Today is a red-letter day, or a red cherry day, definitely a Jubilee day! 49andcounting years on this earth and today I baked my first cherry pie! Hubby’s birthday, he loves cherry pie, and well, I didn’t have any other gift for him up my sleeve, so…
Note: I do not profess to be an amazing cook. After this many years of cooking, I can feed the masses. Fried chicken, Roast Beef, Meatloaf. I’m pretty darn good at gravy, but…chef extrodinaire, I’m not. (You don’t see me adding almonds, or cranberries to a lettuce salad.)
All these years, I’ve let pies intimidate me. (Oh well, not those with graham cracker crusts!) So at Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’d always let the guests bring dessert. (Sneaky, wasn’t I?)
Then I marry a guy who loves cherry pie, and whose mother was the school cook and owned her own restaurant for years. (You might as well have punched me in the gut. How in the world could I ever bake a pie now?!)
Let’s talk pie baking. It’s always been the darn crust. Somewhere over the years, I tried baking, and that whole pinching the crust thing, what is that? crimping it? My crust fell to the center and did not look like the photo in Betty Crocker cookbook. I’ve attempted it (chocolate pie is my favorite, I had to try) always to the same avail. Not pretty. And at some point, I became intimidated. Do you know how many women out there are known for their “fabulous pies”…I think I’ve met most of them. Even my young step daughter walks into the kitchen on Thanksgiving with a beautiful cherry pie, cut-out stars and all. (hammer another nail in my coffin of low-pie self-esteem).
So this evening, home alone, I search the internet for recipes, head to the store for canned cherries, and begin the task at hand. Wish you could have been here with me, we would have been laughing.
I have a really hard time following a recipe, it’s not that I’m stupid, just always want to do it “my way”, you know tweak it a bit! (it must be my Pieces creativity) Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t…why I tweaked while baking cherry pie, don’t ask me! (I should never tweak on my first try)
We’re not telling My Big Boy, okay. But between you and me. It wasn’t red enough, and supplies are limited in a 5th wheel. Out comes the package of jello, “oops…strawberry”. “Oh, a little won’t hurt.” Sure enough, desired red. “Hmmmm, I think this might be too much juice.” Poor juice off. And then the crust, I got so excited (or nervous) about crimping the crust, that I crimped before I put the top crust on! Crimping was a fiasco, as usual. (I just don’t have the right finger angle or something) Insert fruit, “oh, darn it!” Not enough dough for top crust. “I’ll make those pretty little strips.” Done. Sugar sprinkled. In oven. Notice stick of butter still on counter. “Oops, I forgot the pieces of butter on top! Shoot!”
Bake for 40 min., laugh at myself (as I’m definitely not going to compete with the
school cook), and sigh a deep sigh. I have just accomplished that which has intimidated me for years…what a great feeling. So here’s a photo (there was no good camera angle)(and yes, just what I expected the crust to look like!)
My Big Boy gets home in the morning, he eats cherry pie, and he smiles…no matter what it taste like. (I’ll chuckle under my breath knowing that it might just taste a bit like strawberries.) Yip, that’s the plan. Ahh, the things we do for love and the bucket list!