For the love of a fresh summer peach pie
If there is one thing that I remember most about my Grandma Cisterino it is her pies. Not just pies. Piessssssssssss. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Something about that flaky, @Crisco crust. A perfect balance of anything hidden under its blanket of warmth. Fillings that always began from a canned jar of hand picked magic - fresh apples or cherries. That we would pick as a family. And that she would peel and pit by hand into the wee hours to follow.
She was a pie baker. The Grandmother of all pie bakers. A destination for anyone who knew her cooking. She always made enough for the family and a straggler.
I want my kids and grandkids to remember me that way, too.
I do not remember her making too many peach pies. Nor do I recall any, really, fruit pies that were not double crust, sealed with a fork on the edges and finished with a pricking of the tines of a fork. So, no crumble tops. No woven tops. No sassy glaze or cut outs of leaves or stars. Just pure, simple satisfaction.
Thankfully, I watched her. More like a student than a granddaughter waiting for a lick of the spoon. I studied her. Like a stalker of generational secrets. That stalking will surely go down in my history as one of the very best uses of my younger days. Because when she died suddenly afer a simple heart procedure in 1985, this 24-year-old was left with more than the expected grief. I would miss her heart. Her screaming at the kitchen door when we would bang endlessly to get in. The tissues up her sleeve. The way she would sneak us Pepsi behind my grandpa's back. Her homemade meatballs.
But those pies ... in my head, tucked into my heart. Written in a tattered old notebook I grabbed one day at the dime store. The pie crust recipe. Her art. Her "pinch of this" and "a spoon of that."
She would love my pies. I feel her when I roll them out. And in every bite.