The Appeal Of The Pie (ms)

I’ve given this considerable thought over the years and finally concluded that autumn is my favorite time of the year.

There are a number of reasons for that choice: the pretty leaves, the fresh crispness in the air, Halloween, football, a wood stove churning out fragrant smoke, a walk in the woods on a pleasant fall afternoon. Yes indeed, good reasons all for choosing autumn as my most favorite time of the year. But the paramount reason, the reason I wait for this season all year, the reason I buy more whipped cream during the fall than at any other time — apple pie.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing at all bad about a good pumpkin pie or for that matter a mincemeat. When hard pressed I could even have some blueberry or a lemon meringue but these would be mere stopgaps, sidetracks, diversions until the apple of my eye that is an apple pie came along.

I suppose my love for such a creation began in kidhood. Fresh apples cut into chunks, a crust rolled out just so, the spices added in secret amounts known only to the lady of the house. It was put into the oven and baked at just the right temperature for a time ball parked by the clock on the stove but determined by said lady whose knack for knowing when the time had come was second to none. On days of extreme luck, of incalculable good fortune, pie day came on a rainy day hence the doors were shut. This meant, Dear Reader, that the doors would be shut allowing the aroma, the aroma de apple fragrance to spread into every nook and cranny in the house. It was a sensory delight. Were it bottled as after shave men across America would embrace it wildly if only to use as a car scent thereby enabling them to drive home calm, relaxed and with a smile despite the traffic outside.

Anyway, the pie came out, the crust that crowned it a golden brown and so tender it would fall apart of its own weight if balanced on a fork. That unto itself was something to behold and something which men like myself, world travelers and connoisseurs all, would note as the true test of an apple pie. It was a test the pies of my younger and may I say leaner years never failed.

The top off was whipped cream but not the collection of stuff colored white that one finds today at the neighborhood supermarket. No, this was whipped cream by golly and it was the only additive allowed to bask in the glow of an autumn apple pie. Course, if the milk man forgot to leave the cream for whipping, an exception could be made for vanilla ice cream.

The taste of all this, the first bite of the first pie of the season, well, I have been in the word business for a long time and I have yet to find the proper phrasing to adequately describe it.

So spring, summer, winter they all have their good and bad points, of that there is no doubt and so too does autumn. I must add, though, that an autumn apple pie more than makes up for those shortcomings.

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on October 4, 2011.

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