Having grown up in rural Georgia, I found eating pie, especially peach pie, to be synonymous with love. I was proud of our peach crops and our “Peach State” designation – giving us summer after summer of the sweet and juicy delicacy. Our rich history of peaches dates back to the 1500s when they became available along Georgia’s coast. The first Georgia peaches were shipped to the New York market in the 1800s. Interestingly, they arrived into New York via wagon from Augusta, Georgia, and then by boat to Savannah, Georgia, and ultimately by steamship to “The Big Apple.”
Needless to say, there were no shortages of pies in households throughout the state. My home was no different. My mother perfected the art of making homemade peach pies. Every single move she made as she prepared the pies for our family was filled with love. She was so proud as she carefully filled the large bowl with the ingredients. She did not have a written recipe; it was all prepared from her head and heart. I would watch her preheat the oven and later place the pan inside to cook for about 45 minutes. The aroma of the pie cooking in the oven would permeate throughout our home. It was a feeling of warmth and belonging. My mother created this sensation from simply using her skills and her hands to make us believe that “love lived there.”
Mom has passed away and our home is not the same. Sure, she shared her recipe with me but I miss her in so many ways. It’s not the delicious taste of her pies; it’s her love that I miss. She gave love from her heart and her hands. Her pies are just one example of what a mother who happens to be from Georgia can do with one of the state’s finest resources for her loved ones; peel a peach and spread the love. And by-the-way, she topped it with ice cream…alamode.