Tuesday, September 22, 2009

High Time for Pie Time

So last weekend was a blast--of activity. On Saturday, we headed to the Applejack Festival in Nebraska City, EVEN THOUGH we swore we'd never go to the orchards during Applejack Fest again since last year's experience was a hellfest. See, Nebraska City has a year-round population of, like, 10,000. A-Fest brings in 50-75,000 peeps. CITY IS NOT EQUIPPED TO HANDLE IT, and so you find yourself waiting in ridiculously long car lines when all you want to do is make a right-hand turn to get out and back on the road.

Plus, you have to scrap with all the other families who are trying to get the peak apples off the trees. Last year, Kiddo was four months old, and we were huffing and puffing, trying to push her stroller down the orchard paths, clogging up the main artery and watching the lithe young kiddies sprint by with bags full of apples. Our apple haul last year? A disappointing mix of bruised, wormholed Golden Delicious.

But we were PREPARED this year! We got up and out early so that we were at the orchard by 10am; Vee wore Kiddo in the Beco on his back, and I bore A BACKPACK on mine, and we dominated the orchard paths. Golden Delicious? ONLY AT THE END! In the meantime, I picked a peck of Empire, Jonagolds, and Fujis, and by the time we were leaving, the orchard was just starting to reach Applejack capacity.


See, I had to load up on apples, because on Sunday, we hosted our Annual (which is to say, SECOND YEAR IN A ROW) Chili Hoedown, and you know I had to serve up some homemade pies. I am a serious pie-baking fanatic. Was I always this way? Hell no. I looked, uh, forward to every Thanksgiving when my mama would bake apple pie, but DID IT OCCUR TO ME that I could be doing it myself?

Do you guys remember that VEE DOES ALL OF THE COOKING IN OUR HOUSE and I do the baking?

So, like I was saying, I am a pie-baking maniac, thanks to this book that My Best Friend got me as a wedding shower gift back in 06 called, simply and elegantly, "Pie." Yes, a dude writes it, and yes, a dude is the pie-baking master, and YES, THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING COOKBOOK EVER! Seriously, I found my calling when I found Ken Haedrich. God bless the man.

This year's chili hoedown dessert options were the Golden Delicious Pie with Oatmeal Crumb Topping or the Cider-Infused Apple Pie. But wait! But wait! This year, 2009, is the year that I have finally started making MY OWN PIE CRUST! It's embarrassingly easier than I thought it would be, especially since, cough, I make it with my KitchenAid mixer. I can't believe I waited this long and kept buying those sha-nasty HyVee-brand freezer pie crusts.

I am quite in the throes of my favorite season now. Today is, after all, THE FIRST OFFICIAL DAY OF FALL, and the Kiddo and I are going to celebrate by going to a local orchard and picking some Cortlands, the apples I revere most of all and got a serious bend for when we were living in Michigan. OMFG, eat your damn Honeycrisps, I am CHOWING DOWN on the best pie apples ever.

What are you doing to celebrate fall?


Grace said...

Mmm...sounds delicious and so midwest. I am celebrating by biking in 100 degree weather - yeppers, an unusual heat wave struck. I can't wait until it gets breezier and the leaves start to change!

Jackie said...

A chili hoedown! How fun! And you've inspired me to find somewhere around here to go apple picking. Such a fun fall activity. Unfortunately there are still no signs of fall here, it's going to be 100 degrees again today. That just ain't right.

Anonymous said...

so you're dissing the honeycrisp - a pox on you, child!

Emily said...

What am I doing to celebrate fall? Lighting my AUTUMN LEAVES Yankee candle, doing report cards, tracking out, and GETTING READY TO GET HITCHED, dog!

Rando said...

Let's hear some trashtalking about morning teevee news!