Now, I’ve made apple pies many, many times in the past, using the same recipe for the crust. I don’t know what I did wrong today, but after the requisite amount of chilling, my Thanksgiving pie crust stubbornly refused to roll out evenly and kept cracking and splitting. Maybe I should have added a bit more liquid to the crust during the mixing period; I don’t know. All I know is that the more I struggled with it, the worse it got. I have to admit to being startled that my old standby was misbehaving so badly; had I been in a more relaxed state I probably would have thrown it out and started anew, but I was in full-speed-ahead mode for Thanksgiving dinner preparations and there just wasn’t time.
So I did what is always useful in such a situation: I wheedled and coaxed the piecrust, I begged the piecrust, I cursed the piecrust, and then I proceeded to have a complete meltdown. I don’t know what domestic fairy floated downstairs to John’s workshop and whispered in his ear that his wife was going postal, but suddenly John appeared in the kitchen just as I burst into tears.
God love him, he laughed at me and hugged me, floury hands and apron and sweaty smeary face and all, while I sobbed over my naughty piecrust. He told me it didn’t matter what it looked like and to just do the best I could (shades of my mother). He gave me a parting smack on the butt and went back downstairs. I was still wiping my face when our friend Rick arrived, but I sent him down to John and attacked the piecrust with renewed vigor. A little patching here, a little stretching here, and I got the damn thing into the pie pan , added the filling and fought with the top crust until I had a pie. Not a pretty pie, but a completed pie all the same.
I called my mother a little later on and related my pie story. Her reaction, while different from John’s, was equally reassuring. She told me I sounded tired and that I should be sure to rest and take care of myself (I’m nursing the tag end of a cold). I read her my reviews for The Brand New Kid and she was pleased. I felt like an able and competent woman once again, albeit one who needed to maybe be a bit easier on herself.
So today on Thanksgiving Day, I give thanks for a loving husband and a caring mother. Thanks, John. Thanks, Mom.
Oh, and the pie tasted terrific, ugly or not.