When life gets rough, I bake. Or clean house, or work in the garden, or go for a walk.
I need that kind of therapy. Lying down is maybe a one or two day thing tops, after that, I need to putter even if I feel really bad. If I can’t putter, life is dismal. I cannot curl up in a ball and be miserable.
After a couple of weeks of feeling terrible, all I could think about was pie. So a few days ago, I made these fabulous Peach Hand Pies and an Apple Galette. I say if you’re going to do it, go BIG.
Remember my broken tooth the dentist supposedly fixed? Well, I was in pain for several days after he fixed it, so I put a call in to find out that he was on vacation for 10 days. On the last day of his vacation, his receptionist forwarded me to their “favorite endodontist”. An endodontist specializes in root canals. Evidently my dentist doesn’t do root canals anymore because they make his hands hurt. A tip for you: Anything with the word Specialist = $$$$.
After making the appointment the endontist’s receptionist told me that it would be a minimum of $250.00… just for them to tell me what’s wrong with the tooth. If I chose to venture out from there and get a root canal, that would be a minimum of $1,500.00 possibly up to $1,750.00. And of course, “your insurance only pays 30% so we ask you to pay $1250.00 up front”. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include the crown that I will have to have made to go over that tooth after the root canal. I then need to go back to a regular dentist and pay another minimum $700.00 for the crown because according to the receptionsist, “we don’t do crowns here”. $2,200.00 minimum for one tooth. Considering the cost of dental care, it’s amazing to me that we aren’t a completely toothless nation.
Of course after being in major pain and living on a diet of ibuprofen for two weeks, there was really no other choice but to get the dreaded root canal. Three hours later, with Novocaine that is laced with adrenaline “so it will work faster and longer”, it was finally done. I dare you to relax during a root canal when they’ve laced your numbing stuff with adrenaline. I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. When the gal came in to check on me and asked how I was doing I said, “Well, fine I guess, but my heart is pounding out of my chest and my hands are shaking.” She said, “Oh yeah, that’s the adrenaline in the shots she gave you.”
On the positive side, she was very good about making sure I felt nothing. She tested my tooth throughout the beginning of the process with a cold procedure to make sure I was sufficiently numb.
After my appointment I had my son drive me up to a specialty store so I could buy soup that I wasn’t allergic to from their deli. Then I went home, ate, and went to bed relieved that I would no longer be in pain. The next morning…I woke up with a jaw infection. I had a lump on my jaw and my face was swollen and in pain all the way up to my ear. What luck, huh?
They put me on a strong antibiotic for 7 days which took all of the seven days to take care of the infection and pain. On the heels of that, our son ended up with a terrible cold and flu and needed mom to take care of him. He came over and planted himself on my couch ready and waiting for me to cure him. If he does that, I know he’s very sick. And let’s be honest, he’s 23 and hasn’t let me mother him in a long time, so while I felt bad for him, I gave myself a high 5 for still being the one he comes to when he’s miserable.
On the heels of that… we helped him move into his new apartment even though he was still feeling pretty sick. And in the midst of that….I of course caught his cold and flu.
Two weeks ago I was bragging to my doctor that “I never get colds! I haven’t had a cold in at least 10 years!”
Now, the cold is lingering and the tax on my immune system is causing a Lyme flare. To make matters worse, I woke up with a hideous cold sore on my lip.
My husband now has the sickness. On top of that, we both have some kind of weird muscle spasm and pinched nerve thing going on in our hip and back. Which translates into, “You’re OLD now.”
But we have pie.
At this point, I’m just trying to focus on the positives:
We have pie. We aren’t dead. We have pie. My tooth no longer hurts. We have pie.
We’re going away for the weekend to get some much needed R & R if we can fix the back pain thing.
Oh, and we have pie.
See you next week!
Peach Hand Pies
For the crust:
(This recipe makes 4 discs, you will need 2 discs for the hand pies)
5 – 5 1/2 cups Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, plus more for rolling
4 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1 Tbsp. Sea Salt
1 1/2 Tbsps. of Coconut Sugar (if I’m using this for a savory recipe, I only add 1 Tbsp. of sugar)
1 lb. of Spectrum Shortening, I weigh mine on a kitchen scale
1 Egg (beaten with fork in measuring cup and then filled to 1 cup with water)
Place 5 cups of Mama’s Almond Flour in large bowl. I use the spoon in cup method and level with a knife. Add salt, sugar, xanthan gum, whisk to combine. Next scoop 1 lb of the shortening onto flour mixture. I know it sounds like a crazy amount, don’t freak out! Remember, this recipe makes 4 large pie crusts. Work the shortening into dough with your hands, sifting through your fingers until the shortening is somewhat combined and the flour resembles loose small pea size (about) pieces. (For pictures to reference on what the dough should look like, see the Apple Galette recipe.)
Next, whisk 1 egg in a measuring cup and fill to 1 cup with water. Add the egg and water in a well in the center of mixture. Work together with a fork just until mixed. Scoop out onto floured parchment paper. Work it a little, not too much!! (you may need a bit more flour) to form it into a log.
Then cut it into four even sections. After it’s cut I put each section into a ziplock bag and flatten into a disc. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before rolling.
For The Filling:
*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line one baking sheet with parchment paper
(2 discs of dough make roughly 6 large hand pies – depending on the size of your cutter)
3 Very Ripe Peaches, peeled and sliced, then cubed
Juice of Half a Lemon
About 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Sugar
About 1 Tablespoon of Flour
(For the glaze you will need powdered sugar, dairy free butter, almond extract, and a little water)
Toss ingredients and set aside. Flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll dough out. I used a fluted cutter roughly the size of my palm. Place 6 “bottoms” on the parchment lined baking sheet and flatten out and enlarge a bit more slightly with your fingertips. Place about 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons of peaches in the middle. Next, roll out more dough and cut the tops. Remove the extra dough from around them and enlarge them a little by flattening them out more with your fingertips. With a finger dipped in water, wet the edge of the bottom crust. Then, with a floured spatula, place each “top” over the peaches and press around. Press edges with a for and slit the tops with a sharp knife.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Once the Peach Hand Pies have cooled, put one dollop of glaze on top of each one allowing it to run down the sides (it should be medium thick). Wait 10 minutes and drizzle the tops with glaze in a back and forth motion.