During my three weeks in the Berkshires, in between my summer in Brooklyn and the coming winter in Barcelonnette, I had the pleasure of doing everything a country girl could wish for. The beginning of September is really the best time to be in the Berkshires, what with town fairs, harvest dinners, and the return of the BTUs to Castle Street, and I feel like I got to experience it all.
Eliza’s playdate at Pearl’s house provided the ingredients for grape- and tomato-rosemary focaccie as well as for a crème fraîche and peach pie, while my own rooting around in the garden yielded a healthy handful of beets.
On my first weekend back home, the Maggio gang joined forces with the Elsbach gang at the Goshen Fair to admire chickens and pigs and cows and tractors and to eat onion rings.
The following weekend, the Elsbach gang showed up at the Sheffield Town Fair just in time to join Maggio sisters + Mia for the last hayride of the day.
The week before my departure included both tossing hay bales and reaping the benefits of Berkshire Grown membership at the annual Berkshire Grown Harvest Dinner. To top it all off we had a chicken successfully brood four bantam chicks, which I suppose makes her a surrogate mother since she didn’t lay the eggs.
My few weeks at home also included many pies. I couldn’t help myself. My mom even said that the one good thing about me going to Barcelonnette is that there would no longer be the constant temptation of pie after dinner, for breakfast, or at lunch. When you have no commercial outlet for a pie-baking obsession your family’s health can definitely suffer. And when you get distracted so often that you burn two batches of caramel before you get a good one you can end up buying a lot of butter.
Here’s my recipe for making too many pies in the space of a few weeks:
2 rhubarb pies
5 salted caramel apple pies
1 lemon chess pie
1 peach and crème fraîche pie