This is pie baking season. Which, on one hand, is totally awesome. Because of all the things I can cook, pie is one of them.
Let me rephrase that – of all the thing I can cook, that thing is pie.
I make a killer apple pie. Rockin’. Stellar. It’s published, in fact. (Okay, so I co-authored the cookbook, but still. Published!) And every holiday season, I uncrumple that same recipe I’ve used since I was 12, each time with Nate pointing out that I’m a complete moron for not having it committed to memory by now, and start peeling Granny Smiths.
My memory jarred by this post from Binky, I was reminded of the Great Thanksgiving Day Apple Pie Debacle of 2003, the last year I resided in my small bachelorette apartment in the West Village. This was a place with a galley kitchen so narrow, when the oven door opened it hit the opposite wall. Needless to say, I cooked infrequently.
Unprepared for Thanksgiving at my mom’s house as always, I woke up at 7am to start preparing my single contribution to the meal. I preheated the oven–and moments later was overcome with the most wretched, horrible, evil, holocaust kind of stench. It was worse than 9/11 and that’s saying something.
The foulness sent Nate and me gasping for air into the hallway, even ten minutes after having turned off the gas.
At a loss, we called the building’s handyman who pulled out the broiler pan (oh, the broiler pan! Never thought to check the broiler pan.) and declared, “Mice. You have a lot of mice living in your stove.”
“Oh my God,” I gasped. “Did I just…was I…did the oven…did we just cook the mice?”
Nate and I looked at each other in horror.
“Worse,” the handyman said in his thick, Eastern European accent. “You cook about three pounds mice shit.”
Every Thanksgiving from then on, we sit down to eat my pie at Thanksgiving and someone inevitably blurts out, HEY LIZ, REMEMBER THE TIME YOU DIDN’T EVEN KNOW YOU HAD MICE LIVING IN YOUR STOVE AND COOKED THE MICE SHIT?
Which of course, is awesome. And really whets the appetite for that pie.
If you have questions for the VP of toy safety of the Toy Industry Association–anything at all–you can continue to leave them through the weekend on my last post.