Mother love in a pie
Posted in "Voices"....
As I am in the midst of baking pie for my annual Pino Pie Day here at Apifera, memories have been flooding through me. From the mixing bowls I'm using that are vintage '60's from my mother's kitchen, bowls she gave me years ago after one of her moves, to the recipe book with her handwriting - all of it brings her to me.
Way back in 1968, I baked my first pie. I was ten years old.
I insisted on making a banana cream pie.
“That’s a hard pie to start with,” my mother warned me.
“You might want to start with an apple pie.”
Being a little Irish, mixed with Scotch and some German, wrapped in a ten year old psyche, I refused her advice and forged ahead, alone.
My mother kept her distance, but I’m sure kept her ear, and nose, towards the kitchen.
I remember knowing the filling didn’t look quite like my mother’s had in past cream pies. Mine was very runny. But with the hope of a child, I knew in my heart some cold refrigerator air would fix that.
It didn’t. With a crust like leather and a filling like carrot soup, even my brother wouldn’t eat it.
I let the pie sit in the fridge for a day, sourly disappointed in the outcome,but not ready to fully admit my defeat as a first time baker. I took my sad, mopey self outside for the afternoon, to climb a tree, and pout in my fort of sumac with
the family poodle, the latter who did enjoy licking the bowl,so loyal to all my foibles.
After an afternoon in nature, the setting sun sent me back to the house.
"No pie," I most likely thought, as I had anticipated the taste of the creamy filling as I made it that morning.
I opened the front door and a waft of heaven circled me, engulfed me and there in the kitchen sat sat a fresh banana cream pie.
It was love that inspired my mother to bake that pie that day, some forty years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday. If she had not baked me a surprise pie that day, would I have remembered the day as well? I’m not sure.
What she made that day was a little love letter to me, but instead of words, the love was all wrapped up in a butter crust . When I bake a pie now, I think of her. I think of her apron dusted with flour, and the hankies that were always tucked in the pocket.
Baking a pie involves working with flour and sugar, eggs, some fruit and earth's bounties. But the hidden ingredient of any pie is the memory that resonates from each baker's heart as they bake their pie - memories of an old kitchen where a mother's hankie pulled from an apron pocket can dry the tear of any disappointed creature.