I recently learned that the word sin is an old archery term meaning to ‘miss the mark.’ With some research, I found this little tidbit has been widely discussed in religious circles for years. As you can imagine, there are a lot of opinions on sin. I will leave those discussions alone, because my aim is to relate this new little fact to my kitchen and in other areas of my life.
I read recipes every day and am inspired to make my own attempt. Here is what I find interesting, so many of those get filed away never making it to a pan on my stove or on the plates of my clients. Am I afraid of failure? Am I lazy? Am I limiting myself with budget of time and ingredients? What is the greater sin, to try and then fail or to never attempt?
Now, I am all for failure - catastrophes, in or out of the kitchen are some of my greatest teachers. Right now, I have a burn on my finger from three weeks ago that is a daily reminder to turn the heat down and be mindful of water droplets getting into my oil. Water and oil can tango, my friends, and it is the dance of death, (or potential grease fire.) Lesson learned. When things go wrong, we are granted grace to remedy things. We get to remember our initial target. But not even trying is a missed opportunity to succeed.
Do you remember playing pin the tail on the donkey as a kid? All the kids had a common goal – to pin their paper tail closest to the backside of the donkey - closer than the other children playing. Every child had the same set of given circumstances – blindfolded, spun around, and gently nudged toward the donkey. The stakes were pretty low, but the fun level was pretty high. All the kids squeal and giggle, trying to disorient you even more, but they are ultimately cheering for you. The blindfold comes off and you see how close you were to hitting the mark. And then you get back in line, awaiting the opportunity to try again, all the while cheering on your friends.
My New Year goal setting/resolutioning for 2014 looks a bit like that. I see my goals clearly, but I realize throughout the year I may get blindfolded, distracted, and my circumstances will change. I want to surround myself with people that I love and trust enough to guide me when I lose sight. I want to squeal and giggle and remember to be childlike, keeping the fun level high. There will be times I need to stabilize myself and find my feet while the world stops spinning. And the good news is, no matter how many times I sin, or miss the mark, I can always get back in line and try again, all the while cheering on my friends. Paper tails for everyone!
Here is one of my ‘beautiful failures’ that I intend on getting right in 2014. This Summer, during a photo shoot for a Garden Gurus magazine article, I was intent on making whole peach pies. All thanks to my friend and photographer Cheryl Stockton, the pies made for some pretty pictures, but they were impossibly stuck to the pan and did not taste good at all. How could I screw up store bought pie crust and some peaches?! Well, I did. I had a goal and I missed the mark. Was it a culinary sin? Oh no, a little failed pie never hurt anyone. But I couldn’t stand behind my efforts and send the recipe in to the editors knowing it wasn’t tested and perfected. Here is the 2013 version. If you find yourself invited to a Pin the Tail on the Donkey party, bring these!
Individual Whole Peach Pies
Adapted from YummyMummyKitchen
- 2 store bought or homemade piecrust (I used Pillsbury’s rolled pie crust)
- 8 small to medium very ripe peaches, halved and pit removed (if they are too large they may not fit in muffin tin)
- 8 heaping teaspoons Sorghum molasses (the original recipe called for chunks of honeycomb. I grew up on Sorghum and am always looking for chances to use it, so I made the substitution.)
- 1 egg
- 8 teaspoons raw sugar
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly coat 6 wells of a muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. Divide the pie crust dough into quarters if using pre-rolled. Or divide homemade dough into quarters and then roll into disks.
3. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of Sorghum into one side of each peach where the pit was. Place the other half on top so the peach is whole again. Place each peach on the center of each of the dough disks and wrap dough around the peaches. The dough does not have to completely enclose the peach if it does not reach the top. If peach is completely enclosed, use a paring knife to cut several slits for air to escape around the top. If peach is not completely enclosed, be sure the sides are supported by the muffin tin or oven proof bowls, as the halves will want to separate during baking. Place each pastry wrapped peach so that it just sits in the prepared muffin tin well.
4. In a small bowl whisk together the egg and 2 tablespoons water. Brush egg wash on pastry and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of raw sugar.
5. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes and then carefully remove from pan. Serve with whipped cream.