paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
I've been making pie.

Over the summer, I tackled a pie project with the home-grown tart cherries from my parents' yard and rhubarb from my yard. I tried twice, and both times resulted in gorgeously photographic products with tasty filling with crust you could chip a tooth on. It also resulted in compromised sleep, because in my mind, it makes sense to begin pie projects after all the kids are down, which is nine o'clock or so.

Yesterday I began yet another pie project, this one involving Bartlett pears from my sister's bounty. I had a recipe for pear pie I saved from a magazine some 14 years ago and never actually made, so it seemed reasonable to embark on that project after the kids went down. I actually planned ahead enough that I had almost all the ingredients handy, even 4 tablespoons of brandy I lifted off my dad when I was visiting earlier that day. No vanilla bean, but extract suffices. Who keeps vanilla bean anyway? And no lemon zest, but a dab of lemon juice was good enough.

The project resulted in a fair amount of frustration when it came to rolling out the crust dough. Yes, it was imperative that I make crust from scratch. It was a combination of too wet and too crumbly. I was using some rather foul language for me, and my oldest son decided he'd stay up and lend moral support. I ended up having to roll, scrap, and roll once more for every one of the four crusts, which irked me because I was trying so hard not to over-handle the dough and make the crust tough.

The award-winning recipe said to cover the crusts with foil 30 minutes into baking, but somebody tell me how you wrap foil around hot-as-hell crusts in the door of a 400 degree oven. I gave up on that and told everyone on Facebook "I hate pie" several times over.

In the end, the pies turned out well. They were tasty, fruity goodness with flaky, crumbly crusts that did not become overly brown. I made my husband pose with a pie for Facebook, and I brought one pie to work to share with work people.

One such person, a fellow nurse, asked why I was so intent on making pie since it seemed a source of aggravation and stress. And ever since then, I've been thinking. Why? Why do I keep making pie?

I don't know. Maybe it's just a challenge, like playing Mahjong. I just wanted to see if I could do it, and do it well. I wanted to overcome the hassles, just to have bragging rights for a day. Or maybe I'm just looking for something I can sink my energy into, something manageable and tangible to accomplish, to make me feel like something out there is attainable and finite. The reward is so beautiful. You make a successful pie, and for a day your kids think you're a baking goddess. And you get to eat something you made yourself, which makes it taste just a little bit better.

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paulak_rumin8: Austin and speck (Default)
paulak_rumin8

July 2017

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