Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Peach Cobbler

Sometimes, you get a hankering to bake something at one in the morning. And sometimes, you find a friend to help you bake said creation at one in the morning. And sometimes, that friend just happens to be your summer housemate who also happens to own her own baking blog.

When these things happen, you don't question the circumstances. You just peel some peaches and go.

(The following directions and photos might be a little fuzzy. But I can tell you that we based our cobbler off of this one from Williams-Sonoma.)

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 tbs. butter
3/4 cups half-and-half (or milk)
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

- Combine dry ingredients. Add butter and mix until crumbly. Stir in half-and-half, egg and vanilla until doughy. Form into a round, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for up to 4 hours. (We stuck the dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes to expedite the process.)

5 lbs of peaches (according to my pictures, we used 6 peaches)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbs. cornstarch

- Peel and cut peaches into 1" cubes. Mix brown sugar, cornstarch and peach cubes, and pour into shallow baking pan.

- When the dough is chilled, roll it out on a floured surface. Cut large, irregular slices to lay over the top of the peaches. (irregular = rustic)

- Paint the crust with an egg wash and dust with a generous amount of sugar. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, or until crust is browned and the peaches are bubbling.

Thanks to Laura for being the cobbler instigator! Check out her bakery and blog - A Dollop of Dixie !

Thanks to The Presidents of the USA for providing the soundtrack to this post ;)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Last weekend, the theater organized a trip to have dinner and drinks at the Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, NH. It was faaanncy. Sometimes it's nice to wash off the dirt and grime, put on a dress and heels and feel like a human being again.

1.) Walking up to the hotel
2.) We clean up real nice.
3.) Built in 1902, the Mount Washington played host to a conference in 1944 that established both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
4.) View from the veranda
5.) Both Babe Ruth and Thomas Edison were guests here
6.) 3rd course - salmon
7.) The grounds around the hotel
8.) Set amongst New Hampshire's White Mountains, almost every view of the hotel is dramatic and breathtaking.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

P&H Truck Stop

I found pie.

In Vermont.

At a truck stop.

On a Sunday.

And it was delightful.

Leave it to the Green Mountain state to finally provide me with some pie during my summer in the woods. I had heard rumors of a truck stop in Vermont that doubled as a pretty decent bakery, and last Sunday morning I was able to convince a friend to get up early on our day off to drive an hour to another state to get pie and breakfast.

Before I go any further into the pie portion of this post, let me express my undying love for diner food. It's greasy. It's cheap. It's served by surly waitresses in polo shirts who look like they've worked that same section since 1974. And my egg-ham-cheese sandwich was not only made with real Vermont white cheddar cheese, but also with homemade oatmeal bread.

Then came the pie.

While there was an ample selection of fancier pies (chocolate/banana/coconut cream, Reses', etc.), we decided to go the simple route - apple for me, raspberry a la mode for my friend.

Let me add that while the server was taking our pie orders, she asked if we wanted our slices warmed up. Immediate points. I think applauded with glee.

The slices were simple. The fruit was fresh. There weren't any overbearing or unnecessary spices sprinkled throughout. The crust tasted like it had been made that morning and with as few ingredients as necessary. The pies were so pure and uncomplicated that for the first few bites I thought there was something missing. Then I realized that what I was eating was pure, unadulterated, American-as-apple-pie, homemade apple pie.

Haute cuisine bakeries everywhere should take a page from P&H's cookbook. It's fine and wonderful to add seven thousand ingredients to a pie and give it a modern slant and update an old standard and whatever else they do to it. But sometimes all you really want is a slice of honest-to-goodness, no frills pie.

P&H Truck Stop is located at 2886 U.S. 302, Wells River, VT. They don't have a website, but are open 24 hours, 7 days a week. Pies run between $3.49 and $3.69 for a slice, coffee is served in a real mug, and you'll share the dining room with some actual truckers.