Anaphylactic Peaches and Cherry Disaster

June 6, 2009

When I was about 10 years old, a peach almost killed me.  Yep, a sweet, juicy, fuzzy little peach was nearly the end of me!  I was spending part of the summer in West Texas with my grandparents as usual, and had been eating juicy fresh peaches as usual.  My grandmother made awesome peach fried pies and incredible spiced pickled peaches with cloves.  She had peach trees in the backyard and made great use of them.

So, one nice summer day, I went to my cousins’ house for a visit.  I can remember sitting on a swing in their backyard, eating a fresh peach.  I can remember getting itchy, then starting to wheeze, and then getting swollen all over.  By the time I got into the house, I passed out, and then drifted in and out of consciousness for what seemed like hours before they took me to the emergency room to be pumped full of benadryl and adrenalin.

Since I grew up to be BigSis, clearly I survived that attack of anaphylactic shock.  My body just had enough of peaches, and said it wished to have no more of them, please.  When I heard that this month’s You Want Pies with That event would have a Childhood Memories theme, those peachy memories came back to me.  My whole family has mouth-watering and sentimental memories of Grandmama’s fried pies, although I obviously can’t make her peach ones.  In her honor, I decided to make cherry fried pies, for my first time ever.

I don’t have my own recipe for these little jewels, so I found recipes online for pie pastry and cherry pie filling that both sounded delicious and got 5 star reviews.  And being a bake-from-scratch snob, I was definitely not interested in using flattened biscuits with canned pie filling.  I did have one little complication right off the bat, which was that the filling was surprisingly too juicy for little fried pies, so I revised my plan a bit and made a whole pie.  No biggie, just a little adjustment.


Looks pretty good, right?  I was kind of happy with the golden brownness, and was feeling a little proud of myself since I love to bake, but I’m not a pie maker.  It intimidates me and intrigues me at the same time.  But so far, so good.  I cut into the pie, and still found more juice than I really wanted, but no worries!  It’s yummy cherry juice, so it’s all good!  And I thought the slice on the plate looked pretty tasty!  What do you think?  Not so bad for a novice pie girl.


The next test…take a bite!  I took a bite, and took another bite, and took another bite.  Guess what?  It was HORRIBLE!!  Not just bad.  Not just “oh, you’re so overly critical of your own baking”.  No.  It was DISGUSTING!  It’s actually in my sink at this moment, crumpled in bits and pieces, awaiting it’s little trip down the garbage disposal.  THAT bad.

What could be so bad, you say?  Well, the pastry was not flaky and light.  It was the polar opposite: heavy and soggy on the top and bottom.  The juice soaked into it and just made yukky mush.  Even though I baked it the recommended amount of time, I don’t think the bottom crust was even done.  Bleh.  On top of that, the pastry’s flavor was just off and weird.  The tiny bit of almond extract in the filling was grossly overwhelming and the filling was WAY too liquidy.  Altogether, it was so nasty that not even HayHay-the-15-Year-Old-Eating-Machine would touch it.  I would be ashamed to offer it to him or anyone else.

So, why do I bother posting on this disaster?  Cause it’s pretty damn funny to me!  It’s hilarious, in fact.  I make such a big ding dang deal out of baking from scratch, and then I have a catastrophe of Titanic proportions like this, and it just cracks me up.  One thing I don’t do is take myself too seriously, and it’s a good thing!  Plus, you can’t try anything new if you’re too afraid to fail.  Chances are I’ll have lots more beautiful disasters on my way to successful pastry baking!

Next time, I’ll try to do you proud, Grandmama!  I’m not giving up!  Meanwhile, please visit You Want Pies With That on June 8th to see the work of successful pie bakers!  I’m off to the grocery store for biscuits and canned pie filling.


16 Comments so far

  1. Posted by Melissa

    June 6, 200910:58 am

    What would life be if we couldn’t laugh at ourselves, eh? Great attitude about it. It does look good, but after a few disasters of my own, I realize looks can be deceiving. Thanks for sharing your memory with us though. Peaches are not something I figured someone would have that reaction to. Crazy.

  2. Posted by BigSis

    June 6, 200912:53 pm

    Hey, Melissa! I have to admit I get some of my best laughs at myself! It turned out after the peach incident that I developed a whole bunch of food allergies that I still have; mostly to fruits, which is a bummer! Thanks for your comment!

  3. Posted by noble pig

    June 6, 200912:56 pm

    Ha! I love kitchen disasters, you can’t win them all! Great peach story too…it happens. Well here’s to better baking!

  4. Posted by BigSis

    June 6, 20091:02 pm

    Hi Noble Pig! I seem to have NO shortage of kitchen disasters, so I have to laugh, otherwise I’d never cook or bake again! I feel like making a good pie is a huge challenge and goal for me now…I have something to prove to myself!

  5. Posted by LilSis

    June 6, 20097:05 pm

    Hey BigSis,
    Thanks for bringing back some great memories of us helping Grandmama make her peach fried pies. (Or at least she made us think we were helping.) Those were fun days!!

    I got lucky and didn’t get any of those food allergies. I know you manage just fine, but I just can’t imagine being allergic to peaches or grapes! No champagne? Bummer!!

    So, the pie was really bad enough to go down the disposal? Well, whatcha’ gonna do? Sit down and cry? Nope! Get back on that horse, sista! Cause baking is your specialty! You can do it!

  6. Posted by BigSis

    June 6, 20098:28 pm

    It was a walk down memory lane, wasn’t it, LilSis? And how about her M&M cookies?

    Yep, the pie was bad…certainly not worth the calories! Oh well, we don’t learn that much from success, right?

  7. Posted by Nic

    June 8, 20092:19 pm

    Awww too bad it tasted like crap cuz it sure looked good. Great story too!

  8. Posted by Suz

    June 8, 20092:30 pm

    Hey there!

    Welcome to the pie-times; good to have you. Sorry to hear about your reaction. I’m allergic to everything, so I sympathize. It gave you a great story though. And hey, the pie is pretty even if it didn’t work :)

  9. Posted by Jen H

    June 8, 20092:36 pm

    I LOVE that you posted this even though it was disaster. Good luck on your next try!

  10. Posted by BigSis

    June 8, 20096:35 pm

    Thanks, Jen! I debated about whether I should still post it, but I figured that kind of thing happens to all of us, and there’s no shame in a baking debacle! Thanks for coming by!

  11. Posted by jane of many trades

    June 8, 20094:11 pm

    i am a bake from scratch snob too. it always amazes me when i screw something up, i mean how could i do that. i bake for a living and i supposedly know what i am doing! but you are right, find the humor in it and move on to making it better the next time!

  12. Posted by BigSis

    June 8, 20095:26 pm

    Hi Nic; thanks for coming by to visit us! It absolutely DID taste like crap, not that I know what that would taste like, but I imagine it would be exactly like my cherry pie! Ha!

  13. Posted by BigSis

    June 8, 20095:28 pm

    Hi Suz! Thank you so much! I’m really excited to work on my pie making ability, which obviously needs some work! :-) Sorry to hear you have the allergy issues too, you just get used to working around them, right? Thanks for coming by!

  14. Posted by BigSis

    June 8, 20095:30 pm

    Hey Jane! Thanks for your comment, it makes me feel better. I swear I followed the cherry pie recipes to the letter, so I don’t know where I went wrong, but clearly I went VERY wrong somewhere! For me, that’s the challenge of baking though, and what makes it so fun when something works perfectly!

  15. Posted by Libby

    June 8, 20096:40 pm

    Just the title of your pie is terrifying to me! Unfortunately, I’ve made my poor son everything from anaphylactic baby formula to anaphylactic French toast. Don’t let one bad pie stop you, though! I’ve also made my share of blech pastries…

  16. Posted by BigSis

    June 8, 20097:08 pm

    Hi Libby; thanks for your comments. Just that word “anaphylactic” sounds menacing, doesn’t it? I’ve had several of those attacks, but the peach one was the absolute worst and most scary. I won’t let a horrible pie stand in my way…thanks for the encouragement!

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