I’ve got pie on the brain. I haven’t baked one since last Thanksgiving, and lately the only thing I’ve been mixing up are chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, but all summer, I can’t stop thinking about pie.
For one thing, a (do I say former since I graduated?) classmate’s amazing award-winning story, Pie Girl, didn’t help.
Then another friend wrote about baking three pies and the hard work of writing–though I mostly drooled over those pies, while another friend started a Twitter war about (not) eating pie a la mode. (For the record, I’m not really a fan of eating ice cream with my pie. The warm crust just melts the ice cream and then you have a sloppy, creamy sludge all over your delicious slice.)
Before that, a high school friend shared a recipe for her husband’s favorite apple custard pie, which I instantly wanted to bake but then despaired over having to buy an entire bottle of rum for a single tablespoon. Is it weird that we don’t have any hard liquor in the house? Speaking of which, liquor companies should really sell tablespoon sized bottles of their alcohol specifically for cooking. I know I could have just walked down to the liquor mart to buy one of their miniature bottles, but the thought of marching in with a three month old baby strapped to my chest and demanding a tiny bottle of rum from their locked glass cabinet sounded like a bad idea. (On the other hand, those miniature bottles are SO ADORABLE. Someone throw a miniature cocktail party so I can stock a miniature bar with these little bottles, complete with miniature martini glasses.)
So guess what happened?
I baked a pie. Just a boring, normal, all-American, all-butter, brown sugar apple pie using the fruits of my uncle-in-law’s labor (or his gardener) that my psychic mother-in-law dropped off yesterday. Not only that, but I also managed to bake this boring pie while dealing with a three month old. It only took me two naps, one feeding, one fit of shrieking (because someone is learning how to use her vocal cords), one foot on her bouncy chair while I peeled, cored and sliced the apples as fast as I could, and one Ergo carrier to get this done. Phew. Where’s my Nobel Peace Price?
PS. Can we talk about how much I love seeing how other people’s homemade pie crusts turn out? It has to be some reflection of the baker’s personality. Are they a perfectionist with uniform and impeccable borders? Did they prefer upright ridges along the edge or soft curves molded from their knuckles? Why do some use forks and others use their fingers to pinch their crusts? Maybe they don’t even think about the shape because it’s all about the filling?
Or do they attempt to cover up their personal insecurities and boredom by using a heart-shape cookie cutter to create a weird lopsided pattern that doesn’t quite turn out as cool looking as they’d originally hoped for a top crust?
Some people read crystal balls. Others read tea leaves. I would like to read pie crusts.