It’s scientifically proven that dads love getting a freshly baked pie for Father’s Day. Last year we sold almost as many pies for Father’s Day weekend as we sold for Thanksgiving! Craziness!
This year, the Father’s Day menu is comprised of all my late father’s favorite pies, and we’ll be taking a trip down memory lane this week to share some pie memories from childhood.
Today, let’s talk about Classic Apple Pie. So, after “where’s the third babe?” the second-most-common question we get is “how did you start making pies?” Anna can share her story in a future post, but for me, it all started with apple pie. My dad didn’t believe in fruit peelers but he made an exception if you were less than six years old, and I have vivid memories of sitting at the kitchen table at five or six years of age, hacking away at granny smith apples with a dull fruit peeler. Shortly thereafter, I graduated to a real paring knife, and as “trusted assistant” to the alpha chef, I learned to peel apples like a champ. (There were seven of us kids, plus a rotating coterie of relatives, friends, and local characters cycling through the house, so we ate a lot of pie). When I was done peeling and cutting the fruit, I’d help my dad mix in the sugar and spices and roll out the dough. We’d make two or three whole pies and a dozen or so folded turnovers with the leftover crust.
When I got to middle school and had to do real homework, pie-making for several hours each week became markedly less appealing. “Dad,” I’d complain, wiping smudges off my nerdy rimless glasses, “I can’t do this! I have two AP tests and an essay due tomorrow!”
“Lenore,” he’d say, “in life you can pay people to do a lot of things for you, but you can’t pay anybody to eat for you. Now peel them apples.” I think it was meant to be a lesson on the importance of practical knowledge, but at the time I was certainly not convinced that knowing how to make large numbers of pies would lend any ease to my adult life. Actually, I’m still not convinced it’s lending any ease to my adult life. If anything, the opposite is true.
On the bright side, there’s never a shortage of pie or optimism at Chez Estrada.