The Great Pie War

27 Aug

Dave’s playing dirty.

If you follow my Lollipop Tuesday series, are a daily reader, or even if you just go click this right here, you’ll recall a story of a girl who, not too long ago, attempted recreate David’s grandmother’s homemade apple pie from only the loins of the earth for the blogosphere’s general amusement.

In a word, I failed.

The end product, though it looked like a pie, left much to be desired.  Like good taste, for example.  Or an apple filling that didn’t also have the apple skins.  Or a dough that was smooth, ever so gently crisp, and smooth with beautiful little slits in the center.

Mine had none of those things.  But it had a lot of heart.  It’s unfortunate that heart only counts in college sports, inspirational movies, and Captain Planet.

So Dave took one tiny little bite of my lackluster pie and decided it was so awful that he wasn’t going to eat any more.  Well, he didn’t put it exactly that way.  He’s much too wonderful to just come right out with it. Rather, I asked him if I left it out would he eat it, he said no, probably not, and I filled in the gaps.

I threw it in the trash and decided that I would blog and admit defeat, blame it on a generational misunderstanding of the concept of ‘recipes’, and I resolved to make a better pie someday.  Just one, so I could make one if I had to.

Sometimes people need pies.

But I need not bother.  For today, I walked into my home after work to the slightly spiced, warm air of apple pie wafting through hall.  My stomach jumped to my throat as I realized what was happening.  I looked to Dave to find a half smirk revealing his underhandedness.  I ran to the oven, threw open the door, and revealed THIS:

Look at it. Just LOOK at it.

That golden crust that isn’t overfloured and hasn’t been pinched together in desperation.  If you crack that sucker open you’ll find an apple filling so soft and sweet it makes you feel soft and sweet.   It’s well done, it’s delicious.

And a blatant declaration of war.

At first I was pretty upset.  Who watches someone try something new and then a mere 3 days later does it perfectly themselves to display their superiority?  Warmongers, that’s who.  But just as I was gearing up for an epic pie war, it occurred to me that there is another way to look at this situation.  Think about it:  if my overwhelming suck at something prompts Dave to do it and do it better, then I can start failing at all sorts of things!   Why do I need to learn how to make a pie if he can make a lovely one?   Our skill set is unified in nature – I do things he’s not good at, and he does things I’m not good at.  It’s a pretty awesome system and since he so willingly added “making pie” to his list, I can call on him for the pastry in a variety of pie-requiring events.  Family reunions, support for those in mourning, selling a house, and holidays of all varieties.  

Apple pie is incredibly versatile in its application.

I’m trying to think of other things I’d like Dave to do for us.  Now that I know his process, all I have to do is indicate a  few areas of weakness and he can pick up the slack! I can suck at lots of things: cleaning the oven, roasting a turkey, doing the laundry, wiping windows, cleaning out the car, scrubbing the tub – golly, there are loads of things I’m about to not do well.

Perhaps it’s war after all. 

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20 Responses to “The Great Pie War”

  1. thesinglecell August 27, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    Wow. That’s the pastry equivalent of sticking a finger in your eye. He’s got chutzpah. Hey, if you continue this particular strategy of war, you might try a glass pie plate. You may be happier with the results. Just be careful when you throw the pie at Dave’s head. 🙂

    Like

    • Jackie August 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      Ah – glass plate. Note taken.

      Like

  2. misswhiplash August 27, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Aha Jackie , you have learned my secret. Why do I not wash up the dishes? Because I miss loads of bits and I am useless but Neville is much better and I tell him so. Why do I not need to vac the floor? Neville is better and I tell him so. Why do I not always cook the dinner? Neville is better and I tell him so.
    Okay.. I can wah up, I can vac and I can cook but what the heck…who says it is woman’s work? Let someone else do it!!! If someone else cooks a better Apple Pie so eat it, enjoy it and praise him to the hilt. Then wait for the next one….

    Like

    • Jackie August 28, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      I don’t know if you’ll even get this reply after noticing on your blog that you’re having such a hard time with all things technology right now. I certainly hope that all improves for you – those things can be such headaches! But as for this comment – I love the strategy. I wish I would have learned it much earlier 🙂

      Like

  3. pegoleg August 27, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Wow. I’d pay good cash money for that pie.

    I like your strategy. Around my house, though, it would turn into a “Who can suck worse” competition, one I’m sure to lose.

    Like

    • Jackie August 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      Really?! Good money? Because I can make him start a mail order business. He can be my cash cow AND my lead pie baker.

      Like

  4. Jules August 27, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Totally off-topic here but you pretty much explained what is wrong with the US welfare system. Why should deadbeats try and look for a job, much less keep one, when the cash cow (uncle sam) will give them money for being totally mediocre at contributing to society.

    Jackie, I have faith that you’ll learn from your mistakes and make a edible pie… please peel the apples.

    Like

  5. whatimeant2say August 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    My sister had this strategy down to an art when we were kids. I couldn’t understand how someone could have such a hard time cleaning a toilet.

    Like

    • Jackie August 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

      I wish I would have come to this conclusion much earlier in life.

      Like

  6. Momma August 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    Awesome… that pie looks good. Tell Dave he can make us one this week when you come home. You all know I suck at pies. lol

    Like

    • Jackie August 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

      I’m seriously trying to get him to make another. 🙂

      Like

  7. wordsweneversaid August 28, 2011 at 12:58 am #

    Umm?

    Please forgive me because I DO know how painful it is to learn how to make a pie (my Aunt was a price winning pie baker – every one was a golden lesson in how it should be done – no one in the family could come close after she passed but they are expecting good things from me one of these days)

    I wanted you to forgive me because – that looks like a really tasty pie Jackie.

    I can almost taste it – I can imagine the flaky shards of buttery crust goodness and the plump lusciousness of the cinnamon and sugar laced inside…

    I have been told that men actually excel in pastry because they have an innate ability to understand and put into practice the simplicity and economy of movement that creates the perfect crust.

    They don’t fuss – they just let it happen.

    Women fuss (at first)

    It feels like we should put some work into it – how can it be perfect unless we do?

    Consider a ‘man pastry’ as the ‘zen’ of pastry…

    Perhaps Dave will show you how to expend less effort – how to become one with the power of the pie?

    M.L.

    Like

    • wordsweneversaid August 28, 2011 at 12:59 am #

      P.S. Just got of work – full of spelling mistakes instead of energy *grin*

      Like

      • Jackie August 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

        I don’t mind even a little bit.

        Like

    • Jackie August 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

      Wow – a prize winning pie baker?! That’s intense. LOL I read your description out loud to Dave and he swelled with pride. It is indeed a beautiful pie. And so I think I’ll let him continue on in the role of lead pie-baker. 😉

      Like

  8. kitchenmudge August 28, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    Your next project might be to suck at counterfeiting. See how Dave responds to that.

    Like

    • Jackie August 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

      this made me laugh out loud 😉

      Like

  9. Cindy August 29, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    Ok, if you really want to declare war, here are a few secrets gleaned from a semester-long class in pie making (yes, I am so old that we had home ec classes in such things as pie making & home decorating, and only girls took them!). 1. Use Crisco shortening, or mix of half butter/half Crisco. Do not use any other brand of shortening! 2. Cut shortening into flour with 2 knives, using a criss-crossing motion, until you have little floury lumps about the size of peas. 3. Add ice water – must be ice cold water! – a spoonful at time to the flour/shortening mix while fluffing the mixture with a fork. Don’t over-handle or over-mix as the pastry will be tough! 4. Form the dough into a ball, flatten with your hand and allow to rest, covered, for at least half an hour. Then roll!

    Like

    • Jackie September 4, 2011 at 3:22 am #

      I have to allow the dough to rest? craziness. how would I have known that? 🙂 thanks for the tips!

      Like

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