We arrived in Taos late last night, after 11. We were so tired, but had to unpack and let the dog become acclimated to his new surroundings. By the way, he was a champ on this first long car trip. We had room for his crate so he rode contentedly in that the whole way.
We slept in today and spent the morning looking over the garden and enjoying the cool air.
My favorite part of the garden are these:
These are choke cherries and they are sour. Last summer was the first time we had been here at the right time to harvest, and we made them into a peach and cherry pie. This year the tree is just loaded with fruit, so I'm sure we have enough for at least two pies. I made one tonight.
Sometimes I find pie making intimidating and laborious. I worry about the crust, blind baking, it shrinking, burning the edges. But here I'm on vacation and I'm not going to worry about such things. On my phone, I looked up my favorite pie crust recipe from the New York Times. I made it without worrying about how cold the butter was, or that I didn't have a pastry blender or a food processor. I just used my trusty fingers, like they did in the old days. The pastry went in the fridge to chill while Clayton and I pitted the cherries; the pits popped out easily and without much mess, as these cherries are not a deep red. I called my mom for a reminder about the fruit pie recipe we used last summer. I used extra sugar to counteract the sourness of the cherries(turns out I overdid it). I didn't blind bake the crust and when I rolled it out, it was all wonky-shaped and irregular, not anywhere close to a circle. No matter; I draped it over the pie pan, filled it with the filling and wrapped the messy edges back up over the fruit.
I don't have a photo of the final result because the it was dark by then. But let me tell you - delicious! The cherry flavor was perfect and the crust was no worse the wear for my cavalier ways. Hooray for vacation baking!