Pie in the Sky

High Hopes

Pie in the Sky

Sometimes we have high hopes:  We see things going our way, see ourselves being successful and having fun.  We hold thoughts of what could happen that would be really cool.  The hopes may be a little out there, really high, but we hope anyway!  Why not?

Check out this “pie in the sky” slice.  I had very high hopes for this pie.  People often ask me what my favorite pie is and, without hesitation, I always answer “fresh peach.”  Oh, those ripe, flavorful peaches, dripping with sweet juices, all wrapped in flaky pastry, baked into round deliciousness.

Serenading some peaches recently, I was attempting to seduce them into a perfect pie as I peeled and sliced them with love and anticipation.  They were ripe. They smelled good!  They had good texture.  Yay!  The crust came together easily.  I even made a lattice crust, which I think is perfect because it lets you see the juices bubbling and the pretty blush color of the peaches.  First peach pie of the season.  I could hardly wait.

Ever have times like that -- where you are happy with the doing, with the expected outcome, with yourself?  Fun in the present moment with an eye on what’s ahead.

Well, then, you also know how things turn out sometimes:  not at all like you expected.  As so it was with this.  It looked inviting, complete with tiny pockets of peach juice sweetened and thickened, peeking through the lattice as expected.  The underside was golden brown.  I let it cool, waiting for the moment when I could finally have some with a little cup of espresso.  It was awful. 

What happened?  This is “gakky,” my inner critic said.  Too much tapioca and sugar, I am sure.  But the main thing was that the peaches had so little flavor. That was the deal-breaker.  I nearly cried with disappointment as I put most of it down the garbage disposal, not even sharing it with trusted pie tasters nearby.

What’s up with fruit these days?  Am I the only one consistently frustrated by the lack of flavor in store-bought fruit?  It’s starting to get depressing.  And I’m not just talking about everyday big grocery stores.  The same tastelessness applies to fruit from most high-end grocery stores as well, with the exception of some produce from the co-op.  But that’s really expensive, even for those of us dedicated to spending more of our shopping dollars at locally owned stores that pay their employees living wages and that provide high quality food.

Well, I’ve renewed my commitment to shopping for fruit at the farmers’ markets in town, even though I am so NOT a morning person and you have to get there early for the best selections.  I’ll go for the peaches, raspberries, apricots and rhubarb.  I’ll go for the zucchini, too, and the greens and peppers.  Kale?  Not so much.  But whatever I get there, it’s got to be better than whatever was shipped 900 miles or more to get here.  If I only get to make one really good peach pie per year, using peaches from a nearby backyard or farm, then so it is.

I’m keeping my “pie in the sky” hopes.  I’m willing to try and have things not turn out the way I’d hoped, and then try again another time with a new version.  We all need hope! 

Keep baking, friends, and share your current version of good summer pie here http://www.piepals.com/my-account/submit-recipe .  Because we all need good pie, really good pie.


Categories: Deep Dish Archive

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