Friday, April 27, 2012

saving my life: pie.

Is it sad that as I sat down to write this post, I had to think -- really, really think -- about what's been saving my life this week?

Because I really couldn't tell you off the top of my head.

I'm just so tired. April's been a tough month, and I'm hoping May and I fair better.

Jordan and I have been going nonstop for the past 30 days or so, and I kept saying yes to things when I probably should have said no. I've been mostly muddling through, going through the motions, and it's taken its toll. This weekend, we're headed out of town with friends; next weekend, we've got tickets for JazzFest in New Orleans, and the following weekend, we have a wedding and a graduation out of town to attend.

I could cry just thinking about it all.

Don't get me wrong: These are all good, fun things. But for a girl who's mostly an introvert, the extrovert-ness of one event after another can be hard to handle, and I'm concerned May might be doomed from the beginning.

But I'm nothing if not determined (and stubborn!), and despite our already filled-to-the-brim month, I'm willing May to be better than April. I'm prayerful that I will have learned from April's mistakes, mainly, that a) it's okay to say no, and b) it's okay -- even necessary -- to take care of myself first.

This week, though, it's still April, and things have been rough. So on Tuesday, after spending an afternoon preparing invitations and banners for my cousin's graduation banquet, I went home to make a pie.

I had a lengthy list of other things I could have done, maybe even should have done. But instead, I looked at the clock and decided two-ish hours was enough time to enjoy the process of cooking dinner. It's not time I normally have, so I relished it. I plugged in the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy, and I got to work on my pie.

Family members and close friends, of course, know: I am not a pie eater. In fact, I detest pie. I loathe it. This, as you can imagine, makes for difficult Thanksgivings, when virtually everywhere I turn, there are pies. No cookies, no cakes... just pies. I'll blame my hatred of pie for the fact that I've never actually made one, and certainly not one entirely from scratch, crust and all.

But Tuesday, I came to the kitchen armed with a recipe for tomato and corn pie, and because I have a terrible habit of failing to thoroughly read the entire recipe before setting my hands to chopping and cooking, I failed to even realize I was handmaking the crust. This accident actually worked in my favor; by simply proceeding step-by-step through the instructions, I didn't even have time to realize I should have been nervous about making my very first pie crust. Instead, I just read the directions, making for a nerve-free pie-baking experience. (I am a champion at reading directions.)

I rolled the dough without too much thought; I chopped nearly two pounds of tomatoes and slowly boiled corn. I had time to enjoy the process, which is rare. I didn't even panic when I realized I don't really have an adequate pie pan (see: hatred of pie) and grabbed my lone, shallow cake pan. (It worked just fine.)

Here's what happens when you don't read the entire recipe first: You don't really have time to panic. I didn't spend the entire cooking process concerned about my chilled dough. Instead, while I chopped tomatoes, I actually chopped tomatoes. When I rolled out the top of my pie crust and cut weird-shaped diamonds in it all wrong, I didn't get angry, didn't panic. I had time, so I started over. I didn't YouTube, didn't Google, didn't call my mom. I just went for it. And you know what? Not half bad.

My entire kitchen smelled delicious by the time 5:30 rolled around. I hadn't finished my Bible study, hadn't done a stitch of laundry, hadn't even made the bed, but you know what?

I didn't care. None of it mattered.

I had a homemade pie in the oven.

It was absolutely delicious -- even divine, perhaps -- and this week? Well, this week, it saved my life.

* recipe here


Ashley said...

I'm obsessed with your posts this week. I love the feeling of having a million things to do and spending time in the kitchen instead - you get a handmade delicious treat at the end and really, what doesn't trump some good food? The other things will get done in time.

monster cakes said...

Oh how I know this feeling all too well. It's been so long since I've done laundry that I'm out of clean socks. Flats and sandals it is! And high five for making crust! That's seriously intimidating, and I'm impressed. You accomplished something wonderful Annie--both the crust/pie and learning to stop and enjoy moments like those instead of rushing through the week. That is a special thing, so don't overlook it.

ps. Love that we both sleep with stuffed animals when our husbands are gone. Justin thinks I'm bonkers but I swore to him that other women do it! Now I have proof. : )

Cheryl said...

Here is what you need to do: say no to EVERYTHING. For one whole month. No commitments except work, and church (church once a week ONLY). Then after that month, see how you feel and what you would like to take back. It's like an elimination diet. Because if you keep going at this rate, you will burn yourself out, and get sick. I lived how you are living for a long time, and it resulted in chronic illness and depression. Please take care of yourself first.

Laken said...

I am a fellow slacker at reading recipes all the way through. Except for me, there's always a crucial ingredient that I don't have and I end up leaving the oven to preheat or mix to sit on the counter while I run to the grocery store (I'm not one to just give up, ha).

I'm also a little shocked about your dislike for pie. As a pie-obsessor, I'm going to need your list of reasons that you don't like it. Then I'll probably start trying to convert you :)

Ps. I read Cheryl's comment and I think I agree with her. Maybe get yourself through your May commitments, then throw in the towel. Call it a summer vacation perhaps. I know there will probably always be exceptions for things you just can't miss - but I don't think the effort could hurt.

Kari said...

Love it.

Also, had a giant zit on my face this week. Just wanted you to know.