Fall is for Pie Making

I woke up this morning and it was raining. That didn’t stop me from getting my walking clothes on though. I dressed in my baggy maternity black yoga pants, my big thick red sweatshirt with a hood and even tied on my walking shoes. I got as far as the top of my stairs. I decided it was too rainy to walk. Walking schmalking. You guys can live without a beach shot for a day. Besides, I have so many beach shots that I’ve shot from other days and not used for the daily desktop, I figure I’ll just recycle.

I went back inside and decided I wanted to make an apple pie. Actually, I decided it last night and had been reading the recipe and pie crust making tips carefully as I cooked dinner. I decided that in order to make a pie I would need a nine inch glass pie dish, a rolling pin, a mat to roll dough on (cause I have scary grout), one of those cup measurers that doubles as a pitcher and a handled dough cutting sifter thingy. Over a cup of creamy hot cocoa I planned a trip to Sur La Table, the fancy store where real bakers shop.

I hate it that I have to buy stuff in order to make something but I justified it by thinking of all the pies I could make in my future of domestic goddessdom. I read a post the other day about a mom making pie with her kids (thanks Laura for helping me find that link!) and decided I want to be the kind of mom who makes pies with her kids. But I really want to make the pie crust from scratch, because store-bought would be cheating (only because I’ve always been intimidated by it and I really want to conquer it now). Besides if I buy the dough, why not just buy the whole pie for $4.99? It’s the process that I’m after. I want to be able to say I can make a pie.

I’ve never made an apple pie from scratch in my life. I’ve helped my mom make one with store bought dough but that was too easy. Peeling the apples was the trickiest part. I’m not very good at baking because baking requires close attention to directions and exact measurements. I tend to skip steps and read backwards. I’m much better at cooking than I am at baking because in cooking you can just wing it. Cooking is a breeze. Baking is stressful. But I figure pioneer women did it every day of their lives, I can figure it out. Maybe my first pie will be a flop. I still have every day of the rest of my life to work on it.

(At least that’s what I’m saying now, as my pie crust sits in the fridge “chilling” for an hour. We’ll see if I sing a different tune later when it crumbles or gets soggy or just plain refuses to stretch across my pie dish.)

Off to Sur la Table I went. That store is so fun. So many colors! So many shapes and sizes! They even had pie dishes in red heart shapes! I opted for the plain jane pyrex to keep my costs down. But even with my frugalness it was $49 before I purchased all my needed goods. Forty-nine dollars to make a pie! I am such a yuppie. I did sort of fall for a new dish towel with red flowers on it. I need new dish towels! I couldn’t help myself! I know, I should have just bought what I needed from the grocery store instead. But again, I’m all about the process.

Of course a trip to Sur la Table is not complete without a peek into the baby boutique next door. Wouldn’t you know it, I found the cutest onesie set with animal cookies on it that I couldn’t not buy! Thankfully, I had a wad of baby sitting money in my pocket so I didn’t feel too guilty for spending more and more money. If it weren’t for my baby sitting cash, I think Toby would ground me to the house. Especially when I already have so many zero-to-six-month-sized clothes for my little girl. I have daymares that she’ll probably never get to wear all of them. But look up there at those little animal cookies sewn so carefully on the front of a pink onesie! The little beads are sprinkles!!! So cute!!! How could I resist?! It would be a crime. The thing of it is: I really need to buy gifts for all my friends who are having babies, not for me… But I’m just too selfish. Animal cookies are my favorite! I just don’t think anybody else would feel as special about this outfit as I do. Cha-ching-a-ling-ling.

What a fun fun day. Now I’m off to go wrestle with some pie dough. Tune in tomorrow for the results! Sorry no pictures today. I was too busy getting flour all over eveything when it was still day light. And now that I’m all cleaned up, the light is bad. You know how I hate to use my flash. I’ll attempt to photograph tomorrow.

Thing Two and the Silver Balls

I had a little practice in motherhood today. I was baby sitting Thing Two while his mom attended some luncheon or other. (Thing One now attends preschool so I often just babysit Thing Two all by himself.)

So there I was sitting on their cushy corduroy couch reading Dwell magazine while Thing Two sat at my feet playing with a special toy that is usually kept up high and out of his reach. It’s kept out of his reach for good reason too because it has little silver magnetic balls about the size of a dime that can be ingested by three-year-olds. The silver magnetic balls attach to these x-shaped pieces and you can build things out of them. It’s kind of a nifty toy. Something I would have liked to keep on my desk in corporate-land to play with while on long conference calls.

Thing Two is three years old. Of course he is too young to be playing with toys with small pieces. But he’s super smart (seriously, he can already read). I figured as long as I kept my eye on him, he’d be fine. Besides it was a special treat. Usually his big sister is around and she pretty much runs the show. It was super fun for him to play with something special all to himself.

While he played and I flipped through a magazine, I told him to make sure he didn’t put any of the little silver balls in his mouth.

Big mistake. That’s like telling kids not to swing from the chandeliers. They’d never even think of swinging from the chandeliers until you mention such a forbidden pleasure. So just as I say not to eat the silver balls, into his mouth goes a silver ball. His eyes are on me to see my reaction.

“Spit it out!” I shout a little more suddenly and loudly than I meant. His eyes widen. I’ve startled him. Down his throat goes the little silver ball. He starts to choke and I rush to the floor and attempt a Heimlech maneuver on him. I try to keep my cool. “Can you spit it out?” I ask, hoping he’s just tricking me. At this point I’m thinking, either it better come up or it better go down. Just please please please don’t get lodged half way. It’s been a long time since I took that baby sitting CPR safety class and I really don’t want to have to use any of those skills they taught us.

He starts to cry. I can tell the little silver ball has gone down. Part of me is relieved that he’s not choking but the other part of me knows I have to do something now. The ball is small enough, he’ll probably just pass it. But I have to be responsible and call 911 or call his mom. I decide to call his mom and interrupt her luncheon. Something I really hate to do but this seems like a big enough emergency to warrant an interruption.

Thankfully, she’s really cool and doesn’t get mad at me first thing like I expect. I mean, I was watching him. How could I let this happen? If I was her I’d probably be mad at me. She says she’s leaving the restaurant and she’s on her way home right that minute. I can tell she’s scared. I feel horrible.

I sit Thing Two down at his lunch table and give him some juice. He sputters and cries but is easily distracted by a puzzle he’d left on the table earlier. He forgets all about the silver ball, stops crying and plays with the puzzle. I wait for his mom to get home.

On her way home she calls their doctor and the doctor gives her the same diagnosis I guessed at. Thing Two will probably poop the little ball out tomorrow and he should be fine. He just needs to be watched carefully for the next 24 hours to make sure he doesn’t have any intestinal pain that could mean some kind of blockage. Still, it’s scary.

I can tell his mom is really freaked out about it. She tells me he’s putting things in his mouth a lot lately. She attempts to have a heart to heart talk with him but he’s bouncing around the room singing a song from this alphabet video we watched earlier. He seems completely normal. She decides to go back to her luncheon and have a glass of wine because it’s been “one of those days”. I stay and make him lunch and chalk it up as another lesson in parenting.

Phew! Am I ready for this?