Thursday, September 10, 2009

The pie man

No work on the back-back yesterday, but we’d bought some lovely Greenings last weekend, so I baked an apple pie in the afternoon. My mother, grandmother, and aunts all made great pie, as did my mother-in-law. They are now all sadly late, as Precious Ramotswe would say. Did I ever go to the trouble of learning their little tricks? No. Now I fumble and bumble, following a variety of recipes and advice, resulting in one or another version of mediocrity. This one was a little dry, and the crust (the hard part) was more crispy than melt-in-your-mouth.

Of course, I eat the result regardless. I love pie. Apple is the standard, but it’s impossible to beat a (rare, oh, so rare) great peach pie. Except perhaps with a great rhubarb pie (with none of those damn strawberries to spoil it). Apple, though, is the iconic pie, especially in New England, as in this old wheeze:

To a foreigner a Yankee is an American. To an American a Yankee is a Northerner. To a Northerner a Yankee is a New Englander. To a New Englander a Yankee is a Vermonter. To a Vermonter a Yankee is a person who eats apple pie for breakfast.

And sometimes you hear this capper:

To a Vermonter who eats apple pie for breakfast, a Yankee is someone who eats it with a knife.

Of course, all true Yankees eat their apple pie with cheese...a chunk of good Vermont cheddar, naturally. And that’s a combo I’d take even over port and Stilton, any day.


Clara said...

"Apple pie without the cheese, is like a kiss without the squeeze."

Mark Alvarez said...

Hi, Clara! I guess Maine girls are Yankees, too!

Phreerunner said...

Don't let Mike Knipe anywhere near this!