Last fall, I met my first locavore.
A grandmother from northeastern Colorado, she learned to can as a teenager and now cans everything from salsa (some 75 pints of it) to soup mix. She also freezes and dehydrates a healthy portion of the fruits and vegetables from her garden and CSA. Thus in winter, when the rest of us are eating foods grown in different countries or on different continents, locally grown foods constitute about half of her diet.
Anyway, I was thinking about her today when I pulled a peach pie out of my oven. Lightly browned and bubbling, the pie’s buttery goodness tiptoed through the house, making everyone so giddy with the smells of summer that no one even noticed that night had fallen.
I met her while researching an article for a magazine. During the interview, she told me how she cleans, slices and sweetens peaches as if for pie. But instead of putting the filling in a pie shell, she puts it in a parchment-lined pie pan, seals it in a plastic bag and places it in the freezer. When the filling is frozen solid, she removes the pan and puts the filling back in the freezer. Whenever she wants peach pie, all she has to do is make a crust, plop in the filling and bake.
Genius, I thought. But I didn’t think I’d be organized enough to pull it off. Remember, I have three kids under the age of 7.
But then one Sunday last fall we visited the South Pearl Street farmers’ market. I talked to Steve Ela of Ela Family Farms about what variety the peaches were, how to store them, and what I should do if I got up the gumption to try my hand at canning. In the end I did can some (more on that later), but I also made and froze pies. Several of them. All because of my conversation with the locavore.
And now here we are months later, celebrating my mom’s arrival from Washington, D.C. with a homemade peach pie. I get brownie points because peach is her favorite.
Click here for the recipe for Homemade Peach Pie.