Sunday, September 11, 2011

Easy As Pie? Ha!

I think whoever coined the casual phrase "Easy as pie" never made one. I don't know what made me think I could make a successful pie when I have always had trouble with them, and this weekend was no exception. Yet somehow I had the moxy to try, and discovered that whoever coined "All is well that ends well" may have been onto something.

Jeff bought about 10 pounds of perfectly ripe peaches from the farmer's market that were so juicy and sweet that they begged to be nestled in the center of a delicious pie; and since I've been craving my mom's peach pie I thought I would try to make a few and share them with the family. Jeff's parents and my mom and Ron have been so generous with their time and effort lately that I wanted to do something nice in return for them--and what better way than to bake them a fresh pie. A good idea in theory, but knowing my history of failed crusts I should have been prepared for pie failure. Always the optimist however, I gathered my ingredients and dug out mom's recipe from my tome of recipes. Then I enjoyed a sweet-smelling kitchen as I peeled the juicy sweet fruit as I recalled that odd song by The Presidents of The United States: "Movin' to the country gonna eat a lotta peach-es..." But, I digress.

Then came time to make the crust. When it comes to pie, simple is always best; better to stick with the tried and true recipe. I made the filling with no trouble whatsoever. It's the crust I always mess up, and I get way too frustrated. I love pie. I hate pie crust. Not the flavor, but the making of it. I cook successful meals all the time--very complicated meals that I either invent myself or find on The Food Network. I can hold my own in a kitchen, and I'm confident in my culinary abilities. Why the heck can't I make a dang 4 ingredient crust? Martha Stewart makes it look so easy.

Inevitably my crusts fall apart. Every. Single. Time. No matter what I do. I've tried all sorts of things to change my pie fail destiny. I adjust ingredients, change how I handle it, but nothing works. I roll out the dough and it either sticks to the rolling pin or comes apart. And if I do manage to roll out some form of misshapen wanna-be-circular pie-shaped crust, getting it into the pie plate is a feat David Copperfield couldn't pull off. Well, he probably could. But me? Nope.

It takes me multiple attempts to make anything worth putting into my preheated 425 degree oven, which pleases Comet because he gets the dough that I crumple into a sad heap to the tune of curse words and utensils hurled angrily on the counter. Yeah. I take my pie seriously. I'm a sweet thing until pie crust pisses me off.

Anyway, after much ado and the annoyance of dough still caked under my fingernails and a kitchen antiqued by haphazard flour and cinnamon, I made 3 pies. Ugly pies, but very tasty. Never as yummy as mom's, but nothing ever is. Moms across the world have this secret that makes any and all food taste better than anyone else makes, and they're not sharin' it.

The pies? I delivered them and they were enjoyed by all. These may be the tastiest pies I've ever made. Even the crust was delicious and flakey. It just goes to show you that it's what's on the inside that counts. Jeff and I enjoyed ours fresh from the oven--and even better--we enjoyed it a la mode.

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