Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Homemaking Tip--Pies

Cali didn’t like to work in the kitchen; Ande didn’t like to work outside. Both had to learn each, but if we were choosing chores you could bet Ande would cook while Cali pulled weeds.

Ande quickly learned the better she got in the kitchen the higher her chances of getting to stay inside were. She became an expert pie maker.

Cali was good outside which ensured her chances of getting those chores. I worried a little that she wasn’t more proficient in the kitchen, but a good friend told me to relax. She said as long as I had taught her to read a recipe and the importance of good food for a family she’d get it when she needed it. I relaxed and I’m glad I did.

Last week Ande made a couple of peach pies. Yesterday she made two blackberry pies. Today she’s helping Cali make a blackberry and a peach pie for a company dinner Cali's attending with a friend. Here’s a snippet of the conversation going on in the kitchen:

Cali: “What are you doing?”
Ande: “I’m getting cold, cold, cold water.”
Cali: “What for?”
Ande: “Because the dough does funky stuff if you don’t.”

Ande starts measuring the flour out of the bin . . .

Ande: “Okay Cali, this is what you do with the flour. You make it very fluffy.”

Cali begins to help . . .

Cali: “I’m making a mess. . . . Mom, you are on clean-up duty.”
Pause . . . “Mom, you’re not doing a very good job.”

(Of course I’m not, I’m too busy recording their conversation . . .)

Cali: “I need help!”
Ande: “Cali, what do you think I’m doing.”
Cali: “You’re doing a great job, honey. It’s mom. . . . Mom! Help! Getting a husband is NOT easy.”

A few minutes later . . . Ande is mixing dough, Cali is peeling peaches.

Ande: “Half the Crisco, Cali, and smoosh it with the giant fork.”
Cali “Why half?”
Ande: “‘Cause it works. Come look at my mixture.”
Cali: “Come see my peaches.”

Cali continues to peel peaches, Ande continues to make the dough.

Ande: “Cali, come watch the tricky part.
Cali: “Um hum . . . nice little ball.”
Ande: “Lots of flour and always use the marble rolling pin.”

Ande begins to direct Cali on how to mix the peach pie filling. She tells her where the things are in the cupboards: cornstarch, nutmeg, tapioca, etc . . . .

Ande: “Get the cornstarch, Cali. It’s in a container up above the bread.”
Cali: “Mom, you’ve been buying this in bulk these days? When did you start buying cornstarch in bulk?”
Ande: “Cali, how long has it been since you’ve been in the kitchen?”
Me: “I’ve been buying cornstarch in bulk since you wore diapers and I used it for your diaper rash.”
Cali: “Oh. I guess I hadn’t noticed.”

Cali begins mixing sugar, thickening agents and spices in with peaches.

Cali: “Ande, you do know these peaches are dry don’t you? Should I smash them?”
Ande: “Just stir Cali.”

Cali stirs and stirs and stirs.

Cali: “Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.”

Cali snorts and laughs uncontrollably at herself.

Cali: “I can’t believe I just used that term.”

Cali continues to stir.

Cali: “Hey, Ande. Look at this SAUCE! Who’d have guessed? Sugar and fruit make juice.”

The girls' banter continues back and forth.

Cali occasionally says, “Wait! I need to learn how”
and Ande responds, “Don’t worry, Cali. Cali. Quit worrying. Cali. I see you are still worrying.”

Cali did not need to worry:

The homemaking tips today come from my friend and Ande:

1. “Relax. Teach her how to read a recipe and the importance of good food to a family and she’ll get it when she needs it.”

2. Ande always seals the inside of her pie crust with mixed egg whites. She brushes it on before adding her fruit filling and it keeps the fruit juice from soaking through and making the crust soggy.

3. Ande also adds 3 Tbs of quick tapioca and 3 Tbs of cornstarch to her berry pies. They gel so nicely and keep their shape when cut.

  • Are you more proficient inside or outside?
  • Did you like to learn to cook or did your mom have to relax and let you learn to cook when necessity prevailed?
  • Peach or blackberry?


HeatherM said...

Jane-I love, love, love this post. You have done a fabulous job of raising your girls. You just tell Cali not to worry - master a couple of things, even if it's Nachos and Pillsubry cookies from a refridgerated tube, and the right husband will be so pleased with all of her other glowing attributes, he won't even notice. Great help, Ande - you're a sister and a friend, the best kind to have.

Kim Sue said...

I'm not sure if i am a master of either inside or out but I prefer inside. definitely blackberry!

Tiffany Fackrell said...

This made me laugh. It reminded me so much of my sister and I, I would have rather pulled weeds then been in the kitchen. My mom had my husband convinced that we were going to starve!! Still to this day he reminds me that my mom was COMPLETELY WRONG! I really hated cooking before I got married, now I really don't mind it, and I am not too shabby! My mom taught me to read a recipe and I was good to go, so Cali no worries!

Ande Payne said... have some awesome daughters. Lucky us we have an awesome mom. I love you and this is a great post. I love your blog.

Jill said...

Oh dear, I'm not sure if I'm more proficient inside or outside, but I'm thinking inside (I just don't love it).

It's so great you recorded this conversation and experience, I love the photos! I'm sure you've taught your girls everything they need to know, it will just be a matter of desiring to use their skills. That's comforting to me since I don't love everything I know how to do either.

Becky said...

This made me grin! Ande is right--you have awesome daughters and they have an awesome mom :)

I love to cook and bake and I'm a terrible gardener. Guess what? I married a man who loves yard work and loves to eat my chocolate chip cookies (from scratch) and my lemon meringue pie (the best recipe because it's easy--storebought crust and Jell-O lemon pudding mix!). We have us a great system! :)

sheila piper said...

Jane Ande and Cali...You are lucky to have each other. This blog took me back to my teenage days. When it was time to pick the raspberrys I would pick one bucket and then declare that I would go inside and clean the house while my sister Linda and Mom would finish the berrys. Linda never thought that was a great idea, but I loved it. To this day I love to cook and decorate rather than pull weeds or work outside. Thanks for the memory.

Making a good pie is an excellent skill. Keep up the good work.

shelly said...

Jane, tell Ande thanks for the tips! Shelly

Barb said...

Just as I thought - I commented here yesterday, but I lost my internet connection right after I commented so it didnt' save.
My gardener/cook are the same girl! (Carmen) If I had to divide the other girls Jaclyn would be indoor and Chloe would be outdoor.
My mom couldn't relax the cooking thing, and I was fairly willing, but not enough for her to relax. I remember my freshman college year Christmas break my mom panicked that she hadn't taught me to make cinnamon rolls and insisted on a lesson that week. (To help me catch a husband??? Ken doesn't like cinnamon rolls)
I liked the egg white and tapioca tips, I've never tried either. Thanks for sharing, I read this fun post like a script from a play.

melanie said...

My cousin always teased me that when I got married my family would eat Quesadillas and tacos. While those things are on the menu I have learned so much more. Because I love good food, my mom taught me how to read a recipe and I don't like to weed!

Ande's pies always look delish. Both girls are fabulous!

Barb said...

I forgot to tell you I have a friend who spreads a layer of cream cheese over her bottom crust for any pie she is going to freeze so that the extra moisture of defrosting when baking doesn't make the bottom crust soggy. I love cream chees, and I can't think of any kind of pie that wouldn't be improved by it. Just an idea if you are looking to mix things up in the pie department.