Food + Wine

Pie, Platforms and Poles

Ever had one of those days where you feel you’re not really living, just floating above and watching yourself do stupid stuff?  Not floating in any kind of ethereal or angelic way, more like hovering.  Like a helicopter without the proper landing equipment.  That’s the kind of day I have had…for the last 5 days.  Let’s go through my week, shall we?

Monday-I wake up feeling sick, which I was kinda expecting.  My son had croup a few weeks ago with a lingering cold and my husband just recently had a bad virus and high fever.  So I had been waiting for my turn.  And what do I do when I feel sick?  I bake.  I bake whenever I feel wrong, whether it be for emotional reasons or physical.  It’s therapeutic to me.  And it’s just what I do.  We had picked up a bunch of fresh blackberries from the Farmer’s Market over the weekend and I wanted to bake them into a pie.  Only, I didn’t have enough blackberries, so I used the rest of my Peach Butter from all the peaches I got the last time we went Farmer’s Marketing.  Pretty clever, right?  My pre-baked pie looked beautiful-

Apart from the cracked pastry and forgetting to dot with butter before the lattice, I did an ok good job I think!

I carefully placed my pie into the oven, being sure to put it on a foil-covered cookie sheet so the juices wouldn’t drip onto my oven floor and burn (learned that lesson the hard way).  I tucked my babies into bed for their naps, feeling a nap of my own coming on, and soon began to smell the intoxicating aroma of tart blackberries swirled with sugar and butter.  I had a little quiet time on the couch and when the timer went off I carefully pulled my pie out of the hot oven and set it out to cool.  About 30 minutes later I decided it was time to remove it from the cookie sheet and place it directly onto the cooling rack.  I lifted it up, and noticed it was stuck a bit on one side.  Must be from the juice overflow.  Thank goodness for the foil!  I lifted it up onto its side a bit to remove the foil that was stuck to the bottom of the pan and as I released the foil and went to place it back down again, I got a terrible feeling something had gone wrong.

Pie soup, anyone?

So that was Monday.  Next comes Tuesday.  Tuesday I woke up feeling sicker than the day before and when I turned on my cell phone, I saw that somehow over the night my phone had decided to freeze and simply refuse to work.  After a 45 minute phone conversation with my cell phone carrier, where the technician decided the only way to fix my issue was to do a factory reset, I reset my phone, only to find that everything that was on my SD card was now erased.  This meant my work files, contact information, recipe notes… basically my brain.  My brain had been erased.  I even was sure to ask the guy if I needed to remove the card beforehand to ensure this wouldn’t happen.  I told him I hadn’t had anything backed up yet.  ‘No, everything will be fine’, he says.  Ha!  Fine, my butt.  It was not even 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday and my brain had already been erased.  Turns out, hours later, I was able to fix my phone issues on my own, with zero help from the cell phone company, but an entire day was spent wasted doing something I am not qualified for, nor paid to do.  I wasn’t a good mother that day, I felt horrible, and wished I could call someone do a factory reset on the day.

Wednesday morning came with more sickness, a tiny fever and a broken car.  We took my car in to get the A/C fixed (for the second time in three months) and the kids and I dropped my husband off at work before taking his car on some errands.  We came home and ate lunch, the kids took their naps and I tried to muster up the energy to get excited about going out for drinks that night with friends.  My brother was coming over to babysit and even though all I wanted to do was lay on the couch, I also really needed to just get away for a bit.  I decided to take the kids to the YMCA so they could play while I attempted to sweat out my problems.  As we were leaving the Y, we were rushing to get to the car to meet my brother at our house and my 4 year old son was running and trying to keep up in his flip flops, (a.k.a Croc’s Brother, the Devil Shoe) when all of a sudden I heard the most awful scream come from his mouth.  He had fallen over one of those parking space curb thingies and broken his fall with his knees.  His tiny little 4 year old knees.  They were bloody and scrapey and he was so scared and in so much pain.  I felt so horrible that I was trying to hurry more than I was trying to watch him.  I still keep thinking of him looking up after me, trying to do what he thought I needed him to do, and forgetting to watch where he was going.  He got banged up pretty bad.  But thanks to my Mommy Bag I never leave the house without, I got him cleaned up pretty well and he was calm with sucker in mouth in no time.  We met my brother at home and rushed through dinner, baths, and some much needed beautification before heading out the door on our double date.  I couldn’t focus on the date, I just kept thinking of how I let my little man down.  Well, that and the giant headache combined with the cough medicine and wine that was making me a little loopy.  I’m sure I was a real fun date.

Thursday morning I woke up with a higher fever and no energy.  We were stuck inside all day because my car was still being worked on.  It was also raining.  I tried to make the day fun but I don’t think I did a very good job at it.  My daughter woke up crying from her nap, which tells me she’s not feeling well either and I decided to call my mom for some help before I pulled out all of my hair.  My mama took me to get my car and then we were going to meet at Target for some retail therapy.  Again, I took some medicine before heading out the door.  I settled up with the car people and get the kids loaded into the car.  It’s raining again and my head is throbbing.  Stupid medicine.  I three-point-turn out of the tiny parking lot and feel a bump.  Not a big bump, but a bump nonetheless.  Well, damn.  I just backed into a pole.  It’s raining and my daughter, who hates cars, is screaming and so is my head, so I just keep going.  Then I notice that the A/C, which was being fixed for 3 days, is now showing its temperature in celsius.  Now, I’m smart in a lot of ways.  But converting celsius to fahrenheit at a quick glance is not one of them.  So my A/C temp is set on 16 degrees and it’s 25 degrees outside.  Hooray.  I pull into the Target parking lot, get the kids out and look at the back of my car.

Must have been a big pole.

We all have a great time in Target, my son picks out a matchbox car to buy with his piggy bank money, my daughter rearranges all the bras, and both kids give my mother ten different pairs of sunglasses to try on.  I’m finally able to get my mind off of the week, my meds kick in and break my fever and I place some extremely fun shoes my mother found for me on clearance into my shopping cart,

and then I get a phone call from the car place.  Uh oh, they must have found out about the pole.  Crap.  Was that a hit and run?  Can I be arrested for that?  Great.  Just what I need this week.  Maybe if I wear these shoes, it’ll get me out of my ticket.  



‘Hi. Abbey?  This is ____ over at _____ and I was wondering, do you, by any chance, have a busted tail light?’


‘Yes, yes I do.  And I’m so sorry about the…’  (Pole.  I was going to say Pole.)
‘Well, let me tell you what I think happened.  I think you backed up into my truck in the parking lot.  I have the rest of your tail light on my desk’

Oh.  My.  God.  I hit a car?!?!  I hit a car.  I.  Hit.  A.  Car.  I apologized a bagillion times to this man, rambled on about fevers and shoes and screaming kids and hung up the phone feeling like the biggest doh-doh dumb-butt on the planet.  Who hits a car and doesn’t know they HIT A CAR??!?!  Me.  That’s who.  Me.  My day just got bad again.  So when I got home, I had the privilege of telling my husband, (a.k.a My Insurance Agent) ‘Hey honey, you know that little pole I hit?  Well…it had wheels.’  I cried a bunch of tears that night.  I kept thinking about how that man must have thought I was some dumb little girl and how my father and husband were thinking I was some dumb little girl.  (I care a lot about what people think, can you tell?)  I need to bake.  I need to bake and give my bakings to that man.  I wish my pie didn’t look like soup or I could give him some of that.

So, clearly, Thursday wasn’t a good day.  Maybe Friday will be better?  I hit someone’s car yesterday.  Seriously, how much worse can I get without killing anyone?  Friday morning my son woke up with a huge rash all over his face, neck and back.  It was bad.  He was completely fine but his skin was bad.  I gave him some Benadryl that did absolutely nothing except make him almost fall asleep in the car.  We drove over to the car place to deliver the cookies I baked for my victim and asked them to please make my car thermostat remember it’s in America and not the United Kingdom.  I waited for about an hour and watched my kids play in the play area.  When my son was a baby, I was terrified of those waiting area play centers.  I was the mom with the lysol and the wipes scrubbing things before I let him loose.  And then with my daughter I’ve loosened up.  A ton.  I still sanitize afterwards, trust me, but I’m sooo less crazy than I was with my first.  My son happily played with all the big trucks and cars and my daughter, after finding the one noisy toy in the box, eventually found some wooden blocks to keep her occupied.  Since no one was hurting themselves at the moment, I looked down to text my husband about making a doctor’s appointment for my son, and when I looked back up again, I see my daughter giving sweet kisses to a Barbie doll she had found somewhere at the bottom of the toy box.  Now, I said I was less crazy, I didn’t say I wasn’t bothered when I see my child licking something public.  The old me would have never let that happen in the first place, but the new me secretly freaked out a bit after it did.  I kept it in, but on the inside I was dying a little.  If you think I’m insane for even thinking of freaking out, take a little look at her make-out partner-

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Hepatitis A Barbie.

Now I wish the old me had lysol-ed the toy box.

After an hour, the car guy still can’t get my thermostat to return to fahrenheit, tells me to not worry about it, says there’s nothing he can do, then just shrugs saying ‘if it’s hot, it’s hot. If it’s cold, it’s cold’, then walks away.  If it weren’t for the fact that I had been involved in a hit and run with his partner, I would have protested.  But I guess he’s right.  How bad can it be?  I’ve always wanted to learn a new language.  We go from the car place to the grocery store for a quick trip in order to make it on time to my son’s doctor’s appointment at 11:30 across town.  We rush through the store, no problem, with time to spare and, as I’m loading my kids and groceries into the car, I get a call from my husband.

‘Where are you?!  Do you need me to come and take him to his appointment?’


‘No.  I got it, I’m on my way home to drop off the cold stuff in the fridge, I’ll be there in a bit.’


‘Babe.  It’s 11:30!’


(Um.  No it’s not!  It’s…. Oh crap.)

My car clock is 30 minutes slow.  When they fixed my car, the battery was taken out for, I’m guessing, 30 minutes, and I didn’t know.  So I met my husband in a parking lot somewhere and toss my red son into Daddy’s car in order for them to race to his appointment.  Turns out he has some kind of virus that cannot be diagnosed and cannot be fixed.  Super glad we paid them to tell us that.  So we get to just stare at him all day and see if it gets worse.  At least, in exchange for the Barbie Herpes we took home with us, we left the car place a little dash of Mystery Virus.

So that was my week.  It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t great, and now I’m airsick from that damn helicopter.  But, as I write this, my children are happily playing upstairs with my husband and no one is screaming or licking something inappropriate or hitting cars they never knew existed.  All is fairly well.  The butt of my car is still broken, my head still throbs and they’re up there eating Kid Cuisine’s but  It Is Friday and things cannot get any worse than they already have.  And this time I actually know that to be true.
The helicopter is coming in for a landing.  And once it does, I will back up into it with my car.

*Blackberry and Peach Butter Pie
(Change out the fruit and butter in this to make the pie your own!  Use whatever fruit is in season and whatever jam, jelly or preserve you happen to have on hand.  I just happened to have some beautiful blackberries and leftover homemade Peach Butter and the combination was heavenly!)

-In a large mixing bowl, toss 4 cups of fresh blackberries with 2 TB of cornstarch, 1/2 cup of sugar, a pinch of salt and the zest and juice of 1 lemon.  Add 2 cups of peach butter and mix well.
-Pour into a rolled out pie crust inside a greased pie plate.  Dot the top with 2 TB of unsalted butter.  Place your other crust on top, either flat or in a lattice design.  Brush the top crust with a little melted butter and sprinkle heavily with sugar.
-Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Then turn the heat up to 400 and bake for another 15 minutes or so until the crust is golden brown and the juices are thick and bubbly.
-Allow to cool (carefully) before serving.







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1 Comment

  • Reply Anonymous July 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Bless your heart♥

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