Our church had its annual Summerfest this past Sunday. What perfect weather to wander around the church yard talking with friends and eating cheeseburgers slathered in cooked onions. When we were first married, Mark and I would help fry up burgers and made it a point to push the cheeseburgers. (Always promoting!) We’ve stepped aside for the next generation to have fun behind the hot grills and have moved onto playing games.
One of the favorite games on the grounds is the cake walk. You buy paint sticks with four numbers on them. Once all the sticks are sold, then the ladies spin the wheel to see who wins. Sometimes Mark and the kids have come home with a few new treats to eat after chores. Fortunately for me, the ladies who run the game are open to other homemade treats as prizes. Since I’m not very good at making pretty cakes, I bring in homemade pies. I noticed one of my lemon meringue pies going home with someone who was a winner. Here are recipes for two of the pies I took in this year.  
I’m heading down to Illinois for a peach run. I ordered four lugs of peaches from my sister. I’ll also make it home for a family wedding and will meet my new great niece who shares my middle name. Once we get back home, it will be canning time for peaches and sweet corn. Never a dull moment on the farm or in the kitchen.

Natalie’s pie crust
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold butter, chopped into chunks
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
Add vinegar to milk and put in refrigerator until ready to use. Combine flour, salt and sugar. Cut shortening into flour. Cut butter chunks into flour mixture until it is pea-sized. Add milk-vinegar mixture. Stir together until combined. Mold into two balls of dough. Roll out between two sheets of wax paper with extra flour sprinkled on paper. Line pie pan with crust. Place pie pan and dough in refrigerator or freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm up. Add filling into pie shell. Top with second crust. Cut air vents in top crust. Wash top crust with water and sprinkle with sugar. The sugar will dissolve in the water and bakes up to a crispy, sweet top.

Amy’s peach pie filling
Double pie crust
6 cups sliced peaches with lemon juice to prevent browning
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, chunked
Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon together. Pour over sliced peaches and stir until combined. Pour into pie shell. Place butter chunks around pie. Top with second crust. Cut air vents in top crust. Brush top crust with water and sprinkle sugar on top. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn down heat to 350 degrees and continue baking another 15-25 minutes until crust is light brown and juice bubbles through the air vents.



Maple pecan pie
Single pie crust
3 eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Beat eggs until combined. Add sugar. Mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pie crust. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake an additional 30-35 minutes until filling is just set, it will still jiggle a bit. *Warm up filling in microwave. This helps the filling to set quicker.



Blueberry peach jam
4 pounds ripe peaches
1 quart blueberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tablespoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon whole allspice
Peel, pit and chop peaches, 4 cups worth. Wash blueberries. In heavy saucepan, add fruit, lemon juice and water. Simmer, covered, until fruit is soft (10 minutes). Tie spice in cheesecloth bag. Add bag and sugar to fruit. Bring mixture to quick boil. Boil rapidly, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 8-10 degrees above boiling point. Remove immediately from heat. Remove spice bag. Skim off scum. Pour into hot jars. Process 10 minutes in hot water bath.

Old-fashioned peach jam
7 cups peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups sugar
Coat peaches with lemon juice. Sprinkle sugar over peaches; do not stir. Sit at room temperature 1-2 hours. Pour peaches into heavy pan. Bring to vigorous boil. Mash down peaches. Stir with wooden spoon until peaches cook down (25-30 minutes). Pour into hot jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Put in hot water bath 10 minutes.
    As their four children pursue dairy careers off the family farm, Natalie and Mark are starting a new adventure of milking registered Holsteins just because they like good cows on their farm north of Rice, Minnesota.