I Made a Pie

I made a pie today.  I woke up late, glazed-eyed, and briefly considered staying in bed and watching Downton Abbey at least until the last episode of the second season, when Matthew and Mary kiss and smile and look to be together forever.  And then I thought that perhaps it might be better to get up and contribute to the world.  So, I made a pie.

Bright blue sweatpants drawstringed securely around waist, sleeves rolled up, hair braided back but still flopping forward in the bangs department, I made a pie.  The cherries for it were picked by my mom and my dad and sometimes my sister.  Even the dog snapped cherries off the ground and off lower branches, crushing them between her teeth and eventually looking like a killer with bloodstained muzzle.  I helped pick until the mosquitos discovered me and tucked in for a feast.

I’ve always been intimidated by pie making.  The forming of the crust seemed a particular challenge.  So much can go wrong: dough too sticky from excess liquid, dough too rubbery from excess flour, dough too thin from over-zealous rolling, dough too thick from hesitant rolling.  In the end, I took a few deep breaths, fumbled with floury fingers to the “pie” section of The Joy of Cooking, and just did what the dear authors told me to do.

I poured the fresh-picked cherries into the bottom crust.  I briefly considered making a lattice top, and then determined a lattice top to be a bit out of my league.  I put on the top crust, trimmed the excess skirt of dough, and used two fingers and a thumb to crimp the edges together.  Then I carefully made tents of tinfoil so the crimps wouldn’t burn.  I pushed the pie into the oven.  I waited for almost an hour.  And there was a pie.


And I felt, as I was making it, a little like this:

As if all could be right, all was right, as long as I was quietly turning fruit and flour into pastry.  And as long as I had my bird friends to help me with aesthetics.

The Tempest

I am currently sitting on the third floor of the library.  I am smug because I managed to snag one of the comfy chairs.  I am full because I just polished off my lunch of orange and homemade chicken soup.  I am focused because I’m reading for Feminist Theory.  I am tired because I chose the Downton Abbey finale over sleep last night.  I am slightly uncomfortable because there is a woman I’ve never seen in my life taking pictures of me from a few shelves down.

This is awkward.  She just moved around to my left and is taking some more.

Okay, it’s all right: she finally introduced herself.  She’s part of the University Relations team, taking photographs for the UMM website.

Welcome to my life, friends.  And you thought Kim Kardashian has paparazzi problems?

In other news, Morris is under yet another blizzard warning.  Not knowing this, I walked to school this morning (not that there were other options had I known) through 33 mph winds. That was fun.

What was fun was that at one point in the walk, I passed my friend Andy.  Not bothering to peel the scarf from his face, he shouted through it a quote from Shakespeare’s The Tempest:

“Hell is empty, and all the devils are here!”

Don’t Watch Downton Late At Night


Downton Abbey slayed me last night.  Absolutely slayed me.  I couldn’t even sleep afterwards; I had to pull the trick I developed when I was a kid: I read something nice until I’d forgotten about whatever was not so nice.

If you don’t watch Downton, you should probably get on board.  It’s only the third season, so it’s really not too late.

And then we can talk about it together.

Weekend Plans

Folks, there’s a lot to look forward to this weekend.

1. The Vikings/Packers game tomorrow evening.  I will certainly be supporting the Vikes, although I’m worried; when the Vikings go to Lambeau, things tend to go awry.

2. Season three of Downton Abbey premieres on Sunday.  How I love my period dramas.

3. A reunion with my middle school English teacher and with one of my best middle school buddies.

4. General merriment.  It’s my last weekend at home, and I’ll certainly enjoy sleep and family to the fullest.  A few games of broomball and Mexican train will likely ensue.



Today’s highlights:

1.  Using Turtle Wax to scrub tar off my Dad’s truck:

“Holly, I don’t know which of us was dumber: that guy for pouring the tar, or me for driving through it.”

2.  Downton Abbey season two.  This show makes all of my period drama dreams come true.

3.  Olympics.  In my house, when it’s Olympics season, there is nothing else on TV.  Afternoons are spent avoiding spoilers, and evenings are spent glued to primetime.

4.  I picked some burrs off my dog.  True story.  Now she won’t come near me.

5.  And this: http://mckaylaisnotimpressed.tumblr.com/

I’ll Bring the Cookies

I got another job this morning.

3-4 mornings a week, I’ll be watching two cute kids.  They’re two and three, and seem to like the running-around-outside-playing-crazy-made-up-games that I specialize in.  I can’t wait to get started.

This means, of course, that I’ve become much busier than I planned to be this summer.  And I don’t mind.  Maybe I should stop complaining about being busy and accept the fact that I like being busy.  Laying around the house watching Downton Abbey episodes becomes tiring after about one day.

Now my summer is rich and varied and very, very anti-retail.  Perfect.

In a few minutes I’ll be walking down to the grocery store (literally down a hill about three blocks) to pick up butter and chocolate chips.  We’ve a twenty-first birthday to celebrate tonight, and I don’t plan on attending without a bag of baked goods under my elbow.

P.S. My back feels infinitely better today.  Sorry for the grim post last night.

And She Brings Her Laptop to the Lake

I’ve spent most of the day sitting on the back deck reading this

and trying to keep overeager dogs from jumping overboard.  I may have also netted a fish or two.  And taken a nap or two.

Now, stuffed with fresh salmon, I’ve settled down to watch this:

Yes, it feels wrong to be watching a TV show amongst all this nature.  But it’s Downton Abbey.  It’s a period drama.  Resistance was futile.