My husband took Nicholas outside with him to help plant a new tree in the garden, and Simon seemed to be reasonably content lying on the floor playing with his baby gym, so I decided I might take a few minutes and make my very first apple pie. I already had frozen pie crusts handy (after one horrific disaster two years ago trying to make pie crust from scratch using a "fail-proof" recipe, I have never dared try it again), and I'd bought 3 lbs. of Paula Red apples on my Mom's advice (she says they make the best pie filling), so I figured I could take a few minutes and whip it all together quite easily.
Ha very ha, as Erica likes to say.
First, both pie crusts I took out of the freezer were shattered. Not just cracked, shattered. In a fit of optimism I let them thaw and then tried to patch them back together, but there was no hope for it -- they just wouldn't stick. So I had to open a second box.
Second, it took much longer than I'd anticipated to cut and peel 8 cups' worth of apples, and of course Simon started yelling his head off when I was less than halfway through, making me feel horribly guilty.
Third, the recipe made about 1/3rd more filling than could possibly fit in the pie, although I made a valiant effort to get as much as possible in. (What does one do with a small quantity of leftover, uncooked apple pie filling? I stuck it in a jar and put it in the fridge, where it will no doubt stay until it is green and fuzzy and I have to throw it out again.)
Fourth, I had just managed to get the second crust inverted over the first and successfully pinched together, when Nicholas came in and pulled up a chair to the stove, always eager to help. He watched me cut a couple of vents in the top crust and then, when I turned my back on him for literally one second to check the recipe, he picked up the knife and dug a hole in the side of the pie, pulling out a chunk of pastry in the process. My wail, I'm sure, could be heard across town.
Fifth, I was by this time so flustered and anxious to finish the task (especially as Simon was still loudly protesting) that instead of wrapping up the unbaked apple pie and putting it in the freezer as I had always meant to do, I carried right on following the recipe, brushed the crust with milk and put the pie in the hot oven. And I didn't realize what I'd done until ten minutes later, when the crust was half-baked already. At which point, of course, I had to let it keep baking.
Fortunately, after I had called my mother and she had finished weeping with laughter over the tale of my misadventures, she reassured me that baking the pie before freezing it is in fact what one ought to do. I'm relieved to hear it. Still, I don't think I'm likely to try pie-making again any time soon.