The first story takes us back to my mom's early adolescence (a topic I'm studying right now in my grad school class!). My mom says she thinks she was in ninth grade at the time. As was common, she had been sent down to their butcher, a Mr. Seybold, to buy some meat. After wrapping up the purchases, Mr. Seybold totaled the bill by doing a little addition right on the butcher paper. (Ah, the days before cash registers and computers!) When my mom got home, she realized Mr. Seybold had made a mistake, and she hurried back to give him the extra money my mom's family owed him.
When my mom showed Mr. Seybold his mistake, he was so impressed--not only with her honesty, but I'm sure her mad math skills as well--he gave her a free can of peaches. On that can of peaches was this legendary pie recipe!
Now you might be saying, "Well, that's a very lovely story, Amy. But what does that have to do with your existence?" For that, we speed forward about sixteen years to story number 2.
My mother had been dating my father for about a year when her parents took a very unusual vacation out of town. While her parents were gone, my mother decided to have my father over for dinner. Being the proper young lady that she was, she invited her own brother and his recent bride to join them.
When dinner was over, my mother brought out this peach pie, a dessert she had been making since she was the fourteen-year-old girl who had corrected the butcher's math. She was very proud of her baking skills and was eager to impress her boyfriend.
However, while eating the pie, my father became engrossed in a machinery discussion with my uncle and didn't seem to be paying any attention at all to what he was devouring. After my aunt and uncle had left, my mother asked my father if he had enjoyed his meal.
"Oh, yes, very much," he replied.
"And dessert. Did you like dessert?"
"Oh, yes, it was very good."
"What did you have?"
At this point, I imagine my father breaking into a cold sweat and gulping. "Uh . . . pie?"
"What kind of pie?"
"Uh . . . apple?"
My mother shook her head.
Another shake of the head.
The poor guy must have named every fruit known to man before my mother informed him that it was a peach pie.
Legend has it that my father felt so bad about not remembering what kind of pie my mother had baked for him that he proposed to her just a few weeks later.
So you see . . . if my mom hadn't corrected Mr. Seybold's math, she never would have received this pie recipe. And if she hadn't made this pie for my dad and he hadn't become engrossed in conversation with my uncle, he may never have proposed to my mother, and I wouldn't be typing this blog entry to provide all of you with yet another fabulous dessert recipe. :)
Mom's Legendary Peach Pie
1 large can sliced peaches in heavy syrup
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons margarine
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons brandy or sherry (I like apricot brandy)
1 baked pie crust, 9" (Recipe here)
Drain peaches, but reserve the syrup.
In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in 1 1/3 cups juice from the peaches. Stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Bring to boil. Cook until clear and thickened, stirring constantly.
The liquid should go from looking like this:
Add butter and brandy or sherry. Cool.
Arrange peach slices in baked pie shell.
Pour cooled sauce over peaches. Chill until firm.
Serve with whipped topping. Attempt to get marriage proposal, if desired.