My first pie was probably the best pie I’ve ever made — though my mama tells me that a fresh blackberry pie I made something like eight years after that first pie was the best pie I ever made. I don’t know if either one was really the best — but in my fond memories, or the events that have made the greatest impression on me are those events that were ‘first’s’ — those attempts at achieving perfection with no experience — it was the best pie.
Perfection doesn’t necessarily come from doing something hundreds of times — but is something done well hundreds of times — that’s what makes for “perfection.” I’m finally beginning to see that the adage “practice makes perfect” isn’t necessarily correct. For something done wrong — especially done wrong hundreds of times — is still wrong. But something done right over and over and over becomes something done perfectly well.
I’m learning is that nothing is ever perfect. But you know what else? Close is really good enough. In cooking, that is.
My first pie…
Just south of where we were married in San Francisco, my husband and I rented our first home — a small apartment with a very small galley type kitchen. I was attempting to create and make a home for the two of us and Wes’s two cats. Nothing seemed to speak home to me more than pie. I removed the packaging and opened my beautiful new Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook… and saw the photograph of Apple Pie… recipe on page…
I carefully wrote down all I’d need to make that pie (along with Fried Chicken – but that’s another First story for another day). I went to our local market and bought all I needed for that dinner. I recall spending $176. Yes. One-hundred-seventy-six dollars. Two people. Yes, that, too, is another First story for another day.
I carefully put away in the little cabinets and in the little fridge all the different groceries. I opened my cookbook, got out all my new baking stuff… my huge(!) mixing bowl set ;o) and measuring cups and spoons. I got out all the necessary ingredients. I read the recipe again. Hmmm.
I called my husband at work and asked him: When the recipe says to pare and core the apples, does that mean take off the skin and stuff and cut it up? He told me he thought that sounded about right. ;o)
It was the best apple pie I’ve ever made.