On Shrove Tuesday I went to the office, as I usually do on Tuesdays and there was no sign of it being Fat Tuesday or the day before the commencement of Lent. There were no ornaments, Mardi Gras beads of purple, yellow and green on anyone, everyone was diligently behind their office doors pursuing an honest living. When I went into the kitchen to get my green tea out of the refrigerator, however, I did find a large and lovely apple pie on the counter with a tiny note on the plastic wrap covering it saying “help yourself!” I found a small paper plate and scooped out a generous slice for myself and carted it with my tea off to the desk I work at. The generous dusting of cinnamon across the surface did cause me to sneeze before my first bite. There was no indication who the baker was though my guess would be that Colleen, one of the main partners in the firm I work for did the job. She often brings in samples of her tasty experiments.
The pie reminded me of my mother’s excellent baking skills. She was busy all summer filling pies with apples and sour cherries my sister and I gathered from our kind next door neighbor’s trees. Growing up we behaved as if their yard was an extension of our own and probably spent as much time frolicking through their trees and lilac bushes with the grace of those good elderly folks as we did anywhere else.
Once I was out on my own, I too baked breads, muffins, pies, cakes and even kolach, better known as nut or poppy seed roll. When the children and I re-settled here in Ohio, I gave up baking entirely as one of the many things I really did not have the time to do while I was the full-time wage earner, chief cook and bottle washer as well as the family taxi driver.
On a recent stop for a pie at a local grocery store, I was astonished at the price and that almost tempted me to dig out the flour board and bake again, but that fantasy passed quickly enough.