Thursday, 1 May 2008

The day I baked an apple pie

Yesterday, I woke up with a real desire for apple pie.

Why? I don't know!

I just wanted apple pie.

More curiouser...I felt the urge to make one.

The old me would have just gone out and bought one, but for my alter-ego, aka Almost Mrs Average, who has this thing about packaging and all that, this option is now generally a no-no!

Of course, it's pretty easy to get ready-made pastry these days and this has been a popular addition to my shopping basket over the years.

But yesterday, I took a step back in time and recalled the days when I used to make my own pastry.

The last time was circa 1988 when I was a student on a grant in Nottingham, with £2500 annual income to support me for the whole year. Back then I used to be able to cook up a mean apple pie to share with my friends.

So what happened?

I suppose things have got in the way of my appley pie, cheap supermarket deals, more disposable cash, kids and generally less time on my hands. When you think about my love of blogging as well as my regular dose of Corrie, I generally don't have the hour or so needed to dedicate to regularly making pies.

...but that's where I've been foiled. My poor memory must have got the better of me, darn it.

An hour...where did I get that from? Of course it doesn't take that long!

Yesterday I grabbed the flour, butter and lard, rubbed it into crumbs and bound it together with some water and within 10 minutes I had some pastry.

After leaving it to chill in the fridge, I rolled it out and shaped it into the pie dish, added the chopped apples and then bunged it in the oven for 50 minutes.

And there it was...a delicious apple pie, which required only about 20 minutes effort.

I am glad to have rediscovered the ease of home-made pastry. For something that seems to carry a veil of mystery, it really was that easy. It's almost like unpicking an illusion and discovering the reality that hides within.

I think only time will tell whether I' m a real convert or whether it's just a temporary blip of enthusiasm, but I'm pretty confident that there will be a few more pies in the Almost Average Household from now on!

The other big news today is that Almost Mrs Average is stepping out of Suffolk...well only for 5 minutes...when I "nip" over the border to Beds, Bucks and Herts!

If you tune into BBC Three Counties Radio at about 12.15, you may be able to hear me talking to presenter Jonathan Vernon-Smith about my rubbish, or rather the lack of it. So to any listeners who are visiting the blog as a result, may I extend a very warm welcome and thank you for listening to my rambles.



Unknown said...

It's odd, isn't it, the things that seem impossible to do. I had a huge mental block about pastry, I just thought it was really hard and time-consuming and difficult to make. Then the other week I thought I should at least try some, and it wasn't half as difficult or time-consuming as I'd imagined it to be. And much nicer than shop-bought.

Anonymous said...

Pie is great, so is quiche! Congrats on the EADT article, you really are going from strength to strength!

Kate x

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Hamster - you're so right. I think there is a general mental block about stuff like pastry. If you've got all the ingredients in, it's quicker to make that running off to the shop for the ready-made stuff. Perhaps we should start an unofficial "getting back to basics club" ;-D

Hi Kate - thanks for the support. Quiche eh? I'd forgotten about I know what I'll make this weekend ;-D

Fi said...

I just stewed some rhubarab, it took about 5 minutes from chopping to being done, and I thought there was NO WAY the alwayshungrybaby would free me to do it. Now I can have rhubarb yoghurt and not rhubarb on the compost heap!

By the way (and as I feared) I have massive disposable nappy angst (despite them being Nature Baby ones). We're throwing out a carrier bag a day full, I cringe. My washables arrive tonight (I just hadn't had time to order them). I feel I will be able to assuage my guilt somewhat once Alex is a cloth-bum :o)

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Fi - Welcome back and huge congratulations on the arrival of baby Alex...and of course on the stewed rhubarb. I couldn't get anything done in the first month when my two were born.

Great news about the nappies. I wish I'd used them. With my first, I wasn't that eco-aware but I got the full kit in for my second baby.

It all went well for the first two weeks, then he developed reflux, which resulted in not just three changes of clothes for him everday but many changes for me. I had so much washing, I found it hard to cope and slipped back to the Nature ones in the end, much to my regret. However at the time, my own sanity was higher on the agenda.

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