Assorted Observations After Baking My First Pie

Different things are hard for different people. For me, eating dessert is easy — too easy. Baking it is hard. I know a bunch of you will roll your eyes at me and tell me how easy it is to whip up a soufflé. I am jealous of you. The only exposure I had to baking as a child was when my grandma came to visit and let me lick the excess cookie dough out of the bowl. And it was not as much as I would have liked to lick, let me tell you. As I mentioned, eating dessert (baked or unbaked) comes naturally to me.

I understand why no one taught me to cook: well, neither of my parents know how to. But even if they did, I am huge klutz, not to be trusted with something like a KNIFE. Even now when I attempt to chop, my boyfriend gives me the nervous side eye, ready to swoop in and save me from myself should me spacial intelligence fail me (which it does often). I tell you all this just so that you’ll be even prouder of me when I inform you that I BAKED TWO PIES FROM SCRATCH this Thanksgiving. Both apple. One gluten-free, one regular. Made the crust from scratch and everything. Go ahead, you can clap now. CLAP! Or don’t. Roll your eyes. But this is my moment of glory. My moment of doing something that I find REALLY HARD. I will clap for you when you finish drywalling your ceiling, or whatever that impossible thing is on your to-do list.

Here’s what I learned from my two pies:

Peeling apples is really hard. Especially peeling 14 apples and cutting them into quarter inch slices. This requires some serious concentration, dedication and follow through. I’ve seen people do that thing where they have a slicing rhythm and it goes really fast and they can do that without cutting themselves. Who are you? Let me worship you. It wasn’t like that for me. I was sweating, anxious and discombobulated. My apple slices looked like shit. But I didn’t cut myself. Small victories.

Kneading dough is meditative. After you’ve knocked yourself out peeling, you get to go to a happy place an knead dough. It kind of feels like massaging a baby’s stomach. Delightful and trance-inspiring. I think I could do it for hours.

I finally understand that quote from “Mary Poppins” where she says something about pie crust promises being easily made and easily broken. Pie crust! Who knew it was so temperamental? If you don’t roll from the center, it’s thickness is uneven. If you overstuff the bottom layer, the top one tears. Imagine the most high maintenance boyfriend you’ve ever had and quadruple it and that’s how bitchy pie crust is.

Crimping, not to be confused with krumping (which I also love!), is an aggressive, hardcore, freestyle form of dance you do with a fork and a nearly finished pie.

The baking part is actually more fun than the eating part. I never thought I’d say this. I get why my grandma only let me lick the tiniest bit of cookie dough, because the measuring, peeling, rolling,whipping, crimping, mixing is actually the fun part. She understood that eating your creation once you’ve slaved over it is like, meh. You just want to know if it came out ok and then you’re like, OK. Cool. I’m too tired to eat an entire slice of pie. I need a nap.