Monday, September 04, 2006

Goodbye, Summer

Labor Day weekend always signifies the end of summer for me. The Tuesday after Labor Day was usually my first day back at school growing up. Tomorrow, I will drive by the elementary school down the street on my way to work for the last time until next summer. I have to see the little tikes carting their too big backpacks full of notebooks and new pencils, wearing new clothes that haven't been worn in yet, with faces full of hopes and promise. Then I'll revert back to my "school year" route, which takes a few minutes longer, but I avoid all the traffic and mess that happens at that intersection.

To show my regrets for the end of summer, I "baked" a strawberry pie. This was the first summer in awhile that I didn't haunt berry stands like a fiend to get the sweetest berries available. The ones sold in the grocery stores around here, I've found, are hard with too much white showing, and have little flavor. Really, they should designate them as mock strawberries, just so people are not tempted to buy them, expecting the flavor of traditional berries. But, I guess I was too busy to scout out berry stands this year. Oh, and then there was the record heat to contend with - not much baking happened around here at all. Fortunately a strawberry pie does not require much kitchen time. Here's one secret

I buy an
unbaked pie crust from a pie shop. Pollys has the best pies, and fortunately they are more than willing to provide many of their "secret" ingredients for sale. It's almost like a grocery store there - you can even buy onions! I don't know what's so magical about their onions, but I think I'll buy one next time we go, just to say I did.

Some "true" strawberries from the farmer's market shown with my pie baking apron (not to be confused with my cooking apron, my dishwashing apron, or my cupcake baking apron)

Whole fruit, open top pies are about as easy as they come. Just bake your pie crust (or somebody else's - you know I won't tell), add some syrupy sweet gelatinous goop to your fruit, and voila

a beautiful pie! Best eaten with whipped cream and in the company of friends, also enjoying the last lazy day of summer.


Megan said...

Mmmm, strawberries.

I did not know one was supposed to have a different apron for each baking activity, but now I come to think of it, it makes perfect sense. Am off to sew aprons.

Liz said...

This looks SOOOOOOO GOOOOD!!!!
When I was a kid in California we used to go to a restaurant called Marie Calendars for their mountain looking Strawberry Pies.
I think after they became a chain, they stopped making the big strawberry pies that made them so famous.

jek said...

i never would have thought to buy a pie shell at a nifty! i lvoe that you have an apron for each task, i do too and i feel honored that i made one of them! :)

Barb said...

I have a 'from scratch' recipe for that goop, if you'd like it.