My friend Jae and I concocted yet another stupendous Thanksgiving feast . . .
. . . turkey with chorizo stuffing, Jae's famous mashed potatoes with pumpkin beer gravy.
These had been done before. But challenge is what we live for, so Jae decided to make an apple pie, his first pie of any kind ever. I myself have never even thought about baking a pie.
On the advice of the guy in the produce section at the grocery store where we were shopping, we used a variety of apples — two Granny Smiths for tartness, two Jazz for sweetness, two Red Delicious for tradition. Plunging deeper into tradition, Jae followed the recipe for apple pie given in the 1953 edition of The Joy Of Cooking.
It can't be improved upon — it prescribes just the right amount of sugar, of nutmeg, of cinnamon. It results in a pie that summons back Eisenhower's America . . . kitchens in brand-new suburban housing developments, school cafeterias, coffee shops, truck stops, all-night diners in noirish neon-flooded cities.
It's a pie that makes you say, “Gee whiz!”
You're probably asking yourself, “How do they do it — two unskilled, unpracticed cooks with only the dimmest notions of kitchen procedures?”
We can do it for one reason and one reason only — we are awesome.
Now the days of turkey sandwiches begin, washed down with Mexican Coca-Colas, still made with real sugar, as they were made in America in Eisenhower's time, while Christmas music plays on the stereo.