just like mom

apple pie windowsill

How idyllic, an apple pie cooling on the windowsill. Are you kidding me? If I so much as blinked, this thing would have been devoured by my cat. But there it is, my rustic crust (that means squish-crimped as opposed to pretty, fork-pressed or crimping-tooled) Mom’s Apple Pie.

This is the first one I’ve made since leaving home. Come to think of it, I never really made one completely on my own. Apple pie is Mom’s thing. When this woman makes apple pies, she makes like four of them because they’re in crazy-high demand. Her apples are always prefectly cinnamon-sugared and her crust is always light and flaky. Rather intimidating. But having finally succeeded with poppy seed cake I figured I should have the guts to give this a whirl.  

Still, her written recipe was not very confidence-inspiring. Measurements like “about 2½ cups of sifted flour” and “about 1 cup of cold shortening” were at least starting points—she didn’t even give me a ballpark figure for the “equal parts water and milk.” Why not? Because she doesn’t know. You just add it until if feels right. That’s why I’m not giving you the recipe today. After another couple attempts I’ll lock it down and share it with ya.

This recipe was easy, since it’s already vegan (if you replace “milk” with “soymilk” and “butter” with “EB”). There’s one thing she makes that I can’t imagine myself attempting on my own: kolatchky (or kolacky or however that weird old Eastern European lady you know calls it), the little diamond pastry-like cookies folded over poppy seed or apricot filling. Mom’s recipe calls for pretty much flour and a pint of cheap ice cream…so it’ll take some figuring out. I think next time I’m in Chicago we’ll have to buy a bunch of vegan ice creams and just try one after the other until we nail it.

Not that she’s anywhere near dying (or maybe she is—people get hit by cars, you know), but I’d really like to figure these things out with her while I can. We’re not in the same city very often, let alone the same kitchen. And cooking is like history; the best stuff is never written down.

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