Friday, August 31, 2012


Thank you Katie for documenting the whole process

Julia Childe would be so proud. I made an apple pie in a convection oven. To be exact, I made a raspberry apple pie in my convection oven. Did I read the directions? No. Did I own a mixing bowl? No. Did I lug all the ingredients up and down flights of stairs and through subway corridors, hopping trains, and tracks, and managing not to trip all at the same time? Yes. Did I use a crappy knife to peel the apples? Yes. Did I cut my finger peeling apple number one? Yes. Was all that worth it in the end? Absolutely.

There is something very primitive about being a grad student, or just a student living in a high rise building in general. We don’t have much. We can’t buy much. And we make do with what we have on hand (which is often very little). That being said, I think there is something very humbling about not having technology always on hand to help us get through the list–be it a recipe or a task. We can’t always just turn on the kitchenaid and watch everything blend together. Sometimes, we have to do it all on our own– blood, sweat, and tears.  And just when I am ready to give up, I think to myself, my ancestors didn’t have a kitchenaid. They were somewhere on the Oregon Trail, out in the middle of nowhere, and had to pull off the road and start mixing. Cavemen didn’t have a kitchenaid or a dull knife–they probably had a sharper rock and bigger arms to get the mixing done (if apple pie was part of their diet).

If technology had always existed, we wouldn’t have words like “rustic” which you use to describe crust that is falling apart as you place it in the pie plate. We wouldn’t have words like “handmade” which is what you say when you account for the jagged edges around the pie or the flour that never quite got mixed in. And let’s be honest–cobbler would never have come to exist if it hadn’t been for handmade pies that fell apart.  I am certain cobbler was born from pies that never quite held together, crusts that were so fragile they broke (into crumbs of goodness), and people that didn’t have plates and had to use bowels instead. How do you explain and account for your falling apart handmade pie as your guests arrive for dessert? It’s cobbler! Voila!

I was lucky enough that my handmade pie held together (as did the first week of grad school in New York City)! And let me tell you, gathering around warm pie at the end of a long week of new everything– it felt good to taste something familiar.

This cup is for my new Milano family. You are all so talented and amazing. And to Katie–who has been there all week (through thick and thin, and beyond). 

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