Saturday, June 29, 2013

I love pie.

Woooooweee! That was a long break! Sorry for the wait. It's been a rough year; job, food and otherwise. I'll spare you the details. BECAUSE I WANT TO TALK ABOUT PIE!!!!

I love pie. My first introduction to the culinary arts involved pie; my Gramz, widowed at a young age with five kids in her care, had been a pie cook in a Northern Ontario diner. Later in life, when she would visit us, she'd pull a chair up to the kitchen counter and make me hop on to watch as she rolled out the crust and poured in the fillings, apparently still happy to make those things... Up until her passing recently, she continued to patiently coach me in the finicky art of making the perfect crust. I sucked, but she persisted, bless her tenacious, lumberjack-feeding heart. That's why pie has always held a dear, dear spot in my heart; it reminds me of family, of laughs (that one time Gramz made me sniff cayenne when she thought it was cinnamon - at least I think she thought it was cinnamon.... hey! Lord, that burned...) and of delicious, reassuring mouthfuls of fruity goodness. I love pie.

But here's the rub. I still suck at piecrust. Every time I try to make it, I can feel ghosty-Gramz standing next to me, shaking her head, telling me not to press so hard with the rolling pin, or not to handle the crust so much because it'll get tough (which, in her Northern Québec French-flavoured English sounded more like "tohffe!"). So I gave up pies for a while. Not only for that reason, but also because Mr. Markie-Pants had told me, in the beginning of our romance, that he didn't care much for pies. GASP! H-h-h-ow was that possible?!? Of course, he'd also told me he didn't like risotto, salmon and  tofu, all of which now he happily, and dare I say, greedily, eats. So, in the end, this pie-hiatus (pieatus?) was nothing if not self-inflicted. The shame.

So this afternoon, whilst patrolling the aisles at the supermarket with Marc, I felt that familiar rumbling that only fresh blueberries and lard can quiet. With Marc's full support (and promise of eating at least one slice) I accepted my failure as a crust-maker, bought a package of two pre-made crusts and got a bag of frozen wild blueberries. I pulled a recipe from The Joy of Cooking and made a pie... AND IT WAS WONDERFUL! The crust, of course, didn't have the fairy-dusting of loving je-ne-sais-quoi that only 95-year-old leathery hands can impart, but darn it, it was pretty close! I'm so happy. Pie. I love pie.  And guess what? Marc had TWO slices.

À la prochaine!