Saturday, October 22, 2016

Witches and Pies

I am not feeling particularly festive of late, but the fairy witch seems to have arrived near their garden. Looks like she may have hit a tree in her descent and flown head long into a hollow stump. That had to smart! You will notice some of the fairy dwellings in the background.

But .... this post is about apple pie. I was in a cleaning frenzy mood yesterday as I waited for the return of HeWho had taken his beloved mower in for repairs. Can't leave the park on a Friday. Even before noon, as those pesky campers don't always wait until check-in time. When the park is booked, I cannot allow them to choose their own site, it always creates disaster. Of course, leaving HeWho should never be in charge can sometimes be as bad.

But, groceries must be procured, unless we depend on my creativity in the kitchen. Like the Italian/Mexican dish I prepared from a variety of leftovers before we left on our trip north. So, while I waited, impatiently, I decided to clean out the fridge. I usually start from the top and work my way down, but I decided to do the opposite and see what surprises might await me. An entire drawer full of apples! I emptied them and washed the bin and replaced it, then washed the other. This is as far as I got, knowing I had to do something with the apples before we would be overtaken by fruit flies. I cored and peeled them all and ended up with enough apples to fill the crock pot. I dumped a little cinnamon and  cloves on them and set the crock pot to low. I was thinking apple butter, maybe.

HeWho arrived home, minus his best friend, the lawn mower, and I grabbed my keys and took off for the fastest shopping trip ever. It was already 2 o'clock and I was leaving him to check in campers. I was back in just one hour with a car full of pantry items and lots of meat. As I approached my campground I saw a camper in the parking lot. Careful to not exceed my speed limit (I am the only one willing to set a good example), I parked as quickly as I could and raced inside to take over.

What a look of relief on his face! I handed off the keys and told him to unload the car. I normally prefer to do this myself, as I have strategically placed the items in rows of priorities. I unload the freezer stuff first and work my way to the other items. Just how I like to do things .....

I checked the check-in preformed by He-Who seems to be unable to read my carefully thought out chart. I find that he has followed my instructions to the T! Of course the camper comes back to announce that they cannot fit in the site assigned (translation: they don't like the site and would prefer another). I have frozen food to deal with, so I tell him to move up one site and decide to deal with the fall-out later, since the site he is taking will not be filled until the next day.

HeWho eats is lingering around the kitchen as I empty bags. He is looking for some good junk food, but I did not purchase any. He spies some frozen pie crusts that I bought with savory pies in mind (and they were on sale). He wants to know what is in the crock pot. He seems to think it is potatoes and a lot of them. I tell you this man has no sense of smell! I look at him in amazement, the aroma of cloves and cinnamon is filling the air! When I tell him it is apples he wants to know if a pie is in his future. The apples had hardly cooked down, so I turned the crock pot off.

In between checking in campers and fielding phone calls of would be campers looking for spots, I managed to get all the groceries put away and peel the potatoes for the leftover roast beef stew. I had already prepared the carrots and celery. I started peeling the apple quarters from the crock pot ......... I must have stopped and washed my hands at least a dozen times to take care of campers.

I finally had a huge bowl of sliced apples. I dumped a little flour and maybe 1/2 cup or so of sugar in a mixing bowl, a splash of cinnamon followed, but I figured there was enough cloves already on them. I looked around frantically and spied the cardamom and decided to dump a little into the mix and then I tossed the apple slices with the sugar mixture and dumped them into the waiting crust. By now it had thawed, but I had neglected to take the two crusts resting in their foil pans apart. The top crust was hard to get out and I literally scraped it onto the top of the pie. Ugly, ugly pie, but I shoved it into the waiting oven that had long since alerted me that the temperature had been reached.

I stirred the stew that was filling the air with a delicious aroma and realized how hungry I was. Then I raced back to the office to take another call and check someone in. Here comes the tricky part. The pie is supposed to cook at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then go down to 350 for another 40 minutes. I was praying that I would be able to hear the timer from the office and not burn the ugly pie.

I was successful and we ate in the office around 7:00. I ate my stew, but all I could think about was the pie and the jerk standing in front of me preventing me from eating my pie! He had called earlier to make a reservation for the same day. When I told him I had no full hook ups left he was irate and told me that he camps here all the time. Like I would bump somebody for him?

He came for a 50 amp site, just water and electric. I recognized him immediately. I see a lot of people every season and usually have to have them refresh my memory. If I ask you to refresh my memory, take it as a compliment, because the trouble makers are seared into my memory! This is an older gentleman  man with what I suppose to be his obnoxious grandson it tow. He comes in declaring to have a reservation for a 50 amp full hook up. I tell him I have no full hook ups available.

He shouts that I told him I did when he called. There are some people in this world of the mind set that if they shout loud enough and make a scene, they will get what they want. They haven't met me yet. I do not intimidate easily ..... especially when I am smelling pie!

Finally I was able to cut into my pie. The crust was browned to perfection, a little gnarly looking. But I took my first bite of perfection and let me tell you, this was the best pie in the history of pies!!! And I doubt I could ever duplicate it, since I measured NOTHING. This pie was so good that by bedtime we had eaten half of it, then HeWho loves pie carved off another piece. The rest is MINE!!

Someone left the cake out in the rain.... I don't think that I can take it.... cause it took so long to bake it..... and I'll never have that recipe again .......


Linda O'Connell said...

Oh my mouth is watering for apple pie. Youu took me on a journey to the first delectable bite. Good writing!

Val said...

That was no MOCK-APPLE pie made with Ritz crackers! Maybe during your "slow" season for campers, and your "fast" season for internet, you can show us the individual fairy houses.