October 18, 2005

Homemade Apple Pie

All I did this morning was grade papers.

Well, maybe that is not exactly right. I also checked my email a few times, like maybe a hundred times or more, surfed blogs just a little bit, ate fourteen snacks, stared out the window eighteen times, checked all the pens in my desk drawer to see if they were working, threw away four dead pens, moved piles of stuff from my desk to the floor, yelled repeatedly at Mama Cat to get off the papers I was grading, stared at the ends of my hair in the sunlight to check for split ends, took nine short breaks for dancing, wrote a blog post, walked out to get the newspaper, walked out to get the mail, which wasn't there yet, read just a story or two in the newspaper, read the comics and the advice columns, moved email from my inbox into neatly labeled virtual folders, checked my email one more time, exchanged just a few emails with Artist Friend, who was also grading papers and who is awfully fun when he is supposed to be grading papers (nothing like procrastination to bring out the creative side of an academic), surfed just a few blogs to make sure I wasn't missing anything exciting, decided to put on a warmer pair of socks, which led to the cleaning of my sock drawer, and drank four cups of chocolate soy milk.

So, like I said, I did nothing this morning but grade papers.

Then about noon, the phone rang. It was my mother. She was baking pies, she said, using up all the apples she brought home weekend before last when she took With-a-Why and Suburban Nephew apple picking. She said, "I know you have to drive by here when you take Boy in Black to his guitar lesson. The pies should be ready by then, and you can pick one up on your way through."

My mother makes the best apple pie in the world. No, I am not biased. Other people, people more traveled than I am, say so too. Her pies taste nothing like those godawful way-too-sweet with weird crust pies that get sold in supermarkets. No, she uses tart apples with just the right amount of sugar and cinnamon. Her crust crumbles on your tongue before you even start chewing. I doubt even that Dr. K's peach pies, which he claims are famous throughout the land, can compare.

Moments like this are why I am glad I chose to stay in my hometown. It's 9 pm. My papers are graded. My boys are finishing up their homework, my husband reading the newspaper. And I am relaxing with an evening snack: a cup of hot herbal tea and a piece of my mother's homemade apple pie.

24 comments:

lostinthemiddle said...

Oh! That just sounds so lovely.

"All" I did today was grade too (and shift a paper from Chicago Style to MLA. good times.)

I feel drained. What I would do for a tasty piece of pie.

Still, your virtual one was wonderful. Thanks. :)

Jane Dark said...

Eee. I am still grading papers. But virtual pie is splendid.

Sarah Sometimes said...

This evening, I avoided grading papers (well, actually commenting on my students' research paper ideas) by: having a glass of wine, working on a crossword puzzle (I had to call my friend Josh the movie maven to ask him what Ingrid Bergman's name was in Jo(e)'s favorite movie, Casablanca [not Ilga but Ilsa]), talking to my father on the phone, and watching TV. Also I had pasta. Maybe I will comment on the research paper ideas in my sleep.

kyra said...

I read your post right before I went to the grocery store tonight... and yes, you guessed it... a bought an apple pie. Since my mom's not around to bake one, and since the urge to eat an apple pie was immediate, I settled on the grocery store version. And it's not half bad :)

I love your description of "just grading papers" this morning.

angrygrad said...

14 snacks!!

liz said...

Your description of grading papers pretty much matches my day of "coding".

But...I have no apple pie. And I didn't finish coding.

Songbird said...

It sounds a lot like sermon-writing day, but I don't get homemade pie at the end.

Pink Cupcake said...

Oooh, between you and Scrivener, I'm totally desperate for homemade apple pie.

I love your description of your day doing nothing but grading, ;)

Yankee T said...

OOOOOOOOOOH, home made apple pie by Mom. What could be better?

Mel said...

I've been "grading" lately too...but I've never thought of dancing breaks -- will have to try this.

jo(e) said...

Mel: One of the things I hate most about grading papers is that I don't like to sit still for more than ten minutes. So putting on music and dancing around really works as a break. Anything to get my body moving and clear all those dreadfully stale phrases out of my head.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

You work the way I work, jo(e)--which is why I am reading this now and not working, LOL!!!! Yes, that's so true, and boy would I like some of that pie!


I used to dance when I worked (between tasks etc) and I have just realized I don't do that any more--scary thought! Am I getting--gasp--old?

I miss Snowstorm City and all my dear friends and family, including--YOU!!!
XOX Mary

Piece of Work said...

Yum! However, even if I lived at home, I would not have the luxury of homemade apple pie, since my mother doesn't cook, much less bake!
Now I am inspired myself--though pie crust is too intimidating. Perhaps a crisp!
Thanks, Jo(e)!

Running2Ks said...

My evening plan was already to bake a pie from the apples we got this weekend--some golden delicious. And now I really have a fire lit under me--thanks, jo(e). That and four cups of chocolate soy milk sounds perfect.

ccw said...

You did more while "only grading papers" than I did all day.

I have been wanting to make an apple pie and now I am inspired and to do just that. I am certain your mom's is much better, I use already made pie dough for my crust. I have to go home if I want real crust made with lard.

Dr.K said...

For my birthday recently, I asked for and received a hand-cranked mechanical apple-peeler. Oh, it's so cool! First you turn the lever and suction it firmly to the table. They you stick the whole apple onto the three prongs at the end of the threaded shaft, turn the handle, and the apple is peeled, cored, and sliced in a spiral when it comes out the other end. The thing is actually a bit dangerous to handle since it has these weird little sharp blades all over it, but it works like a dream. You just cut your resultant hollow, naked, corkscrew apple in half, and the pieces just fall right into the pie. It literally takes 5 seconds to do an apple, and just a minute or two for two pie's worth. It used to take half an hour with a paring knife to prepare apples enough for two pies. As for my crust--I would never want to insult your mom. I'm sure she's a wonderful person, and I'm sure her crust is good. But mine is the best. My friend, LovelyLongCurlyBlondeHairWoman, tells me that it's the best she's ever had too. When I bring pies to our writer's group, she praises my crust to the point that it embarrasses both of us, and she begs other peoples' crusts. I do like her for that. Oh my, I'm like everybody else here, now--I feel pie coming on. Yes, there's pie on the wind tonight. A perfect fragrant deluge of hot apples and cinnamon. Sometimes I put cardamom in my apple pies--Oh, yes, the queen of spices. That works in peach pies too, which, when it comes right down to it, is the queen of pies. Cardamom peach pie, are you kidding me? But tonight, it's apple of course. I can't wait to get home. And my crust is the best.

susan said...

And here I was imagining that every other academic is a more focused grader than I. I shall have to try a dancing break next time I have a set of papers to read. Or at least a more poetic mindset on the day's activities.

I wish I had a fruit pie waiting at the end of my day. These comments are making me hungry!

Gia-Gina said...

Apple pie is one of the things I miss most about the US. I guess I better just get off my butt and make one. A McDonalds apple pie sounds good right about now, how sad is that?

Piece of Work said...

Gia-Gina: not until they go back to deep-frying them! If I'm eating apple pie at McDonalds, I don't care about the calories!

halloweenlover said...

Mmmm, Jo(e). Yum. Take a picture to share with us. Sounds delicious.

Your day of grading sounds like my day of ONLY working. Nothing else : )

jo(e) said...

Too late for the photo, halloweenlover. The pie is already gone. One pie does not last long in this household.

Hey, Dr. K, how is it that you are always bragging about your pies but you've never ever made one for me? I'm only about nine hours away. If you make me a pie tonight and start driving, you could get it here in time for breakfast.

Friday Mom said...

Oh, shit! That's just not fair. My mom's seven hours away. If I want apple pie, I have to make it myself...and while that's a nice way to avoid writing my dissertation, I don't have good places to pick apples here in land of the perpetual 90+ degree weather.... No, it's not fair. And now I read the pie is gone....

Dr.K said...

OK, jo(e), maybe late next August when the peaches get ripe. I'll bake you a cardamom peach pie, drive nine hours, deliver the pie, turn around and drive nine hours home. Um...can you mail pies?

Anonymous said...

the last posting here was 2005??? hey wheres everybody.....how do you mail a pie????