Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Baking Cherry Pie

I'm typing on my kitchen table.  It has junk all over it.  A bowl from the dining room table, moved here because we had our beloved sitter over to throw her a little baby shower.  Felicity the doll.  A Catapult put-it-together thing that Lorelei got for her birthday, but I still can't figure out who got it for her.  And why, to be honest…  Two cars, one pink headband, two ripped out book titles I added to my Goodreads list yesterday, a magazine from my alma matar, Seattle University.  Three--no four, one is buried under some clutter--library books that should be returned soon.  My coffee mug.  That's about the only thing that should be here.

Don't go far, Coffee.  I need you.

My kitchen is similarly cluttered, having that lived-in look that doesn't really surface much in the Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware catalogs I get in the mail.  My counters need scrubbing, not just wiping.

I'm not the best cleaner-upper.  I have three little kids, which doesn't help.  The five of us are at the end of the year, and at the end of our wits, crawling to get to the wonderful, warm light at the end of the school year tunnel: Summer!  We'll be there in just one day.  Hooray!  But before that celebration happens I have to finish planning one child's end of the year party, welcome a new sitter and get her settled in tomorrow, and a host of other things.

I also have to bake a homemade, from-scratch cherry pie today.

My to-do list includes: host my Grandpa K, who is 92 (I think), and a gem of a human.  We have a special bond that I'm really grateful for.  We just, I don't know, click.  We share the same sense of humor, we have the same ability to chat up anyone, at any time.  We're charming sorts, him and me.  And two years ago I tried to lure him down from Erie, PA, to visit by asking him what his favorite pie is.  Cherry, he said.  I've had one cherry pie--made with a teacher-friend of mine from cheap frozen cherries and it was extraordinarily, surprisingly good.  So I didn't hesitate to volunteer: "I'll make you cherry pie when you visit!" I said.

Grandma's Cherry Pie Recipe
I don't care what else I'm supposed to be doing today, but I will make this cherry pie.  My mom even sent me her mom/his wife's recipe for it, so I've got that to guide me as I cut and pit, mix and roll out.  She died when I was five; he never remarried though has a very loyal, long-time girlfriend.  (It's complicated even for Grandpa.) Therese, his late wife, was The One in a big way.  I kind of, just a little, look like her (she was a million times more beautiful and I'm sure her kitchen counters never needed scrubbing).

So that's what I'm off to do.  Think of my Grandma in heaven while I churn out a cherry pie for my Grandpa who is still charming me and everyone else on this Earth.

Really, is there anything more important than that today?

I have to go.  I have cherries to wash and cut...


  1. I think you Grandma must be smiling down on you as you were baking this pie. I'll bet it was extra delicious because it was filled with so much love.

  2. Beautifully written Slice - certain lines really jumped out at me: "at the end of the year, and the end of our wits" (so true!) and I just loved: she was a million times more beautiful and I'm sure her kitchen counters never needed scrubbing. Such a lovely aside and detail! I hope your visit was beautiful and your pie was delicious.

  3. What a wonderful slice - I was transported into your home and into your thinking process. Can't wait to see a photograph of this yummy cherry pie!

  4. Your description of your life - busy, full of people and love - at the end of the year makes me smile. My husband says that the end of the year for teachers is very, very stressful - for teachers and for their families. Yet, you will dig in your heels and dust off the counter to make a homemade cherry pie - a gift of love. While the sights and smells of your kitchen are vivid in this piece, your line about the end of the year, "at the end of our wits, crawling to get to the wonderful, warm light at the end of the school year tunnel" is powerful. It's a slow crawl through the murk of ending, wrapping, and closing up a big slice of our lives.

    1. thank you so much for your thoughtful comment…I'm on The Last Day now, stayed up late to complete a bunch of little things for my son's end of year party. Still focused on that wonderful, warm light! Best of luck to you at this time of year (and after), too!

  5. I love the way you have described the busyness of your life so clearly. You capture it so perfectly, I think. I hope you had a wonderful time with your Grandpa. I would say that I hope he enjoyed the cherry pie, but I am sure that he did! What a kind act to make one for him and even to go so far as to get the recipe your Grandma used to use. The picture of it captures how well-loved her recipe was and adds something really special to this post. As I'm commenting a bit late, I think summer is now here for you! Yay! :) Enjoy!