There are many reasons to bake something.
You might have a hankering for a little sweetness. Or, perhaps the kids are coming for dinner. Maybe baking is something that you can actually admit to being skilled at – and if you’ve got something you know how to do, you don’t want to lose it, so to stay sharp, you keep up the practice. The challenge of baking that perfect dessert or sweets and perfecting a dish is an act I never grow tired of.
But, if I’m honest, I bake mainly for one person.
Looking back in my notebooks over the years, there are common threads that always surface in the month of March. Snow melts and yard debris emerges, reminders of tasks undone from the fall. The snowmobile must be stored away, along with snowshoes and ice fishing gear. The lakes remain with layers of ice, but unsafe to trek onto for fishing or journeying across to the cabin. Hunting seasons pause. Fishing opener still two months out. Months of laps in the pool take a toll on my husbands shoulders and he drags into the house worn down from the extra hours in the long weeks of work.
He becomes little edgy. Quiet. Less giddy-up-ed-ness in his skipp-i-dee-do-da. Even Ella steers clear some days.
“If you could have anything, any kind of baked good, dessert or treat, what would it be?” I ask him.
“Geez,” appearing surprised at this question, “I don’t know, what are my choices? I need some perimeters.” He lights up just a bit, yet seems overwhelmed by the possibilities.
“There are none. Anything!” I respond.
He ponders for a bit and and after rambling some options, he decides.
“I would have to say apple-cherry pie. But, that’s kind of a lot of work,” he says Eeyore-like.
I was afraid he’d say pie. He’s right. Pie crust is temperamental and I’ve still forgotten to purchase a new rolling pin cover, so I’d have to use a cut up sock. There will be sticking problems rolling out the dough. I can do it. It’s just my own willingness to wrestle with this today is at a two on a scale of one to ten.
How can I make this pie without the uncertainty of the crust turning out or frustrations of a sticky rolling pin?
I decided to just press the crust into the pie pan with my hands. Perhaps I should have greased the pan, I don’t know. And, once the cherries and apple filling were added, just a topping for Dutch apple pie crumbles was added rather than rolling out a top crust. We’ll see what happens. It’s practice for my uncertainty muscles.
Appearances can be deceiving, so the true test of pulling this off will come at the actual tasting.
Oh my, it’s World Poetry Day today, so now I must shape this into a poem.
The days of Mid-March wear on us like a ship voyaging the ocean through weather of fraught rations dwindling cold, damp and weak. . . But, sun peeks through the thick heavy clouds land appears in the distance We'll make it through by holding one beautiful memory in our minds' eye an image, a scent, a pleasure a loved one, a dream or a place of warmth What is it for you, hon? Could you make me an apple cherry pie?
I am participating in the 14th Annual SOL 2021 March challenge. For 31 days, I will attempt to write and share a small slice of life from my days. If you’d like to read more of today’s slices from other teacher-writers, please head over to twowritingteachers, who have also committed to this challenge.