Saturday, August 05, 2006

They STILL wanted more pie!

I must apologize for my lengthy absence from posting. I had one week's turnaround time from my last appearance at the farmers' market until the one yesterday, and I had to set a very strict schedule to get through the week and be ready for Saturday. And let me tell you, I was BUSY! Of course, I made a dozen pound cakes (both vanilla and chocolate), and I made eight pies. And can you believe that all of the pies were gone in the first hour of the market's opening? I spent the rest of the day apologizing for the lack of pie. It is clear that they would buy as many pies as I could crank out, and yet, I am only one woman with one temperamental stove! ;-) This week's varieties included classic sour cherry, jumbleberry peach, blueberry crumble, peaches and cream, and my very first special order pie, a double-crust strawberry-rhubarb. Since my rhubarb was all but kaput, I had to pilfer some from my neighbor's yard. But the resulting pie turned out so perfect that I was compelled to photograph it for your viewing pleasure.

But the main activity of the week was JAM! In addition to the strawberry-rhubarb that I still had plenty of, I made more of the blueberry-lime, and we even went blackberry picking to make some wild blackberry jam. (I was worried that we were missing the season, but it's barely begun. The branches are heavy with fruit, but the berries are mostly still red and unripe. I will report back on their progress in a few weeks.) But the jam I was most pleased with was a GORGEOUS Summertime White Peach and Nectarine concoction that turned out so pinkish-orangey stained glass. Behold it...

I also decided to add a few more spicy/savory sauces to my repertoire, including the beloved Blueberry Habanero Chutney that I believe I improved upon a bit with the additions of garlic and some fresh lime juice. Then I also thought that the same recipe might yield a delicious peach spinoff. So I made a single batch of that. I think it turned out well enough, but I am going to keep tinkering with it. I think I might want to try it with some fresh ginger next time--Peach Habanero Ginger Chutney, yum! And I still need to make some of my favorite carrot-cayenne sauce, and after yesterday, I am completely out of pepper jelly. I am actually going to have to break down and BUY peppers to make more, since mine aren't ready yet. But the people at the farmers' market can't seem to get enough of those spicy condiments.

And on top of all of these market offerings, I did a quick pass through the garden and grabbed a couple of bunches of beautiful rainbow chard, three types of basil (purple opal, Italian large leaf and lemon), and also a sampling of those odd, mystery squashes that came up as volunteers this year. I sold the chard and most of the basil, but the people at the market obviously found the unusual appearance of the squashes a bit off-putting, so I ended up giving them away (free squash with purchase! ha ha). Oh well...I think they're pretty, and tasty!

But all-in-all, it was another excellent day at the farmers' market. The weather was glorious, I sold most of what I took to sell, and I even ended making a little more than I did last week. Oh, and of course, I got myself some lovely fresh veggies to boot, including delicate, red-leafed acorn lettuce, some truly stunning purple wax beans, and freshly-dug potatoes--yum!

Unfortunately, I'm not sure when I'll be back at the market, as I only substitute when a regular vendor is absent. Then again, it might be nice to have my life back and to be able to make something just for fun and to post recipes again!

Ok, maybe just one recipe, for old time's sake. This is one of the easiest pies that you can make and a summer favorite around here when the peaches are at their peak. I made two of these pies with the Summertime Whites that were on sale at my local megamart this past week. Try it's like one of those "impossible" or "magic" recipes, and this one never fails to enchant!

Peaches and Cream Pie

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
2 cups sliced fresh or frozen (defrosted) peaches
1 cup whipping (or heavy) cream

Mix sugar and flour together and sprinkle 1/3 of mixture into pie shell. Add peaches and sprinkle with the remaining sugar-flour mixture. Pour cream over top. Move peaches around a bit with a fork so that the cream completely covers the peaches.

Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Serve hot or cool on a rack (cold out of the fridge is great, too!). Yield 6 to 8 servings.

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