutting of the peaches, that took a while. They were all splendidly ripe and soft and I'll admit to eating a number of pieces. I didn't, however, eat enough so that the second pie didn't have nearly enough fruit. I only had so many peaches. So with the second pie, I decided to thaw some of the mango pieces I had from the freezer. It's simple, layer sugar and flour under the fruit then sprinkle more on top. Then pour cream on top of that and mix a little to combine. The pies then went into the oven on a baking sheet to catch the drips. Forty minutes later we had two fruit and cream custard pies filled with more fruit than cream. They were just a bit caramelized on top and smelled marvelous.
I was glad that it looked like they worked out.
While they baked, I started reading Jim Whittaker's Life on the Edge. It's a marked contrast from Krakenaur's Into Thin Air. Whittaker was the first American to climb Everest and his attitudes and acknowledgment of risk and mistakes and problems was so very, very much in contrast to Jon's inability to deal with what he considered 'unfair'. Given that Whittaker wrote his book when he's nearly 70, the wisdom and experience he carries with him were probably the balance of it; but the personality that shone through in the book was one that was very self-assured. Enough so that he could write intimately about the mistakes and problems he's had in his past and how he worked through many of them without hiding his own shame or even rage at some of them and coming through with the lessons he learned from them as well. A really good account of how failure makes for strength and it seems so obvious that he isn't afraid of failure anymore, or at least knows what to do through it or after it if it does happen.
I was mostly reading it as Dan had lent it to me and I wanted to return it; but I didn't get it done before we had to leave.
We loaded up the Passat and went up north to Loveland and saw the Gibbon's new house. It's gorgeous, they took the last year to build it and just moved in and things are still a little crazy, but the house itself is just wonderful. Big, open, wood trim, and lovely details like geckos in the shower. Hand cut flagstones, marble counters, and some beautiful tiling work all through the house. We enjoyed John's homebrew outside (okay, I actually drank herbal tea and root beer) and basically enjoyed the last of the sunshine. It wasn't a terribly hot day today, and I was very glad of that.
We ate and talked and got lots of stories about the house. They also had a new kitten that had followed them home when they were hiking out on the East Coast. The kitten had simply followed them home when they were hiking and they couldn't shoo it away, so they bought a kitty carrier and paid the money to bring it home and she's now a part of the family. She's utterly fearless and curious as well. Kittens.
They also wanted to see the video of the fish and we spent the last half hour showing them that. They loved the way the new technology enabled all that. It was pretty amazing to them as their last kid was nearly a decade ago and things hadn't been like they are now. I wonder what it'll be like if I ever have grandkids? Could be entirely astonishing then, too. But they enjoyed it greatly.
The pies turned out really well. Creamy and mildly sweet and mostly tasting of the fresh fruits they contained. The mango one was rich with the ripeness of sweet mangos and the peach alone one was more delicate but had all the taste of the ripe peaches we'd put into them. The flour and cream mixture also dealt very well with the juiciness of the fruit so that the custard surrounding the fruit tasted deeply of the fruit itself. The crust was crisp and thin, nearly shortbread-like, and bore up well under the custard. I think I'll have to try this again, sometime.