So, I’m going to see my mom again this weekend at our family cabin on Mason Lake. I’m excited to see her – as always – but I’m afraid she is going to get some schooling this time around and she has no one to blame except her own garbage mouth.
Let me explain: my daughter has been asking my mother to bake her a peach pie. This is mostly due to my berry pie baking of late and tangentially involves an incident a few weeks ago when my mom wouldn’t even listen to my description of a new process for a lattice-top on a raspberry pie because her lattice [to quote her prissy voice]: “always turns out perfect“. Well, today my dear mother has the cajones to ask me what kind of treatment I recommend for peach pie filling. I’m about to answer and I make a mere mention of crust advice when she again interrupts me and pulls out her big baking cock: “Oh, my pasty is perfect” – and then, once again, queries me for pie-filling recipes. I snap. “No, godddamn it!” I say, “You’re on your own. In fact – that’s it, I’m calling it: Bake-Off“.
Of course she hurriedly backs off, makes excuses, defers my accusation of baking arrogance. It’s too late to alter course, though. I’m baking a pie tomorrow, people are going to taste it alongside of hers, and mine is going to be better. After all, now that her trash-mouth has her in trouble, what could she do? Suddenly call off her plans to bake a pie? Crawl under some rock, tail between the legs, throwing the match without a fight? I think not. I will own her ass.
Fifteen minutes after getting off the phone, I’m tersely dictating the grocery list to my husband when I suddenly get a flash of brilliance! “Ralph – pick up some lard. I’m going to do a lard crust.” My friend Nancy has always had good luck with those, I think to myself. A perfect coup.
I realize my suggestion has met with stony silence. My husband’s eyes raise slowly to mine: “A Bake-Off is not the time to experiment,” he says flatly, somewhat aggressively.
“But I know it can’t go wrong!” I raise a fist in the air.
“You’ve shot yourself in the foot with that kind of thinking before. Cook what you know.”
I am cowed. Faced with his steely glare I back down from my hasty pastry plan. No matter, though. I have other strategies to employ. With the help of the produce grocer at the co-op and a purchase of a pie bird I am almost guaranteed success.