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A New Adventure

A few weeks ago, I made a very important decision. I’ve waited a little while partly because I wanted to get all of my ducks in a row, and partly because I didn’t want to have to deal with all of the emotions that go into this change. I’m ready now, I think, but even if I’m not, it’s time to share: I’ve accepted a teaching position with Alachua County Public Schools and won’t be returning to Westwood Hills in the fall.

This was actually a really tough decision to make. I have great coworkers at WHCS and I adore my students. (Yes, I realize I wouldn’t have the same kids in the fall since I wouldn’t be switching grades. There’s a huge difference, though, between seeing a child every day in morning assembly and possibly never seeing them again. I’m allowed to be sad about this.) SBAC is a better opportunity for my teaching career and the bottom line is, it’s where I think I’m supposed to be.

As strange as this may sound, thank you to all of the people (students, coworkers, and parents) who made this decision hard. You are what is good about WHCS, and what I will miss. And thank you to all of the people who love me enough to pray for me and listen to me lament making the decision that is right for me. I appreciate you. A lot.

With hope,

Peach Pie

I am not a morning person. At all. Given the opportunity, I would sleep until 11 am daily and feel absolutely no shame about it. The bedroom I picked in my house, however, makes that pretty much impossible, as the sun streams through the slats in the blinds every morning and heats the room up 5 degrees hotter than anywhere else in the house. When you live in Florida, an extra 5 degrees makes a big difference. Especially if you’re too cheap to turn down the AC.

Most of the baking I do happens in the afternoon or early evening. For example, tonight I made a peach pie for our 4th of July dessert and games celebration that we are (hopefully) having at my sister’s tomorrow night. (I realize that it’s after midnight as I’m writing this, but “tomorrow” is still the 4th to me, regardless of what the posting’s timestamp says.) While processing the pie crust I realized that if I ever do open a bakery, it would either need to be open in the afternoons and evenings or I’d have to find a morning baker. I have no problem being up at 7, but having fresh muffins and other pastries ready to go at 7 am would mean I’d need to be up around 4 am. That just isn’t happening. But, that’s a problem that I can deal with in the future because for now, I am too excited about teaching to give it up. [On a related note, to the new followers of this blog who subscribe for the recipes, the next entry or two will most likely not be related to baking as this blog is my “everything” blog, not specific to any one select type of post. Feel free to read it, but I wouldn’t be offended if you scrolled past it :).]

I’m still not 100% sure why I decided to make a peach pie. I’ve never made one before and I had to learn a lot of new things to make it work (how to ripen peaches more quickly, blanching peaches to peel the skin off easier, etc) but it’s an experiment that people will hopefully enjoy eating!

Peach Pie

for the crust:
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp shortening
3 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1 pinch salt
3 tbsp ice-cold water

for the filling:
8 fresh peaches, peel, pitted and sliced
3/4 c sugar
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon

for the topping:
1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
1 c quick oats
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c flour

1. Grease one 9-inch pie pan. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, shortening, butter and salt until chunky. Add water and combine until it’s one big ball in the processor. Roll dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter and place into prepared pie pan. Place pan into refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. To make the filling, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon into a small bowl. Put the peaches into a large bowl and carefully stir the sugar mixture in, coating the fruit. Do not overmix as this will add a LOT of extra liquid (I’ve learned that the hard way with other fruit pies). Carefully pour mixture into the pie pan.
4. To make the topping, cream butter and sugar together, then add in the flour and oats until just combined. You want the mixture to be a bit crumbly. Crumble topping over fruit.
5. Bake for between 50-60 minutes, turning half way through the baking time, until the topping is golden brown.