Now, there are many things I can do in the kitchen. I can make a soufflé, I can make a mousse, I can make a fabulous country pate.
I can create a scrumptious rack of lamb, fierce ribs, amazing sauces. My tamales are to die for, my chili rellenos are without equal. I can make a moist turkey.
My challah bread is wonderful & was always a huge hit. I am really fabulous at muffins & cookies.
My gingerbread cookies & gingerbread houses are legendary.
But I cannot bake a pie.
My sister Janet Ettinger Douglas is the pie maker in our family unit. My friend of over five decades, Sue McLauchlan Faulkner, bakes pies as gifts. My friend Andres M. Dominquez bakes delectable pies for his family.
I cannot bake a pie.
Since Sam Luciano, a really cool English professor, posted about an Italian pie kind of thing that one could serve for breakfast, I have been obsessed with blueberry pie.
A pie with nothing but blueberries.
The Perfect Imperfections of Blueberry Pie
I do not follow instructions well. This has been a problem for me for over sixty years. (One only has to speak to my family & former teachers & professors to verify this).
But I follow a recipe the first time. Except (there is always an exception) that I cannot be trusted to create a worthy pie crust. So I bought Pillsbury.
The recipe calls for 8 cups of blueberries. So, since I was used to buying blueberries in six ounce containers, I went on Excel & decided how many six ounce containers constituted a cup.
I then went to the store that was selling blueberries at a much lower price than my nearest store. The containers were pint containers.
No one told me that a pint is two cups. I bought eight pints. All I needed were four.
I kept following the recipe, except for the crust. I put the crust in the pie plate in the freezer for the required minutes.
(I really do want to follow instructions – I am just not always adept at it).
Eventually the pie came together – even with my refusal to make a homemade pie crust.
In Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse, Lily Briscoe remembers Mr. Tansley, who, by the way, is an ass, whispering in her ear:
“Women can’t paint, women can’t write ...”
I cannot knit, I cannot sew, I cannot create a quilt – I can do none of the textile things so connected to the written word & to my concept of text.
But, I can paint. I can write.
And today, I baked a pie.