I seldom bake pies in the summer. In fact, I rarely bake pies at all. Ever. (I think the last time--and perhaps the only time, come to think of it--that I made a homemade pie was before I was married, when I made a lemon meringue for my favorite priest on his birthday because it was his favorite, and because it was what his mother had always made for him.) But ordinarily, I'm much more a cake and cookies kind of girl. Easy, uncomplicated. Yesterday, however, baking a pie in the middle of the afternoon seemed like the perfect thing to do.
On Sunday morning, you see, just as we were leaving for church, our very kind and generous neighbors (the same ones who gave us their Christmas tree last December) brought over a large bowl full of beautiful peaches from their tree. They were small, but plentiful. I wasn't sure how we'd ever eat them all! That night, Darren prepared a delicious topping of peaches and cherries to serve over the vanilla ice cream we had for dessert, and it was amazing. Still, we had many more peaches than I ever thought we'd eat. I couldn't bear the thought of them going bad before we had a chance to enjoy them all, and I was so pleased with them that I wanted them to be put to very special use. So, pie it was. Something new, and, (hopefully) beautiful, too.
I thought about my mom as I got out one of the two old porcelain pie plates she gave me while packing to move away last month. She never baked many pies, either, but I remember these pie plates being nestled together in their rightful cabinet throughout my entire childhood. They are a sweet reminder now of a time long past, a familiar comfort much like the memory of the sunny kitchen itself in which they once belonged. It made me happy in a sad, nostalgic kind of way yesterday to lovingly wash, once again, one of the pair, and to fill it with the generously offered fruit of kind neighbors who, too, will soon be moving away.
It was a lovely way to spend the day with my kids, filling our home with the aroma of spices and fruit and delicate pastry, evoking remembrances of days I thought I'd long since forgotten and was so happy to recall once more. I hope that one day, years from now, the memory of baking with their Mommy will cross my own kids minds, and that, remembering, they'll be happy.