As another of our beloved religious holidays approaches, our minds turn to what is most important during these times.
It’s hard to have a real holiday celebration without pie. When we lived on the farm, my mother baked roughly a pie a day, which my dad started eating as dessert with his breakfast and which the rest of us continued throughout the day until supper, when the last excellent slices were carefully cleaned up. By breakfast, my dad had already worked a few hours doing chores. Cattle and hogs had to be fed. Daisy, our cow, had to be milked and the barn cats fed. One thing he didn’t fool with was the chicken house; that was my mom’s territory. But anyway, pie was virtually a separate food group in our farm household.
So I take pie seriously and that’s why it’s often so disappointing, especially boughten (as my Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother used to put it) apple pie. Usually the boughten pie you get in the store has passable crust. It’s the apple filling in it that is so badly substandard it’s almost inedible.
Here’s the deal: Apples in pie MUST absolutely, and with no variations at all, be thinly sliced, NOT chunked. Bakery pie invariably has chunked apples, the pieces of which remain mostly uncooked and crunchy after baking. Of course, the kind of apples commercial bakeries use are also almost always the right kind. You’ve got to have actual cooking apples, not apples bred for eating raw. Two different breeds of cats there. But it’s the chunking instead of the slicing that causes the most trouble with store-bought apple pies because for proper taste, apples must cook down and become tender.
That is today’s holiday update. Read it, learn it, live it.
And if I don’t get back here until after the big day, have a Merry Christmas. But inspect the pie carefully before eating.