Like yoga, baking is rather zen. While calculating recipes, kneading dough, and mixing crap in bowls in hopes it will come to resemble something edible, it’s possible to tune out all of the bullshit and focus only on the task at hand.
And as with everything (except maybe riding a bike), wine also helps.
Among my many not-so-fine qualities, I tend to learn things the hard way. When common logic determines something to be a really bad idea, odds are I'll go ahead with it anyway. It's how I learned what type of men not to date, that you shouldn't hassle traffic cops, and that I shouldn't go bar-hopping alone on St. Patrick's Day.
It's also how I decided at 10 p.m. on the day before Thanksgiving that I absolutely had to bake a pie for the first time ever.
While wandering the aisles of Sunfresh with countless other last-minute shoppers, Jason and I looked up "blackberry sour cream pie" on his i-phone and began hunting down the ingredients. We quickly discovered that buying enough fresh blackberries for two pies would cost upwards of $20 (an unreasonable investment for a culinary experiment that may end up in the trash), so we subbed half the berries with canned tart cherries. We also found an empty shelf where the frozen pre-made pie crusts should be, so our next google search was to find out how to make our own.
Among the cooking supplies I discovered I don't have: a flour sifter, a pizza cutter, a rolling pin (we used a water glass, pictured above right), and an oven that doesn't draw its power directly from the pits of hell. Seriously - it has burned the crap out of 95 percent of the food it has touched. Fortunately casualties to our pies were minor, and though I was an hour late to my parents' Thanksgiving lunch I think they were shocked and somewhat pleasantly surprised to discover I had allegedly edible baked goods in tow.
And everyone who tried it - about nine people total - said it was good. So when it comes to pies, Jason and I are batting 1.000.
And one other thing: Crisco. What the fuck is it, because it is revolting.