The Role of Apple Pie

This morning, I was a pie-making virgin.

This is strange, considering that both sides of my family are self-proclaimed pie fiends. Every holiday, even the half-holidays (like Groundhog’s Day and Washington’s Birthday), there is a pie to officiate the occasion. G-ma B will make fresh blueberry pie, its raven tendrils of juice sprouting from the flaky mound. Grandmother Miller’s pecan pie is famous in the Amish circles of rural Indiana, which is saying something. Those Amish women don’t kid around when it comes to baking. Don’t forget sweet Aunt Debbie and her daughters who pop out fantastic pies as quickly as a well-oiled Krispy Cream machine. Even my father, the man who can only make Super Dad Dogs (hot dogs rolled in a piece of bread), makes a decent cherry pie.

So, after watching, testing, and filching hundreds of pies that passed me by on their journey to the oven, I woke up and knew it was my turn. Years of familial pie making couldn’t go wrong! I bought a fresh copy of Southern Living’s favorite desserts and jauntily headed to the grocery. My vigor for pie making wavered a bit when I spent too much on organic pie apples, but Southern Living’s bright pictures convinced to pick up the gauntlet once more.

My silly organic baking apples.

Really, the hardest part about making an apple pie is slicing all six pounds of expensive apples. That is, if you aren’t making the crust. G-ma B suggests purchasing the Pillsbury crusts; “just as tasty, and exponentially more simple”. I attempted a latticed top but failed, shrugged, and moved on. Stuck the pie in the oven (felt the usual heat wave wash over my face, fogging my glasses), set the timer, and wrote to my dear grandmama about my newest culinary adventure. When the timer dinged, the gloves went on and I went in to the boxing ring. The hot weight of my labors felt delightfully heavy, and the cinnamon steam teased my senses.

  • The finished product of my morning’s labors
  • The First slice of my first pie.
  • Pie-makers in my family insist on one thing: dairy must accompany your dessert.

    Dairy Accompaniment #2

    I imagined generations of women, lovingly holding their warm creation in their hands. Perhaps it was served to a loud, rambunctious family like mine. Or maybe to a cold dinner table, where “Pass the peas” and “this needs more salt” were the only words spoken. How many women have created a latticed apple pie? And how many of those women found themselves wishing for more than this pie, this kitchen, this home? What is it like to fulfill a role that you do not desire to have? Are you defined by your role?

    I feel blessed that I can serve in the military during the week and make an apple pie in a sundress and apron during the weekend. But I wonder what the hundreds of thousands of other women feel, those who have held and will hold their apple pie. Are we defined by our apple pies? By our role in our world?

    Perhaps. But either way, I am satisfied with my apple pie.

    Are you?

    Enjoying my apple pie in the world.

    6 Comments to “The Role of Apple Pie”

    1. This is great! I love the pictures, they made me hungry! 🙂 I also adore your writing style, it’s so fun and personal and has such a great flow. Keep it up! Can’t wait to read more!

    2. I loved this! I am a cooking person, so I really enjoy reading about other people’s recipes and stories. I also like large photos in blogs because I think they really set the blog apart and give it a visual zing. Great job — and the pie looks yummy.

    3. I like your blog! Very interesting, and I like the pictures you included.

    4. I love the way that you write. It is so entertaining and fun! Keep up the good work

    5. I can smell it now! I just taught 5th graders on the sensory way to read and write yesterday; you my darling have got it down. Yes, you are smarter than a 5th grader.
      Who is the lucky one who got to share your pie with you? Beautiful writing and baking as well!!

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