Sunday, August 08, 2004


"Ooooooh," she moaned.
"What's wrong?!" I asked. Was there a call from the hospital that I didn't hear about yet?
"I forgot to dot with butter!"
"On my pie," she moaned. Little Ilene (my mother) always freaks me out with her moans. Even when she calls weekly, her voice sounds like she's going to tell me someone has died. I just want to blurt out, "Is it Grandma Fay? Is it Grandma Cora? Quit whimpering and tell me the awful, sad, inevitable news!" Yes, I'm ready to bawl.
But, usually, it's a kitten that's temporarily missing, or a coon that damaged the corn, or an old tractor part that broke down again, or someone I knew from high school that she saw at Wal-Mart. I should learn not to overreact.
I'm remembering the butter moan, though, this morning. It's a beautiful Sunday morning; it feels like September. I hear grass rustling outside (grass?), and a 'caw' or two. My loyal wind chime melodies away, and so, of course, I felt like baking pies.
Pies are an attempt at reaching the high-up Ilene standard. She excels at pies ... the crust, oh, the crust, and then the filling! My, the filling! Apple pies are my favorite. We don't put ice cream on them to take away the pure pleasurable voluminous taste. No, we sit, and eat them quietly, slowly, with land-reverence, with idol-adoration.
Therefore, this morning, the daughter attempts to imitate within the confines of the cul-de-sac. I've decided to make four pies and freeze them (yes, freeze them!). Three apples and one blueberry (which is reserved for Charles in exchange for computer work). It's exciting and scary. Bowls lined up, flour strewn, Ilene's crust recipe closeby, apples being peeled. My husband left, looking nervously behind him. I'm always creating an uncomfortable mess ~~to be fair, he is the one who recently mopped and polished the hardwood kitchen floor. And, unfortunately, he doesn't even like pies. However, I can imagine pulling out a pie from the freezer for a multitude of events, people at my table, a gift of community, a book club arrival. Me, smiling, me replacing Martha Stewart in prison one day because of the fervency and ego and the greed for recognition that the pies have propelled me towards. No, honestly, the pies will be an offer to friends, and they typically always exclaim to help me relinquish the pies with satisfaction.:)
Wow, I'm looking at all the work still for me on the counter. Three pies to go. Three crusts to roll and pray and despair and excite over if they turn out. But, at least, I'll remember to dot with butter since Ilene says it must be so!
Bye friends. Below's Ilene's recipe for pie crust:

3 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening
1/3 cup water
rub milk on top of pie crust and sprinkle with sugar

mix above ingredients. pastry blend flour and shortening. add water, toss with fork until it sticks together, roll out on waxed paper, lift and put in pan.

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