Monday Morning Musings

Posted on May 18, 2020 under Monday Morning Musings with 2 comments


Going bananas during isolation


Did you ever have one of those days when you felt like everything was a little off center? You wake up and in the first few minutes, something just doesn’t feel right. Your morning coffee has a bitter taste to it and your raisin toast gets burned even though you haven’t touched the settings on your toaster in weeks. And then things go downhill from there.

I had one of those days last Friday. After a few hours of missteps, I threw in the towel and did what any self-respecting person would do. When the world is slightly off kilter, go and bake something.

Now, I would hardly say that I am an expert pie maker. Peggy A.B. was in a league of her own. I sampled many of her apple pies and they were simply unparalleled. However, under the tutelage of my sister -in-law, I have become reasonably competent at this craft. The proof is in the pudding (or custard) as they say. I routinely share my pies with my siblings and they don’t seem to have any problem gagging down a slice of my coconut cream pie. Mind you, they are sugar addicts like me, so this is hardly a discerning crew!

I usually make enough dough for six single shell pies. I shape them like an oversized hockey puck and throw them in the freezer for future use. When I get a craving, I take some dough out the day before and let it thaw. I have done this enough times to know that this technique works perfectly…until it doesn’t.

As I had several things to do on Friday, I reckoned I would make the pie shell in the morning and then finish off the filling later in the day. Today’s offering would be a banana cream pie. Four slightly over ripe bananas sat on a shelf opposite my kitchen counter.

I sprinkled liberal doses of flour on the countertop and on the rolling pin and started rolling out the dough. If you’re not a baker, so far this story must remind you of watching paint dry. BORING! Everything was going along smoothly until I tried to transport the rolled out dough into the pie plate. For some reason, only known to the baking gods, it didn’t lift off the counter easily. As a matter of fact, the dough was uncooperative. I gently tried to slide a knife underneath it with poor results. It was like someone had put some crazy glue on the counter earlier in the morning. After some huffing and puffing and carefully chosen expletives, I was forced to bring in the wrecking ball. Have you ever witnessed someone shouting and cussing at pie dough? Sounds like isolation has claimed another victim.

I was forced to put the dough into the pie plate in pieces and form it into a shell. This was ominous. At one point, I was tempted to throw the works into the garbage and make a fresh batch of dough. I forgot to prick the pie shell with a fork which helps to release steam. I put on my pie weights and popped it into the oven. When it was cooked, I removed it from the oven. It looked like Mt.St. Helens had erupted. This was turning into an epic disaster.

I am happy to report that later in the morning, I prepared the custard filling without incident or a single curse word. If I had screwed this up, it might have been “custard’s last stand”.

After the pie cooled, I whipped up the whipping cream. With no grandchildren around, I licked the beaters. Some old habits die hard.

I was dealing with some other stressors that day so by mid afternoon, I was ready to indulge and get a much needed sugar high. I cut into the pie. The crust didn’t have its usual crusty and flaky appearance. Actually, I was the one feeling crusty and flaky. I slipped the pie server under the piece I had just cut. It didn’t dislodge easily. On close examination, it looked like the crust had somehow mutated into some other species. I was quickly coming to the realization that this wouldn’t be one of my pies that would be shared with humans. Seeing that I has single handedly killed this pie, I thought about donating it to the murder of crows who hang out near The Wheel Pizza and Sub Shop.

Using different techniques, I managed to extricate the slice of pie and went and sat in my easy chair. Finally, after a frustrating day, I could enjoy the fruits of my labour. Speaking of fruit, you may have noticed that I haven’t said much about the main ingredient in the pie – bananas.

I took my first bite. It was quite tasty. I mean, custard and whipped cream are a meal in themselves when push comes to shove. I took my second bite and I realized something wasn’t right. I could see that the crust was a disaster. It was like Quality Concrete has poured a basement and the cement didn’t quite set. It was gummy. I couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong until I went to the kitchen to get a glass of milk. That is when I noticed the four over ripe bananas still sitting on the shelf opposite the counter.

Yes, folks, I was consuming the first ever “banana less cream pie”. My first inclination was to pie myself. Yup. Just take the pie and get the satisfaction of plowing it into my own face. I mean, how is it possible to make a pie and leave out the key ingredient that distinguishes it from other pies? Can you imagine Peggy A.B. forgetting to put apples in her pie? I was astonished at my ineptness and carelessness. That did not stop me from having a second piece later in the day.

I had planned on making supper but after this unmitigated disaster, I decided to play it safe and ordered a “super sub” from the Wheel.

I was sorely tempted to give the rest of the pie to the delivery person to see if they could take  it to the crows.


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