Maria Bakes Peach Cookies

Maybe you’ve been to a celebration and seen the fancy cookies that look exactly like a peach?

Meet Maria Costa.  If you live in Pittsburgh and need alterations on just about any fabric or piece clothing,upholstery or some throw pillows to match your couch, Maria is a seamstress.

But on Thursday she was baking peach cookies for her grandson’s First Holy Communion.

The first step.  Another day she’ll be cooking a vanilla pudding and filling the two halves of a ” peach”,  “gluing” them together with a finger of the filling spread on the bottoms and rolling the joined cookies in Peach Schnapps and then granulated sugar. She might add a leaf or two but no pretend stem as someone once choked on one. (Survived)

I was picking up my friend Barb to go to the art store and she asked if I could pick her up at Maria’s home instead of her house. I thought I was just picking her up.  Turns out Barb and Maria been baking all morning and Barb was taking good notes.  I was thrilled to smell the tempting baking aroma and see part of the process of the baking of the peach cookies.

They’d spent the morning baking. The dough used fifteen eggs as she thought they were on the small side but the recipe calls for a dozen!

I saw the giant wooden spoon she used to make the stiff dough. Mixers have been broken previously.

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Another day Maria will cook the filling and put the two hard halves of the peach together.  Roll them in Peach Schnappes( a hint of rosy food coloring added) and then confectioner’s sugar.  Each “peach” will rest in a pretty pleated cupcake paper on a platter.

Maria showed us the seedlings starting in her backyard garden.  Her fig tree.

Maria pointed out the province where she’s from- Calabria- Vibo Valentia   Italy

I hope I get invited with my friend to see the rest of the process in making the fancy peach cookies.  It was really nice to be welcomed into her kitchen.  The heart of her home.

Atop the Stump at the Farm etc.

And a few other pics for the second ATOP gallery.

  I was talking with my friend today and said I don’t think I use the word atop in my everyday vocabulary.  But I seem to have a few photos from the archives that illustrate it.

At Chuck and Sharon’s farm in Crestline, OH

grandkids atop roofGrandkids atop the playhouse in the backyard, a few years ago.

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People ready to scream atop Phantom’s Revenge at Kennywood

apple atop student

A former student posting for the nutritional food postersduquesne incline

Duquesne Incline atop Mt. Washington Pittsburgh PA

IMG_9134Lawn ball atop stand in Joan’s Garden

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Wonder Bread sign in Columbus OH

xmas tree atop fenceChristmas Tree atop fence post on Arlington Avenue

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St. Mary of the Mount atop Mt. Washington Pittsburgh

Cauliflower Chysanthemums

My friend, blog follower and frequent commenter, Sue R, told me she saw some Chrysanthemums that looked like Cauliflower.   I said, WHERE?

She couldn’t remember exactly but I know she sent me here somehow.  I found them.

There they were right on a front lawn.  I couldn’t believe it. Thanks Sue!

cauliflower-mumsand I did get out of the car for the second shot.  Are these the ones you were referring to. Sue?

 

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Backyard Color Amidst the Weeds

Ailanthus and asters amongst the weeds.

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In fact the tree is a weed tree.

The asters pushed up and survived despite neglect. As the sun was setting the colors called to me through the kitchen window and I went out and caught them. img_0907

 

What I’ll long for, come winter

In February,  I’ll be filled with Nostalgia for a vine ripened summer tomato. You can taste the sun. A little salt and freshly ground pepper bring out the flavor.

My sister bought this one at the Union Square market today. Booths were filled with pumpkins, gourds and jugs of apple cider.

There’s no replacement for a summer tomato.

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