“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
~ Julia Child
We celebrated my dad’s birthday last night. One thing I know my dad likes is pie and since my Bountiful Basket was full of Granny Smiths, I decided an apple pie was in order. Whenever I think of pie I think of my grandma Donna, she always seemed to have a pie in her freezer, and that is all I remember having when we celebrated Christmas or Thanksgiving with her. She always made an apple, sometimes peach, pumpkin and then there was the mince meat. I have not yet even bothered to try the mince meat because I really don’t believe meat belongs in pie unless it has the word “pot’ in front of it. Perhaps someday when nostalgia takes over and I can stomach it, I’ll attempt a mince meat as well.
Now, I need to tell you something…I am NOT a good cook or baker.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy it and for the most part things turn out tasting great. It is in the process where things get messy. My sweet sister-in-law has a gift where she can get a bunch of ingredients and whip up A-MAZING dishes, like sauteed shrimp tacos with sauteed kale and a tangy yogurt sauce or miniature blackberry cobblers for all of her son’s classmates at school. And she does it ALL from her head, basically she just puts things together that she thinks would taste good and she’s always right. I, on the other hand, most definitely need a recipe(or two) and I must measure EVERYTHING out. Here is what today looked like:
1. Thinking I have everything I need on hand for the pie, I head to the grocery store to buy a couple of other essentials. Passing by a stack of sugar on display I am reminded that I think I am low on flour and decide to grab a bag.
2. Much to my chagrin, I realize it was sugar not flour that I was out of as I unpacked the groceries. So I consult the recipes (yes I am using two, one for crust, one for filling) to see exactly how much sugar is needed , at a quick glance it looks like just a few tablespoons…I got a few tablespoons.
3. I put Mia down for a nap and get ready, which means I have the crust recipe on the computer, the filling recipe on the kindle, and the kitchen aid mixer manual open to another crust recipe. I also had to jump to a YouTube video on making crust because my wasn’t getting to a pea sized consistency in the 35-45 sec. suggested.
4. I have heard it takes years to perfect pie crust and I am no exception. It was like making a pinch pot, but I was able to fill in enough holes to get the bottom layer in the pan.
5. As I am cutting and peeling apples, I realize that I probably won’t have time to get the pie baked before I need to get Bailey, that’s okay, I’ll stick it in the fridge.
6. Somehow the recipe for the filling now says 3/4 cup of sugar PLUS 1 Tablespoon. I don’t have 3/4 cup. I blame the devil.
7. Put apples and top crust dough in the fridge.
8. Do some cleaning before going to get Bailey and now sugar.
9. Finish pie filling, and surprisingly the top crust goes on fairly well.
10. Brush on the egg wash with a spoon and paper towel because I have a toddler that steals my stuff.
It’s exhausting I know. Oddly this is how it goes almost every time I enter the kitchen and I am so used to it that today I didn’t even curse. Nate is always on me about making things easy, and I try and heed his advice. But to me this is the fun stuff. I really believe people can taste the love when you make something homemade and my dad is surely worth it.
She won’t win a beauty contest, and I have a lot of work ahead of me to get to Grandma D’s level, but she turned out to be very tasty.
** When trying to find the exact wording for my Julia Child’s quote I ran across this one, “I think every woman should have a blowtorch.” That woman was a treasure.