But this time I am writing about a different kind of pie – that is, apple pie. Specifically an apple pie I made myself. From scratch. Even the crust. With apples I picked that very day right from a tree in a field near our house. From tree to pie in less than one day. How’s that for the pioneer spirit?
This may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but believe me when I say I am not a baker. I am a very good cook, and I love cooking, but baking? Not so much. This is the first time I have ever made a pie fully from scratch, all by myself without using a store-bought crust. Can you sense that I am rather tickled with myself? What’s more, making that pie helped my writing.
You may be wondering how spending four hours making a pie (including the time it took to hike down to the tree and back) is any help to writing. Well, sometimes when you’re stuck on one thing, it can help to shift your attention somewhere else for a while. Hiking in the fresh air, peeling lots of apples, rolling out the dough for the crust – all of those things forced me to slow down and to focus on the moment and the task at hand. I accomplished something I had always been afraid to even try – making pie crust. Pie crust is intimidating. My own crust turned out far from perfect. It was lopsided and had holes in it that needed repair before I could bake it. I had to remove pieces from over-crusted parts and graft them onto the under-crusted parts. I couldn’t master the fluted edge, so I renamed it the “bumpy” edge. But despite its imperfections it tasted delicious when it came together with all the other ingredients. I was proud. It was mine. It was edible. If that’s not a metaphor for writing, I don’t know what is (minus, hopefully, the edible part).
My family came home to a warm house smelling of cinnamon, and I presented that pie like it was love itself. Their accolades and requests for seconds did much to boost my flagging morale.
Call it a coincidence, but my PiBoIdMo ideas have been more free-flowing and interesting since then. I plucked up the courage to send out another query letter. I’ve resumed work on a stalled WiP. Maybe there was a little bit of magic baked in that pie…
I will not, however, be using the pie as a PiBo idea, since there have been so many wonderful apple pie stories published already, including my favorite by Marjorie Priceman: How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World. If you haven’t read it, do so. It’s a perfect book for fall and includes a recipe.