Before I leave that topic, however, I just want to say that, like anyone else, I am prone to sitting in my own wretchedness after a day as disappointing and distressing as yesterday was. Deciding to bake a pie rather than succumb to melancholy was an experiment in maturity.
For one thing, on my best days, I am no more than a novice when it comes to making pie crust. The crust on this pie gave me some trouble...mainly because of the warm weather. It was hard to work with, and it wanted to tear. I pushed on, patching where necessary, and cutting out those little leaves to cover my sins. The thing about pie crust is that it is very forgiving. Loaded with butter and shortening, it simply melts into itself as it bakes so that only the most discerning eye will notice the patchwork.
Also, cutting and peeling those apples, possibly with more aggression than on a better day, was surprisingly therapeutic. I did manage to nick my little finger with the peeler, not an uncommon wound in my kitchen. It was well worth it to hear that satisfying "chunk, chunk, chunk" sound as I was chopping up the apples, all the while punctuating each "chunk" with a word better left unspoken in polite company.
All of that to say that the pie was absolutely delicious. The combination of Gravenstein and McIntosh apples was the best I've tried to date, and the crust was my best ever, flaws and all. It was flaky, not a bit soggy, and with a perfect hint of sweetness. It was therapeutic to make it on so many levels.
I'm going on about it a little at length for my own benefit as much as anything. Hopefully, by writing it down I can remember it the next time I find myself in a funk. Here is what I hope to take away from this experience: Bad days and disappointment are a part of life. There is no way to avoid that. To sit in a bad mood is optional. In fact, I can multi-task. I can be in a bad mood and still bake a pie. And just maybe, the bad mood will lift, as it did yesterday.
Today I finished up the True Hope quilt. It turned out so pretty. I made this with my cousin Rebecca in mind, and from what I understand, she's been checking her mailbox daily looking for it. It's good to know that it will be in the hands of such a loving recipient. It's coming, Reb, I promise! So here it is. It ended up at 53 x 60 inches.
Of course, I'm like anyone else, and I see every flaw. It has love in every stitch, however, and so I ignore the flaws and focus on the love. I'm betting Rebecca will too.
It's a little hard to let this one go because of the quote that inspired its name: "True hope is swift and flies with swallow's wings." It's from Shakespeare's King Richard III. I was at a particularly difficult time in my life brought on by chronic intractable pain in virtually every joint in my body. So precarious was my emotional state at the time that I had taken to riding light rail to downtown Portland for doctors' appointments rather than brave the traffic. As I got off the train in front of one of our local hospitals one day, I noticed bronze plaques in the sidewalk. That is what they said. I remember the moment I first saw them as if it were yesterday. A message from the Universe not to give up hope. I think Rebecca will appreciate the quote as well, and that is why I decided on this particular quilt for her.
Here's how it looks from the back:
So, I thought I might make pasta sauce today, but I'm going to put that off until tomorrow. The tomatoes could use one more day to soften and ripen, and besides, I need a couple of things from the grocery store before I can proceed.
Mike is uncharacteristically not busy with some man-type thing today, and so we are going to go shopping for hiking poles to take on our trip. I've never seen a need for them before, but now I'm thinking they will be a good idea. Recently, I did some reading on hiking poles and discovered that they had become unbelievably high tech and complicated. It's hard for me to believe that such technology is important in a tool that my grandparents used to pick up off the forest floor, and then discard when they were finished with it. So, with that in mind, I'm taking my engineer spouse with me to help me decide what price is warranted and worthwhile. I'm guessing we'll come home with one of the less expensive models, and it will serve it's purpose just fine.
I hope your weekend is getting off to a good start. As for me...bring it on.