For the last couple of months, I’ve been on a pie-making kick. I’ve been experimenting to see if I can perfect the apple pie: I’ve tried putting the water in the freezer to make it colder, I’ve tried using the pastry cutting tool that my mother swears by, and I’ve asked my mother a million questions about how she makes pie, trying to get every detail right.
I always ask the gang who eats the pies, “Is this one better than the last? Do you think the crust is more tender?” It’s not exactly the right conditions for a controlled experiment, and every pie disappears while it’s still warm, so it’s been hard to tell if my pie-making skills are improving or not.
Yesterday was the real test. My mother left me a phone message that she’d made an apple pie. Long-time readers might remember that my mother makes the best apple pie in the world. Seriously. Everyone says so.
I went to an evening event on campus – a poetry reading with my students – but I stopped at my parents’ house on my way home. My mother put on the tea kettle, and she and my father joined me at the kitchen table. Then she cut me a piece of apple pie. I took sips of the hot tea as we talked and ate apple pie.
And damn. Her pie is still better than mine.