In telling you this story, I am swearing you to secrecy. If I manage to come out of this alive, it will be against all odds. I best not embark on a life of crime, because I have to tell someone…..
Today, I decided, “Hey, I have a ‘minute in this stupidly busy month when I’m trying to pass 3 classes at Converse and also write ch 2 of my dissertation, which makes me nearly hyperventilate with stress. A friend dropped off some peaches earlier this week and they need to get used before they turn mushy. I’m going to make a pie!” (recipe here!)
Into the kitchen I go, pulling out the bowl, peeling and slicing the peaches.
Obstacle #1 is the fact that despite having THREE separate open boxes of Pillsbury pie crusts in the frig, only one is truly useful. Coart bought me a box a couple weeks ago and I made a chess pie. So I’ve got a bottom crust — good.
What about a top crust? Box #2 says “use by Jan 2019.” Box #3 says “use by April 2015.” Good lord. I’m fairly confident I have wiped out the refrigerator at least within the past TWO years, so I don’t know where the 2015 box was hiding. Freezer maybe? I set those aside to tackle the “top crust problem” later. I can always do a crumb top.
Back to peaches. They’re juicy! Sweet! Very definite peach taste!
I stir in some white sugar as is my usual, and wonder, “Hey, if I’m going to give this a splash of bourbon, which I usually do, what about throwing in some brown sugar as well? Maybe we can get a brown-sugar-bourbon flavor going here!” In goes a little panela sugar as well (a light and caramel-y sugar from Latin America– we love it!). (Amazon link
, if you’re curious)
Next up are seasonings. Aside from my usual cinnamon & nutmeg, in recent years, I’ve taken to adding a bare pinch, the merest dash, of red pepper or cayenne. I know it sounds weird, but it cuts through the sweetness of the fruit and if I do it right, you don’t really taste it. You just feel a wee bit of warmth at the back of your throat.
I grab the sriracha powdered seasoning out of the drawer and give it a dash. Salt it. Stir.
Hm. Not exactly what I expected, maybe a bit more savory? Should be fine. I add a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg and move on.
The peaches sit while I put the bottom crust into the pie plate. I eyeball crust #3 from 2015. After sitting on the counter, there’s an odd wetness inside the package. Hard nope.
Next up is vintage 2019. I slice open the wrapper. NOPE. “Is it possible for something made merely of four, water, and a bit of shortening to go bad?”
Yes. The answer is yes.
Crumb topping it is.
I stir the peaches – REALLY juicy. Going to need a solid dose of the corn starch thickener for this one. I stir it in, take a taste. Still doesn’t ring quite true. Add another hit of cinnamon. Can you have too much cinnamon? Asking for a friend. But first the alcohol. Bourbon / brown sugar / peach – should be good!
Return to bottom crust tweaking, Pour in the peaches, which are reddish-golden and shimmering of summer. Taste again. WHAT IS THAT FLAVOR.
Pull sriracha powder out of the spice drawer, read the ingredients.
Welp, there it is: garlic powder. I stop reading.
I put garlic in my goddamn pie.
In my PEACH PIE, friends.
A frantic phone-search of Google for “accidentally put garlic in fruit pie” yields 19 pages of “how to mellow garlic” and a few “I put too much garlic in my…” chili or soup or whatever. Apparently no one has accidentally put garlic in their pie. Best I can learn is that you can sometimes mellow garlic by 1) getting it really hot (is 425 enough?) or 2) diluting it with a lot more non-garlic stuff (I ain’t got no more preaches) or perhaps mixing in cream or acidic elements.
Lemon juice! I usually put it in the pie, and I’d forgotten anyway. I splash some into the pie filling sitting in its crust and gingerly swirl it around. Ginger. Probably the only thing NOT in this pie at this point.
I return to the problem of the crumb topping, something I don’t make often. Google turns up a recipe which I eyeball into a bowl. The butter melting in the microwave blows up while I’m digging through Coart’s cookie supplies. No pecans. What?! I was going to throw pecans into this because why not?! Fuck it. Butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon. Why is this not making a reasonable topping? WHY ARE WE BASICALLY OUT OF FLOUR? oh, right because death ‘Rona stalks Publix, so we haven’t been shopping as much.
How about oatmeal? Why not. Check the pantry. Nope, no oats. Got cornmeal though, in one of those Quaker cans that raised my hopes before dashing them. Fuckit. Also, why do I have 3 separate containers of corn meal? I made cornbread a few times a year but nothing like this.
I grab the Quaker Oats Honey Almond Granola cereal from the top of the fridge. (It’s a really good cereal! This one
) and I throw some in. The granola clusters will probably turn into hard little bricks, but the individual oats and almonds will format my pasty brown-sugar butter mass into something akin to a true crumble topping. I crumble it on and hope for the best.
A sprinkle of vanilla walnut sugar — honestly, why the hell not, at this point? and a sprinkling of sea salt as well because maybe that’ll “help.”
Here’s what went into the oven 20 minutes ago (pic below). Coart is blissfully unaware that EITHER this is going to be merely “an interesting pie” OR it’s going to be the worst platform for vanilla ice cream ever invented.
Bottom line: fuck 2020. Also, I need to make another pie and this time, leave the weird shit in the drawer.
Update, 12 hours later:
Somehow, it survived. The pie filling is 70% peach flavor, 25% pie crust and pie flavors, and 5% “what IS that?” I think the pastry (bottom crust) absorbed the garlic flavor, to be honest. I don’t tend to taste it otherwise. The crumb topping was actually really, really good — the granola cereal made an excellent topping. Bullet dodged.
I am penitent – I will make a “normal” pie next time, no weird additions or experiments. The Peach God has spoken.
Categories: Humor Life Recipies
I write. I design. I cook. I read. I make music. I talk to people -- all kinds of people.
I used to teach and hopefully will do so again someday.
My dream job would be a cross between barrista and consultant, with a large helping of international travel and bohemian wandering through concerts, museums, galleries, and open spaces.
Somewhere back in time, my students started calling me "RameyLady" and the name stuck. I like it. There's a Ramey-man too. He's a much better writer but he seems to be too humble to share it with the world....at least, not yet.