Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Who needs pie, anyway?

Tomorrow is my husband's birthday. He once suggested that I make a pie (like, over a year ago.) I assured him that one day I would. I decided this was the perfect occasion. Mind you, I have never made a pie before. What self respecting housewife doesn't know how to make a pie?

My mom gave me the recipe that everyone in her family uses. A, B, C and D ingredients, mix together, refrigerate 10 minutes, roll out. That's all it said. Easy enough, no? So I put everything into my kitchenaid and let it run. The result looked like someone smashed a whole box of soda crackers and put it in my mixer. I refrigerated it, and waited for either my mom or Nanny to answer their phones. Nanny answered first. "Oh, no, you can't do it THAT way." She advised me to start over. Attempt #1 went into the trash.

I followed her directions on the second attempt... only I mistakenly added too much water. And I'm not quite ready to talk about how I nearly set a whole carton of soda on fire. Needless to say, I was frustrated. Attempt #2 went into the trash. It was about this point when I started crying. No, no, not crying. Bawling, I think, is the word. I used the nearest tea towel to mop up my tears, and continued. The third time through, I had pie crust dough. I put it in the fridge for a few minutes.

[The whole time I was doing this, Chloe was BEGGING to help me. I don't think I've ever baked anything with her home and not helping me. I finally snapped at her to go watch TV. :o\ She came back in a few minutes later and said "You're having a hard time, aren't you mom?" I said, "Yes, honey, I am, I'm sorry I snapped at you but this pie is frustrating me." At this point I was just putting the bowl with the pie dough in the fridge. "Mom, you can't make a pie in a bowl. Put it in a pie plate, and then it will be a pie. That'll fix it. I promise."

:o) Aren't kids great? Just when you want to strangle them, they say something sweet and cute like that.]

"The rolling out is the easy part" my mother says. Just roll it between wax paper, peel one side off, put it in the pan, and pull the other side off. Great. I tried it. It didn't go so well. I scraped it all out of the pie plate, and started over. Nanny called to check on me. "Don't roll out the dough any more than you need to or it won't be flaky. The less you handle it, the better." Great, thanks for telling me, as I roll out the dough for the second time.

I put it on the pan. It doesn't go any better, but now I'm terrified to do it all a third time, so I use extra bits of dough and patch all the little cracks and holes, trying to make it look like pie crust. Good enough, whatever.

So I put in the pie filling (which I canned myself, last fall) and then it's time to do the top layer of crust. Actually, that part went well. It was the only part of the whole damn pie that did. I put it in the oven. No one could suggest a length of time to bake it. "Till it gets golden brown on top" they said. Half an hour went by. 45 minutes... at 55 minute I took it out. The edges are brown, the middle looks anemic. Awesome.

I hope my husband appreciates the effort. If it tastes awful, at least we have some vanilla ice cream in the freezer. He can have that for his birthday dessert.


And to add insult to injury, this is what I saw when I looked out my kitchen window while my stupid pie was baking:

That's my peach tree. :'( The one with the two cute little peaches. The awful wind we had today blew it right over, broke it in half. I'm really, really sad about that. I was really looking forward to watching that little tree grow.

I'm not even gonna start on what an idiot my little brother is, that's a whole 'nother blog in itself. Oy.

I know I said I'm not a hot bath kind of girl, but I need a bath, a glass of wine, and some peace and quiet. Hmm. Maybe a bottle of wine would be better...


Deb said...

Julie, next time, go to the refrigerated section of the grocery store and buy the ready made pie crust, Pillsbury is the best.... I made my own homemade crusts for years, but finally decided that the store bought ones tasted just fine. Except for a pate' brisee.... that's gotta be homemade and is the EASIEST crust in the world to make. I whip it up in the food processor.... it's so easy and completely foolproof. And next time, put flour on the wax paper before you roll out the shells... LOLOL Your story made me laugh.


Oh, and what is wrong with the type of music that 50 year olds listen to???? Huh???

Apryl said...

WOO-HOO!!!!!!! Not to sound mean at all, but since you are like a domestic goddess, and I often wish I was, I am thrilled to know there is one homemakey type thing I am better at! I can make a pretty kick ass pie crust. Although I attribute a lot of it to the roller I have always used. My mom's. It is actually well over a hundred years old, and has been passed through generations of my family. I truly believe that this roller is magic, as anything it has ever rolled out (as far as I remember) has been great. It doesn't look like much to the naked eye, but it is.