Baking Pies

We decided to make pies, a blueberry pie, and if we had enough, a blueberry cake, too. Susan and I picked nearly a cup of wild blueberries at Uncle John’s the day before and after tasting the berries had about half of our pickings to make a little pie for our evening meal. We thought that the perfect time to start our baking would be when our mother hung out the wash on the line in the backyard. We thought it best to not have her underfoot so that our pie would be a surprise.

Susan and I had watched our mother bake pies and cakes for every occasion and we were so confident of our baking ability that we didn’t need a recipe to guide us – we were Maine girls – we had blueberry pie in our blood! I was in charge of finding the pie plate and cake tins, the mixing bowl and electric mixer. Susan gathered all of the ingredients and laid them out on the counter. We pushed the dining room chairs up to the cabinets and put our aprons on – we were ready to make pie.

Susan cracked the eggs and poured the milk into the big yellow bowl and I beat the mixture until it bubbled. Susan added the sugar and flour, and then salt, butter and baking powder from the red can with the Indian chief on the label. Lastly, we added baking soda for good measure.

We started with the big yellow bowl but soon out grew it and had to add the overflow to the green bowl, and it was about this time when Susan dropped the egg and I lifted the mixer, that things got a little out of hand. We poured cake batter into the cake tins and used cake batter for piecrust in the pie plates – we must have filled around five tins and plates before we remembered to turn on the oven. Flour and sugar coated the floor, milk puddle on the counter, both Susan and I had batter in our hair and blueberry stains on our lips. We had just enough blueberries left to put one, maybe two berries in each pie and cake but we knew that dad would enjoy dessert that night.

As Susan swept the egg up and I was plugging in the vacuum we were startled by our mother in the doorway. She let out a gasp – her kitchen was a wreck, her dairy allotment for the week was oozing off the counter edge and the floor was sticky with glazed egg. The oven had been set to 400°, flour dusted every kitchen surface and our aprons were smeared with blueberries. “Surprise!” we joyfully cried out.

October 21, 2008 KBP

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