reflections on an incident with blackberry pie

i am not the world's greatest cook. i have been known to burn vegetables. you know, the kind you put in water and boil on the stove? yes, those. i've burned them. my rice generally turns out sticky, i tend to overcook my fish, my omelets fall apart. but i like to bake, and i'm halfway decent at turning out brownies and cookies and i make a really good apple pie. (or so i believe.)

our minichurch (new word for small group) meets on Tuesday evenings and we generally eat. i decided, in a fit of insanity, to make a blackberry pie for dessert. i'd never made one before, but i found a sugar-free recipe online that looked simple, got some advice from Sara (who is a brilliant cook) about adding extra fruit, and figured i was good to go.

allow me to share with you some things i have learned:

1) frozen berries tend to get a little juicy when they thaw
2) when a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of apple juice as a substitute for sugar, and tells you that all you need is 2 tsp. of corn starch to thicken it up, you should be suspicious
3) as a result of the first two lessons, when you pull the pie out of the oven, and it seems odd to you that there's berry juice boiling through some of the slits in the pie crust, there might be a reason for that
4) if you are foolish enough to not recognize the wisdom in lesson three, and cover your pie with only a sheet of tinfoil, you really ought not to stack the pie on top of your Bible and journal and carry it tilted slightly sideways on your way out the door

i am not kidding about lesson 4.

i would like, at this point, to mention that I looked fabulous. i felt fabulous too. from about the time i left my kitchen till about the time my friend chased me out the front door to tell me i was dripping.

dripping was an understatement.

there was a veritable lake of blackberry juice in my purse (purchased, of course, on my last missions trip to Germany). (the juice lake missed only my wallet and my cell phone - what were the odds? (thank you, Jesus!)) sweater, jeans, my favorite jacket - khaki suede... oh, and did you know we have white carpet? the front porch and the sidewalk all the way to the driveway are covered in variously sized and shaped purple splotches. and my bible and journal are decorated as well...

i stood there - dripping - in the middle of the sidewalk, holding the pie, looking at the disaster, and all i could say was, "i don't even know what to do right now..." seriously, what do you do in a moment like that?

you stand there, dripping, and wondering what to do.

and then your friend comes and helps you for a minute, and holds the pie so you can at least put down everything else. and you get some paper towels, and you start to clean up the mess, one bit at a time. you get new tinfoil and more paper towels and a carrying case and you wrap the pie more securely and contain it for the next stage of its journey. and you change your clothes, and dash out the door late, and looking slightly less fabulous, only to discover that the Boy Scouts have parked you in. so you dash back in and choose politeness and patience when internally you want to scream. and you get to minichurch eventually. and everyone is kind about the fact that they find your story hilarious, and they express sympathy while laughing. and then you go to cut the pie and find out that no, actually, it was a bigger lake than you thought. so your friend takes the pie to the sink and drains the rest of it. and the boys all tell you the pie is really good in spite of being so soggy. and you think, well. next week i will make an apple pie to make up for this...

and then you just kind of grin, because while you have been a complete moron on several counts today, life is just like that some days, and in so many ways the whole thing with the pie really is the way life goes. so you live and you learn...

and next time you ask someone who knows how to cook what corn starch is actually for anyway.


Erin said...

OOOOPS!! Oh I HATE it when stuff like that happens.

I'm not a good cook at all. I try, but honestly I'm not. I'm inpatient and make stupid mistakes all the time. So I feel for you.

But this is how we learn.

Tara said...

LOL. This was great. I needed a chuckle. But what about the suede jacket and white carpet? Geeez Louise! Berry pies are tricky girl!

Cat said...

haha..cute story hap. thanks for sharing. you gonna try that recipe for torchfest sometime? :D

Cheryl said...

I'm so sorry...I can just see the pie juice in the house... I have those kind of days sometimes...

Mike said...

Hmmm, better rice???

Rice in the saucepan, water to the thumb knuckle. Now what I mean by that is that you put your thumb into the pan so that it is touching the rice and then add water until it is up to your first thumb knuckle. Boil for 6-8 minutes and then simmer.
Works every time!!

Rob said...

Well, enough corn starch, anyway . . . a little leaven may leaven the whole lump, but a little corn starch most assuredly does not thicken the whole pie. *wry grin*