By Maggie Grady
from Plum Deadly
By Ellie Grant
Summer at Pie in the sky is slower. Duke University is out and the population of Durham, North Carolina shrinks. We don't have students crowding in for reduced-price pie to make ends meet or to study for hours.
That's okay. I'm enjoying the break, as I'm sure they are.
Normally, my Aunt Clara's pie shop, which is right off campus, is so busy we can hardly see straight. We're here at 5:30 am, Monday through Friday, and dragging out at 6 pm. We go through gallons of coffee and dozens of pies each day. It feels like someone is always spilling pie or coffee, or both, on the floor and tables. It's all I can do to give everything a good clean between rushes!
We still have firemen and police officers who come in each day. There are plenty of other locals too. Our revenues are down but not too much. We'll be fine for the summer.
So I'm not worrying about how risky it is to be in business for yourself, especially in this economy. My aunt and uncle ran this pie shop for forty years and managed to make money. They didn't use spread sheets like I do, but they kept going anyway. I'm not sure how they knew what they were doing. It was kind of like the 'think' system from Music Man.
Aunt Clara and I are making peach pies today, with fresh peaches from South Carolina. A friend of hers brought us a huge basket of them - plenty to eat and to make pies.
"You're overworking that crust, Maggie."
That's Aunt Clara. She's a stickler for flaky pie crust. I'm still amazed I can make pie crust at all! I thought the cooking gene that ran through my family had skipped me. Until I came home from New York - that's another story.
Anyway, here is our recipe for fresh peach pie. Stop in for a free cup of coffee next time you're in Durham!