Friday, June 22, 2012

I want an apple pie!

The problem with watching cooking shows or shows that in any way relate to cooking is that they can make you hungry.


Case in point, while watching a recent episode of Masterchef, Zeus turns to me and states, "I WANT an apple pie.  Why don't you make apple pies anymore?"


There is a reason I don't bake anything sweet anymore. It has to do with that feisty old scale. If it would just show me a number I could be happy with I would throw on my apron and start churning out homemade goodies again. But since the scale and I seem to be far away from agreeing on a number, that apron needs to stay in the drawer.


I did relent to his plea for an apple pie. Mostly, because I was scheduled to pick up Miss Riley from daycare and feed her dinner. I decided that a trip to the market to buy apples to bake a pie for Grandpa was in order.


She was happy to go to the market.  Even happier when she found out she could push a small grocery cart, her size, around the store. We headed for the fruit and vegetable isle. 


I thought this would be an easy trip.  Little did I know I had the future Julia Child with me. 


We stood before the apples and she reached for the Galas. I suggested that she get some McIntosh instead. She told me she liked the red Gala apples.  I suggested that since the McIntosh were red also that we consider putting four of them in a bag. She said no.


A woman standing behind me muttered, "Unbelievable."


I suggested that McIntosh were better baking apples to mix with the green Granny Smith's we already had at home.  I watched her think about this. We were at a standstill.


I heard the woman mutter slightly louder, "I don't believe this."


"Ok, but I get to put them in the bag and count them" she said with a firm voice. 
"Fine", I said, glad to have moved on to the next order of business.


I could have given in but if you are going to learn how to bake your first apple pie, even at age three, you should learn how to do it right.


She was not happy with the fact that her cart only had a bag of apples in it.  She negotiated buying some tomatoes and a bag of cheese curds. Our market groupie stayed behind us, watching this interaction.


She insisted on unloading her cart for the cashier. She raced to the end of the counter to make sure that the bagger gave HER the bag to carry.


She involved herself in every aspect of the pie making that she was allowed. She counted apples, did addition and subtraction as I peeled and cut them up. She counted how many times I sliced a 1/4 piece of the apple, apparently 8 slices. 


I put the spices in her measuring cup and she dumped them on top of the sliced apples. She attempted to stir them and finally gave in to GrammyBea to do that job.
She helped roll out the pastry dough. Wanted to know why it had to go in the refrigerator. She piled the apple mixture in the rolled out dough. There was no stopping her.


She rolled out her own piece of left over dough and made the traditional cinnamon roll. She didn't want to roll it but insisted on pinching the edges together like we had done with the pie.  


It was a beautiful pie. Grandpa was happy. 
It was probably more runny than Gordon on MasterChef likes but it was delicious. 


My mother didn't bake. Frankly, she didn't like to cook and other than a basic grilled cheese and canned tomato soup with water, not milk she didn't have a large repertoire of meals.


When I stayed with my Grandmother I would watch her make pies. My grandparents had a Pennsylvania Dutch heritage and pie often showed up for breakfast.
I can remember coming down to breakfast to a hot slice of apple pie, in a bowl, with fresh cream poured over it.  Other kids had cereal and milk I had pie.


Whatever fruit was in season, whatever fruit she bought from the vendor that came down the street with his pushcart, she made pies or crumbles. 


She didn't stop with fruit, we had meat pies with potatoes and vegetables in them. We had mincemeat and molasses pies.


I love to make pies. I love to eat pies. The bottom line is I have very little control when it comes to my own baking. I can turn my nose up at store bought cookies but take a pan of my homemade ones out of the oven and look out. 


Because my scale will not seem to go down in the numbers I do not bake. I walk by the apple pie on the counter and mutter to myself that it's NOT my pie, it belongs to Zeus and Riley. It's the only way I can show any restraint.


When I turn 80 I will bake every day. I've decided at that point in my life I simply do not care about making the doctors happy.  I want a very clear memory of how good homemade chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies are.  Or how airy and light cream puffs are stuffed with homemade mint pudding. Oh my!


:)long suffering Bea

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