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.

Boo Humbug

Boo Humbug!

Halloween sucked. No trick-o-treaters, no dirty martini’s. I’m just a big fat crabby pregnant lady who goes to bed at 8pm.

Toby and I live down a dark scary alley at the end of a peaceful street. We live at the end of our nice peaceful street where it is connected to a big scary highway and the backs of restaurants and Persian rug stores where rats play tag along the roof lines. I think parents look down the block and say, “Not that way kids, that’s where the Boogie Man and gangsters live…” and then they herd their precious ones back towards the soft glowing lights of suburbia.

If you walked a block the other way (away from our house and the highway) you’d end up in happy-kid-city! Every house is decorated, the side walks are lit with jack-o-lanterns and strings of orange pumpkin lights. Retired grandparents rock on their porches drinking hot totties or cocoa or something. Families have outdoor dinner parties on their imported teak picnic tables, lit by tea light decorated pottery barn beach umbrellas. It really is the American-dream-come-true neighborhood right out of Sunset magazine, white picket fences included. We’re just lucky to live on the fringes.

However, fringe people don’t get trick-or-treaters. Through the years (after that first year where we turned off all the lights and pretended not to be home) Toby and I have tried all kinds of enticement to get kids to come down our alley for candy. One year we even stuck one of our cheap IKEA paper globe lamps out the window from the end of a broom and hung a white sheet over it with strategically placed black pieces of construction paper so it would look like giant glowing ghost was flying magically over our alley. We’ve tried music, we’ve tried signs, we’ve even tried placing pumpkins all the way down to the bottom of our stairs. None of it resulted in anything other than our pumpkins getting smashed to bits sometime after midnight. Nobody comes down our alley. Just us and the crickets and the rats running along the roof tops.

This year, I decided I would go to Whoorl’s house! She lives in our neighborhood AND she doesn’t live on the fringes. In fact, she lives between an elementary school and five blocks of “glowing suburbia”. She lives on “pregnancy row” as she calls it. It’s just one house after the other with kids. It was going to be great. Whoorl bought an embarrassingly large amount of candy and I went over at 4:30 pm with my pumpkin carving gloves on and high hopes of all the stories I’d tell Toby when I came home exhausted from handing out handfuls of candy to the hoards of cute little costumed kids. It was going to be great. Did I say that already?

I helped Whoorl cut her pumpkins and we set them up in a charming group on the steps of her very inviting porch. The sun sank and we waited inside gleefully munching on mini nutrageous bars. Whoorl turned on the football game and I tried to pretend I wasn’t the biggest pregnant klutz in the whole world who just spilled 87 drips of water on her perfectly perfect couch. The minutes ticked by quietly. We talked about the weather and how fat I’m supposedly not getting and still no kids. Finally, we decided to go outside and sit on the steps. Maybe we could will the kids to come to us with our cute smiles and friendly demeanor. Still no kids. We sat on her steps until my butt got sore (which is what, like two minutes now in my pregnant state?) Still no kids.

I think the whole night maybe six kids came by. What a bust. Around 6:55 pm I decided maybe I better go home and cook dinner or wash my hair or something. Whatever I was going to do, I better take my bad trick-or-treater mojo with me or Whoorl was going to be stuck eating stale Halloween candy until next year.

I’m sure they all showed up the minute I left.