“Easy as Pie”…. who are you kidding??

It’s funny how many times I have heard the phrase “Easy as Pie”. All throughout my childhood I heard that phrase. I grew up in upstate New York near Albany where life seems to be a good mix of city and rural. You have your snobby yuppies, your country simple and everyone in-between. “Easy as Pie” was everywhere.. It wasn’t until this challenge was presented to me, that I would put it to the test. Just how easy was pie anyway? Let’s make one and find out, shall we?

Now in the past I have attempted to make pie. Some came out “Yummo” as Rachel Ray always says, others have been an inedible failure. Funny how it seemed to always shadow things going on in my life at the time. My last pie was pumpkin. The filling was not to bad, but the crust sucked like a child on a melting rocket-pop in the July heat of summer. Funny…. that’s around when I made the pumpkin pie. Hey, life in Australia is ass-backwards from New York where summer is winter and fall is spring. Ever since moving here, my life has been one busy rollercoaster ride from having my daughter and partner one week, to adding 3-4 boys under age 13 (my partner has 4 sons and shares 50/50 custody) the next. Then back to a shockingly quiet house the next (Myki lives on her new iPod, so she creeps around a lot and it is hard to tell she is here).

So back to this pie. Thanks to the pumpkin pie I made a couple of months back, I now have the rolling-pin and pie dishes. Naturally you must have two pie dishes because pie crust recipes usually make enough for a top and bottom crust. Well, what if you have a crumb top or open top pie? Now you have too much crust and if you split the recipe, the crust just does not taste right. So I might as well make 2 pies and freeze the second for a later event. Easy as pie…. bullshit. This pie has already turned into 2.

Now to pick a pie.. Berry? Rock Fruit? Custard? The selection is enough to make you nuts (OOOh , maybe pecan). How is it going to be topped?? Crumb, Crust or Open? Seriously this is supposed to be easy.  So I hit my favorite website. Mrs. Martha, as I fondly refer to her. Her website is essential in my house for most of my favorite recipes and therefore, my first recipe search place. She is probably the only person on the planet who would actually think pie is “Easy As…” So now looking at all these recipes I decide it would be cheaper to make this pie by getting whatever fruit is in season. In ass-backwards Australia, it’s strawberry season, so how about a nice strawberry-rhubarb. My gram used to make them when I was a kid and I have helped before. How hard could it be?

So my challenge started on a Tuesday. Everything above was settled. Luckily I planned grocery shopping for Wednesday. However, this posed more problematic than originally assessed. Shopping for meat and produce is done in 2 different stores, which happen to be side by side. No rhubarb and the strawberries.. not so yummy looking. Pfftt!! Then Myki had her first Softball practice smack in the middle of the day, after all they are on a 2 week break from school. After she had finished a very amusing practice (it’s been almost 4 years since her last softball anything!) we drive to our regular grocery store for everything else… also no rhubarb. Now I’m thinking don’t buy the strawberries until you know you can get the rhubarb.

Leaving the Queen Victoria Market

So Matthew takes the train to and from work on the days I need the car, yes we are still working with only one car… with 6 kids… Yeah it’s fun! But the station happens to be by another grocery store chain…. still no rhubarb. Now I’m just frustrated. Is rhubarb going to be like summer squash? (they don’t have summer squash here… they call it yellow zucchini and I have not found it anywhere!) but I’m not giving up. Matthew works in the city and 3 blocks from his building is the Queen Victoria Market. It is this super huge farmers market, flea market, meat and seafood market and anything else you can think of market…. all rolled into one huge city block. So on Thursday we drive into the city with Matthew and spend the morning between Myki’s favorite bookstore, a yarn store and the market. Guess what… they have rhubarb.. and yummy strawberries along with scallops and shrimp, so hey, let’s bang out some dinner shopping and get some fresh seafood while we are at it.

Myki and Xanthas with their rugby awards

Friday is a bust on pie making seeing I need to prepare the home for the invasion of boys (hiding a rather large Christmas Gift in progress, gluing down anything breakable, bathroom cleansers prepared and filled for the weekend. I’m sure you get the idea). Saturday is also a bust. Softball game, swim lessons, and a rugby presentation for Myki and Xanthas. They got their participation trophies and we ate yummy food in the rain. The presentation was at a zoo, where we had to pay just to get in to the event. It wasn’t cheap so guess what… rain or not we are getting our money’s worth. We walked around and took the bus tour and trudged through the puddles around 5pm. Just in time to cook dinner and die from exhaustion.

Getting ready to leave the rainy zoo..

Sunday morning comes along and now I’m panicking that our lovely strawberries are going to be a moldy mushy mess. This pie needs to be done today. Without fail! I hop online to look up Martha to find the recipe I tabbed. Not only does the link have a recipe but a cute little clip of making this pie with a guest on her show. http://www.marthastewart.com/901101/strawberry-rhubarb-pie

Almost ready to bake.

And well…. I didn’t double the recipe in order to make 2 pies when shopping, so now it’s back down to one! *shakes head and sighs at silly mistakes*

My crust soooo does not look like that! From start to finish it takes me about 7 hours. I know what your thinking…… I had to stop half way through to fix dinner. So the crust took about an hour to make, chill, roll and chill again. The filling and topping took another 30 minutes to put together and layered into the crust. Now that it is ready to go into the oven…. I had to put it in the fridge so I could cook dinner. *another head shake* Homemade calizones for 6 takes an hour when you have the smallest oven on the planet. I have 2 shelves in our tiny oven, therefore can only cook 2 calzones at a time. Once dinner was finally cooked, I put the pie in the oven. The aroma was amazing. The pie was bubblng and turning golden. The house smelled like my gram’s house on 4th of July weekend. The air was sweet and I was salvating like a dog in the hot sunshine. Waiting another 2 hours for it to cool. UGH! I have been looking forward to it since Tuesday, after all.Of course, just as I am getting ready to cut into this yumminess.. the damn phone rings. A quick chat with a new friend who asks about my weekend. I tell her about the game, the zoo and rugby. I tell her about getting kids into the shower, cleaning up dinner, back to school tomorrow and about my pie.  She asks me how in the world do I have enough time to make a pie with my life as hectic as it is. I just smiled and looked at the pie. “My life…” I pause for dramatic effect.. “My life is Easy as Pie”.

And life tastes pretty fantastic!

 

 

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