August makes me think of peaches. Fresh, ripe, juicy, sweet peaches that are as pretty to look at as they are to eat. Which is saying a lot.
Peaches make me think of Carl Allen Rex Lewis. He was my grandfather, my mom's pop. Little-known facts about my grandpa:
He not only had two middle names but his initials spell out his first name: C.A.R.L. Clearly, my great-grandparents were overachievers.
He began a career as an ordained pastor and served two years of what he hoped would be a permanent mission assignment in Africa, with his wife and first-born daughter, my aunt, at his side. But then his father and brothers convinced him to come back home, saddled him with the family well-drilling business, and changed his life forever. From then on, he was known as Lewis The Well Man, a title I always admired.
He loved peaches with a passion, and ate them every single morning for breakfast. One corner of his basement was lined with shelves full of canned peaches..not from the grocery store but the homemade kind. My grandmother put them up for him every August, a full year's supply.
So when I find myself thinking these August-y thoughts about peaches, I dream not of canning them but of folding them into beautiful golden pies and topping them with ice cream. I don't know for sure how my grandpa felt about peach pies but I am pretty sure he would approve of them.
Still, I can never resist the urge to capture my pies-in-the-making and share them as if they were an art form. So here we go.
A critical step in pie-making is remembering to get all your stuff out at the beginning of the project. Otherwise, your hands are all gooey when you realize that you need something, and there you are, trying to open drawers and sort through the cupboards with blobs of half-formed pie crust getting stuck to everything. Usually, I forget. Today, I remembered.
See what I mean about the fingers? Pie-making is a dirty job. I prefer to get the crusts made first, with the bottom one already in place in the pie pan and the top one rolled out on my bread board and ready to go, before I start in with the fruit.
Here's one last look at my lovely peaches before I chopped them up. Sigh. Seems a shame to destroy such beauty, but there is a price to be paid for delicious. Chop I must, so chop I did.
Five peaches, stirred up with flour and sugar, topped with bits of butter, and my pie filling is complete. Time to put this baby to bed.
So here's to you, Carl Allen Rex Lewis, Lewis the Well Man, my grandpa. Hope you are enjoying lots of peaches in heaven.
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I like to write stories about pies. If you like to read stories about pies, try these: