Date: December 24, 2006 Appeared in the Silicon Valley Romance Writer's of America Newsletter and is mentioned EVERY DAMN YEAR.......
While I go have a good cry - here's a laugh for you.
I was, like Thanksgiving, cooking for five, my son, his partner, and his partner's parents.
My pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving had been taken from the oven about 3 minutes early because Tool Time was doing measurements for the kitchen remodel that Home Depot canceled at Christmas. But that's another story.
Of course a remark was made about the soft center. Of course. Because my pies are legendary. Home made. From Scratch. I had a mother-in-law in the past that made snide remarks. In the class of "Oh, isn't that just special." That kind of remark. Well, I have company again.
So, for Christmas, I had to have perfect pies. Had to. And we had decided on $100 worth of Harris Ranch Beef Fillet Mignon (my son was cooking the meal), so stuffing was a side dish, bread was already made, and the pies were important. The turkey was something I made anyway the day after because I wanted leftovers.
I made a perfect pumpkin pie - and a scrap pie that was almost as big, because over the years my deep (2") wide (9.5") pie pans have been replaced with more shallow and not so wide pie plates. We all stuck in a fork to taste the scrap pie. (The "scrap pie" is the leftover stuff - crust, filling, etc - and is free to anyone to attack before the main event, thus preserving the pristine look of the "pretty pie".)
I also had made Xmas fresh bread - sweet and rolled up with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and walnuts.
On a roll, I was making my son his apple pie. He orders this every THanksgiving and every Christmas. I had BIG Granny Smith apples, my secret pie crust recipe and my Kitchen Aid food processor to slice up the apples after peeling, quartering, and seed removal. Perfect slices. Stirred up with the flour, sugar, cinnamon and layered in the pie shell just so. And the pie crust was to die for. It was perfect. It you make home made pie crust, you know that the same recipie comes out different every time you make it. This was - PERFECT.
I made a perfect apple pie, showed it off, and put it in the oven.
I made a HUGE sliced-apples (food processor) 8 Cups apples, sugar etc - perfect pastry (old recipe). PERFECT PIE. This is important. Hold this thought.
And it had 15 minutes more in the oven. It was GOLDEN. Perfect.
I had also made an apple scrap pie---- leftover apples and pastry (free to eat before Xmas) - A SECOND PIE in a deep dish - oven safe. Rated to 500 degrees.
Well - the scrap apple pie dish - oven safe - EXPLODED and the glass went INTO THE MAIN PIE.
I SAW THIS HAPPEN BEFORE MY EYES.
My BRAIN could not process what it was seeing. I heard crackles - like melting ice. I saw what looked like pieces of ice tumbling. I thought, "How did ice get in the oven?"
My mind tried to wrap around this vision. Reality slowly dawned.
I watched in horror as the second dish crackled and shrunk away as glass flew and the contents of the second dish began to melt to the floor of the oven.
I must have been screaming.
My son paused his Playstation3 and ran to the kitchen. He said later that he can tell when I am making noise, and when there is an "all balls out" emergency. Oh this was an emergency. Balls or otherwise!
As I contemplated my beautiful perfect pie, everyone came to see.
My face had crumpled. I was staggered back against the counter. I was near tears.
My son tried to tell me we could cut the top off.
We shut down the oven. We emptied the oven.
I had another foil bottom (good thing).
I took a photo of my perfect pie - now shimmering with glass on the top, in the slits, etc.
We sliced off the top. Not good enough.
The glass shards had penetrated the pie. Tiny ones sparkled deep in the pie crust slices.
It sparkled nicely -----.
We sliced deeper.
My son and I tasted the slices on the bottom - perfect. It would have been a PERFECT PIE.
And then we dumped the thing, dish and all, into the trash. The handle of the pie plate had shattered as well.
My son said later that he was "letting me down slowly", so my mind could catch up. He said I would laugh later. He said I could add this to my exploding dishes stories.
It took a week before I could talk about it.
It took a shot of Jack for me to stand there making pie crust while my son peeled, cored and sliced the remaining apples, including two delicious apples, to make a much thinner, smaller pie.
He said it was good. Oh, it was. But it was not the perfect pie that had been so horribly destroyed by that exploding dish.
I have another dish - it's Libbey's glass, rated as microwave and oven safe.
Oh yes, they will hear from me! (I didn't dare send the letter. It wasn't time to think about that yet.)
I make a mean apple pie.
It doesn't need to sparkle.
My son was afraid I'd loose my mind. He let me down slowly. Waiting for my brain to catch up. Yes, I had been screaming. Shrieking. I was devastated.
So he makes sure to remind me of this every single time I make an apple pie...