Learning To Cook Reluctantly: Let’s Talk About Pies And How Great The Devil Is

Sometimes I think my life would be entirely different if I was the kind of woman who made pies routinely.

I mean, to be fair, I make pies, but I don’t make pie crusts, and I think that’s the real difference.

This is what ingredients for a sour cream apple walnut pie, made with pecans (because I don’t have any walnuts), looks like:


There are also some pens, here.

Those are apples.

Also some pens.

Also an apple peeler. I can barely tell you how great apple peelers are, but we’ll get to that.

First of all, if you are a woman who lives in an urban area, don’t you think that your life would be different if you made pies? Does this happen to everyone?

Basically, I think if I made pies on a really, really routine basis – like a daily basis – I would turn into Keri Russell in Waitress. But not in the part where her husband beats her. In the part where she has had an affair with a handsome doctor and has named her daughter Lulu and is winning pie baking contests. When she gets to that place she just seems like she glows.

And I have a really hard time sleeping, so glowing is difficult. I’m a little pasty and there’s a lot of tinted moisturizer involved.

I think to really pull this off, this glowing, pie baking, happy person thing, you have to – emotionally – be able to live in the country. But I think about living in the country, and I think about what Steve Rubell, the owner of Studio 54 said immediately after he got out of prison for money laundering. A reporter said “Steve, what was it like being in jail?” And Steve apparently paused for a moment and said “During the days, it’s not so bad. You eat. You sleep. You exercise. But Jesus. What the hell do you do at night?”

That is how I feel about moving to the country.


I don’t think I can ever be that person. But I like to bake pies and pretend that I could be the glowing, happy Lulu-child-naming person who lives somewhere where I walk through cornfields on the way to work.

So I listen to country music while I make pies.

Country music is incredibly appropriate if you’re in that kind of mood, because country music is the kind of music that is the most fundamentally duplicitous. It’s designed to celebrate simple values in life, and sung by people who have eschewed simple values for great fame.

This is the kind of song that I really like listening to, and one that will bring you to tears (the cancer!), but is also sung by someone who decided to go out and become famous:

Share This Post:
    • BeccaTheCyborg

      I love baking pies and making pie crust, but because I am a soulless citybeast, any glow I have comes from moisturizer. Also, you’re totally right about the Devil. His solo was unarguably better.

    • kjon

      Maybe I’m alone here but I like a slightly overdone crust – looks delicious! “Seed of Memory” by Terry Reid is first on my cookin’ playlist.

      I have a quick question that I hope someone can help me out with. I really want one of those Kitchenaid stand mixers but it’s a little pricier ($300-$500 for the nicer ones) than I’m willing to spend. Is there a suitable alternative? Or are those Kitchenaid ones undisputedly the shit? I’m willing to go there if it’s worth it!

      • Tania

        I use just an electric hand mixer for most things, except pastry. I still do that by hand, because otherwise the dough would get tough.

        I’ve been baking for years, and I’ve never had a stand mixer, and everything’s turned out great. It probably makes things easier, but not by enough for me to be willing to spend a few hundred dollars!

        Hand mixers, on the other hand, are like $15 at Walmart. Easy choice!

    • Emily

      there is actually an AMAZING new book out called “United States of Pie” that looks into the sociology of pie. Plus recipes. I highly recommend it.

    • Ashley Cardiff


      • Jennifer Wright


    • Lindsey

      “Handsome doctor” instead of “handsome daughter?” Nathan Fillion… Mmm. I would eat a Nathan Fillion themed pie.

    • Melanie the Constant Reader

      Using a store-bought crust is the difference between happy-humming-I’m-bakin’-pie and KILL-ME-NOW-THIS-IS-NOT-WORTH-IT. For me. I’m sure the vast 2 inches of counter space in my city apartment kitchen has nothing to do with the frustration.


    • MR

      I like pie, but hate Country. What does this mean you have in store for me? I like the way the picture flashes off and on on this below. Long Live Rock. :)