15 September 2008

The great pie disaster

“How was my weekend?” you ask. “Terrible!” I answer. What else is a girl to say when she has devoted almost two entire days to baking apple pies?!? It seems that the “magical” pie-baking memories of my youth were merely a figment of my imagination, or a dreamt up illusion brought on by too much sugar. Let’s just say that my own pie adventure was seriously lacking that cozy-time, good feeling, happy vibes, “magic”.

Where did it all go wrong? Perhaps it was my stupid decision to try mass producing pies in the first place, or perhaps it was my overambitious attempt to try making my own dough from scratch using a new recipe that I found. Rather than meeting my eight-pie goal, I spent an entire day (13 hours) fighting with dough and a myriad of other problems, only to end up with 4 pies…two of which I would actually consider “presentable”.

The fun started on Saturday when hubby and I headed out to Cannamore Orchards to handpick roughly 50 McIntosh apples. It was a fun experience (a first for hubs) but our joy was overshadowed by the fact that we heard another couple discussing the fact that the McIntosh apples were not ready to pick yet….right after we finished bagging our 50th apple! We weren’t about to drop the apples on the ground, so we bought them anyways. From my knowledge, September is McIntosh season and they looked okay to me. We decided to stick with out gut instinct and hoped for the best (praying the whole way home that the other lady had lost her marbles). Either way I spent the entire ride home wondering whether I just wasted $20 on a bag of sour apples. Thankfully, they were just fine!

On Sunday, the baking spree started off at 8:00 a.m. After three hours of making 16 balls of pie dough (never again!) and subsequently making it look like a flour bomb went off in the freshly cleaned kitchen (sorry hubby!), I encountered my first pie-related accident. As I was washing up, I forgot that I had placed our new butcher’s knife in the sink. I slipped my hand in the soapy water and you can guess how it all unfolded after that. As I tended to my bleeding hand, hubby took over the mess cleanup. Unfortunately, the fun did not stop there. It seems that “disaster” was to become the common theme of day. Just as my finger finally stopped bleeding, hubby accidentally dropped one of our dinner plates on the floor, right next to my bare feet…once again, you can guess how that went. I sat on the floor and held my toe until it stopped bleeding, while hubby cleared up “bloody mess #2”. The icing on the cake (get ready for it), finally came when our first pie bubbled over on the sides and oozed onto the bottom of our oven, causing smoke to billow out of the over. Hubby had to rush to shut off our “very sensitive” fire alarms, and move the frightened guinea pigs, as the entire house filled with smoke. Choking and spluttering, we took the pie out and shut the oven off.

All day it seemed as though my pies were destined to fail. We had to wait for the oven to cool before removing and washing the drip guard. Once everything was back in place, we were fortunately smart enough to bake the remaining three pies that I had managed to assemble with a foil pan underneath to catch any drippings. In the end, bruised and battered, I had four questionable-looking pies and what seems like an endless supply of damn apples. We sampled one of the pies with our dinner and I’m happy to report that that is tastes awesome (a small victory), but it certainly looks disastrous.

Guess what I did with my remaining pie dough? I chucked the damn stuff and pleaded insanity.

When I spoke to mom on the phone that evening I asked her, “Why the hell did the pie tradition seem like so much fun when I was little.” It seems I forgot one key component of the ritual…it was “magical” because mom never troubled herself with making dough – she bought the premade disks from the local bakery. Gahhhhhhhhhh!

“Don’t worry little one,” Mom gleefully chirped, “You’ll learn in time!” Once again, dear readers, it seems as though I have quite literally bitten off more than I can chew…

1 comment:

F3rret said...

The flour soaked up most of the blood from your finger and toe, so very little mad it into the pies.