Friday, October 29, 2010

Pie for Everybody!

What we needed was pie.
(My unprofessional diagnosis.)

Since I'm home at the moment, writing and searching for a job, I had the time to do it right.

I pared the Granny Smith apples the old fashioned way, remembering how my dad still does it, letting the peel trail toward the floor in a long curly snake. I sliced the fruit thin into the bowl on my lap, thinking of apple pies I'd made before when the kids were little. How the smell would fill the house. How they'd wait at the table, and Sarah would make up a silly apple pie song.
Now Sarah was off at college and the boys were plugged into the computer or buried in homework. Checking off To Do lists, answering cell phones.

We were all in need of pie, the boys, my husband, and me. We needed laughter and the comfort of something ordinary and warm, smelling of cinnamon. A reason to put away the college applications, the insurance paperwork, a calendar full of doctor's appointments, the want ads and the homework.

We've moved cautiously through our days of the last couple weeks, bracing ourselves at times when surprise aftershocks from Ben's accident washed over us, managing the normal stressors of life with teens and tweens. Stresses of a boy who's already lining up suitcases in the hallway of his mind, getting ready to leave us and set off on his own. Stresses of a younger one who is trying to figure out who he is, yearning to feel understood and respected. Stresses of life with a forty something mother, wandering and searching, and a forty something father, working so hard, focused on his family.

You may be well acquainted with this section of road we're traveling. You may be struggling with much steeper roads, staggering, treacherous ones, or catching your breath in a smooth spot. We all go through rough patches and deal with stress in different ways. We may try to control things or cocoon, we might bicker or get quiet, we might worry or pretend that life isn't fragile at all, that thinking about it and talking about it is silly, a waste of time.

What we really need is pie.
Okay, so pie can't solve everything, but it can't hurt, right?
(Unless you're diabetic. If so, disregard this post. :)

So, back to the pie baking.
After the apples were sliced and tossed with sugar and flour and cinnamon, it was time for the crust. I rolled it into a ragged round and lifting it gingerly into the pie pan, filled it with apples and the syrup they made, added lumps of butter, and blanketed the top crust over, sealing the crusts together like my grandma used to do, pinching around a thumb, making a circle of V's. A few slits in the top crust to let out the steam, and it was time for the oven.

Forty five minutes later, the house smelled like heaven.
Boys suddenly appeared and stood around, waiting.
My husband got up from his seat at the computer, and we talked and took out plates and forks and found the ice cream scoop. I tortured them all by announcing that the pie needed five minutes to set before we sliced it, but three minutes in I couldn't take it anymore.
We sliced the pie and passed the plates around, and as we sat there chewing and oohing and ahhing, it felt like a holy moment. It was a holy moment.
Take, eat.
Laugh, enjoy.
Yes, life is all about messy loose ends and aftershocks, wandering and moving on, and sometimes saying goodbye.
But life is also about eating pie at the table. Sharing a baked prayer, topped with a slab of vanilla ice cream. Savoring every tart-sweet morsel. And maybe having seconds!

So I'm curious. How do you serve up prayers for your family? What concrete things do you do that sometimes create those holy moments? I'd love to hear about it!

Have a wonder-full Friday, y'all, and a super weekend. I wish you much pie and the time to enjoy it with those you love most!

Love, Becky

Photo courtesy of edwardkimuk, through creative commons.


Kat said...

Oh, what a beautiful post. I love this.
My family reacts much the same way when I make applesauce. Or cookies. Or muffins.
What is it about food? ;)

Patricia said...

Remember Granny's June apple pie? The best in the world....
Love you,

lotusgirl said...

Oh man! I want pie. It makes life so much better. Especially when it's homemade.

Jenny said...

Pie...even the word is somehow comforting. I am somehow missed your gripping post on Ben's accident and fought back tears when I read it, with your sentence saying that life can feel paper thin at true. I am so thankful that Ben and Ellison are fine. Blessings to y'all and have a great weekend Becky...thank you for sharing so much and giving out sweet encouragement even in the midst of everything.

Daricia said...

this is a wonderful post, becky. you've brought me to tears! it's funny, but i had a lot of the same feelings when i made apple cobbler this week. it always takes me a little by surprise just how much of what you say resonates with me. the timing always seems perfect. have a peaceful, happy weekend.

jama said...

Beautiful post! Yes, coming to the table -- spiritual, emotional and physical nourishment. Mmmmmm, pie :). . .

Anonymous said...

gathering around...

Silicon Valley Diva said...

I hope the stress eases for all of you!

I have never ever been able to peel an apple like that, with the skin spiraling all the way to the floor. Nor have I ever BAKED an apple pie, if you can believe it! I need to get on that, asap, because now I'm seriously craving it.

Terri Tiffany said...

I love to make apple pie and you have me thinking about it now.
I do the applesauce like Kat but mostly homemade rolls:))

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Mmm, okay, now I want homemade rolls and homemade applesauce and more pie!
I'm sending y'all big hugs for your kind and loving comments.

And Tricia, you're right. Granny's June apple pies were the best in the world. And her applesauce too. Love you back.

Mompriest said...

No doubt pie will help. I think it does....and if not pie, cookies. or brownies.

now I want to make pie.

Clella said...

Beautiful post. I could smell the pie! Our family is scattered a bit and the grandchildren are too, but when we can all gather and bow for prayer at the holidays I know true joy. Heaven will be like that won't it? Keep gathering that family together, In today's times families need pie...Blessings Clella

Laura said...

"A baked prayer." I just love it.

We've traveled those roads -- the boy with the suitcases lined up, making those oh-so-important decisions. The younger one, who's always been in a brother's shadow, feeling his way out.

Glad to meet someone whose family is so like mine. Food ministers to my boys. It's so important to them. And often, it heals and relieves. Pass the pie, friend!

Angie Muresan said...

I have never made apple pie, would you believe it? Every other kind of pie, but never apple. Next time you make one, eat a slice for me. :)

Kari said...

I made an apple pie for my husband's birthday this year. I think making/sharing food is my favorite form of prayer. We just had our annual Great Pumpkin Party and my favorite part is deciding what to bake. My husband makes the soup and I make the sweets. And we all stuff ourselves silly on pumpkin food. It's why I love Thanksgiving so much, too - a holiday centered on sharing time and food with those you love.

lynsey. said...

Although we are in a different place, Mike is currently looking for a job that has become quite taxing and depressing at times. Pie does seem to be the answer, and alas! Last night a couple from our church had a pie party! She made 26 pies for her friends and family to enjoy, and I tell you what, coming home with a full stomach of pie made me think, "The Lord will work things out." And he will. Remember that, because I have to remind myself daily.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Pie. That is the Just Right remedy for so many things, isn't it? From scratch, warming house and nose and heart.

Kelly H-Y said...

Such a beautiful post ... it gave me chills. Pie is good ... I'll have to keep that one tucked away for a time when we need it.

Angela K. Nickerson said...

You know, I've always thought that there is something eucharistic about sharing a loved meal -- just like taking communion together. Lovely post!

I thought you might enjoy this one, too:


Fete et Fleur said...

I've read your last ten posts. I've been gone and I didn't know what had happened. The little things of life are what bring normalcy in the crazy times. Apple pie sounds comforting. I'm so glad that your son and friend are safe.


Rebecca Ramsey said...

I've so enjoyed your comments. Thank you! I'm looking forward to blog visiting when this week calms down! said...

Why am I just now reading this wonderful post about pie? I so agree that the smell of apple pie can warm the heart too. The date on this reads 2010 Is that correct? Ihope not because I have just found your blog.