02 April 2016

B is for Baking

Baking pies was never one of my strong points.  I watched my mother make pies for years.  Then, when I was tall enough to reach the table, she tried to teach me.  Well, that was an experiment with a disastrous result.

Even in high school home economics class, my crusts weren’t the picture of perfection.  The only reason I passed the class is cause the teacher said my family would never starve since I could cook a few things.  So, for many years, I refused to make pies for the family dinners, specially Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving, to me, was the most important meal of the year.  I’ve never figured it out, the reason.  Many times, I’d hide the results of my baking attempts until I could toss the thing into the nearest garbage, unnoticed.  Then, sneak to the store and buy one of the handy, dandy frozen ones and bake that.  Always thought I’d fooled everyone.  Hmmpph.  Now, I know.  There’s a difference, a noticeable one.  Very noticeable.

When my sons were old enough to notice other people’s celebration and started asking questions, well, I determined that I’d conquer the pie crust.  I’d spent so many years saying that I couldn’t make a good crust.  And the job usually fell to me since no one else really wanted the onerous duty.  I nabbed one of the old fashioned cookbooks, ya know, the ones that don’t really tell you anything cause the author assumes one already knows how to cook and what all the terms mean?  

Took me many years to actually measure out a teaspoon, a tablespoon, a cup of solids in my hand so I’d  have an idea of how much it was since my mom’s idea was that I’d absorb the knowledge by osmosis.  Never could figure out a lot of what she’d tell me.  Not that it was wrong.  It was just that we had different ways of looking at things.  The source of frustration for both of us that we finally learned to stay out of each other’s way when cooking.  Naturally, I continued measuring out in my hand and wrecking quite a few pie crusts.

Light bulb!

Why not use the expensive implements that usually sit around in the drawers, if they even made it out of the package.  Well, that usually happened after Sister visited and cooked a meal for us.  She follows recipes to the dotted I and crossed T which she tries in vain to have me do.  Another light bulb moment in which the thing went into strobe light mode.

The ancient recipe books.  There was something in there bout what is done precisely.  I looked in others cause my dough didn’t roll out right.  Eureka!  One had a picture of those pea-size globs of dough.  Showed me how to sprinkle in the water, carefully roll it out.

Ahh!  The pure joy of the tasty smelling apple pie with perfectly brown crust, my favorite part of any pie.

16 comments:

  1. Love your remark about the cookbooks that assume you already know everything. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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    1. Thanks. I need to remember that in my writing and yet, try not to over-explain.

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  2. I'm a terrible baker so I completely empathized with this post. I love pie, unfortunately just can't make it no matter how hard I try. On the bright side, I have a lot of talented friends and they're always willing to share the results of their kitchen efforts, LOL!

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    1. Years of practice. Yeah, I have family and friends who bake, way better than I do. And they share.

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  3. Mildred, I'm really enjoying your posts, thank you for sharing.

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  4. I personally love baking! I can make an OK crust, but not the best. I can make one heck of a cake though! I have always been the one to make birthday cakes for the family because no one knows just how to make them as moist as I do. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the #AtoZChallenge! Cassie from Mommy, RN

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    1. I pretty much stick to pies and cookies. Unless it's from a box. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. I'm not really into baking that much.
    I used to make savory pie...steak and kidney pie...back in the day...haven't made one for ages.
    Writer In Transit

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    1. I've heard of this dish. Never tried it. Thanks for visiting.

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  6. Whoo-hoo!! Congratulations! For me it was trying to conquer Mama's buttermilk biscuits. In fact I still don't make a biscuit like Mama's. But after 30 years of trying off and on, I now can make a tasty, edible biscuit my family enjoys. Maybe one day, it will taste like Mama's.
    Revisit the Tender Years with me during the #AtoZChallenge at Life & Faith in Caneyhead!

    P.S. I love the way you speak! And I love your "WalksFar WarriorWoman" name! You just gained a new follower!

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    1. Yeah, don't I know it. My sons had the fortunate opportunity to eat my mom's cooking. "Doesn't taste like grandma's" is heard around here. And thanks for following. The nickname was bestowed by my sister.

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  7. Your post really hit home. I can bake a pretty decent pie but for some reason I can't bake a cake from scratch. They flop, are too dry, and the frosting crumbles in pieces. It's a family joke. But I keep trying.
    Pioneer Women in Aviation A-Z

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    1. Bout all some of us can do, is keep trying.

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    2. Bout all some of us can do, is keep trying.

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  8. Very interesting, Mildred. I learned to cook at a very young age, standing on a chair to reach the stove and the sink. I don't really like to cook or bake, but as a teenager I baked apples pies to enter in the county fair every year. I finally captured that coveted blue ribbon for first place. Apple is my favorite pie. Cakes never turn out for me.

    Thanks for visiting my blog earlier today.

    Sunni

    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

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