Good Crust

The sack landed on the counter with a thud. A dusting of white flour puffed across the cool marble counter. There are only five things no six you need for the best pie crust. All purpose flour, none of this fancy cake flour just regular flour, Mae thought as she reached for the good mixing bowl. With a deft flick, she leveled the mixing cup of flour with a butter knife. Mae delighted in the flour’s snow shower.
With the wire whisk Mae beat in the salt. Next she reached for the sugar. Some people didn’t like a sweet crust for a sweet pie. Mae thought some people were dang foolish.
Mae delighted a spoonful of sugar into the dry mix.
Mae held up the butter to gleam golden in the silvery moonlight. Butter was the fourth thing for the ideal crust. Beating two forks Mae cut in the soft butter. As the loose powder transformed into coarse crumbles, Mae leaned into the rhythm of kitchens. The marble counter worn velvet smooth from thousands of cakes, cookies, breads, and pies. Nicked and gouged, the heavy oak legs complete with long-forgotten initials swayed on the creaky floor.
Warmth from a ready caressed Mae’s back. Cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, and queen spice nutmeg, Mae’s famed spice mix perfumed the air from the bowl of mashed sweet potatoes. Mae reached for the final ingredient.
Suudenly the kitchen’s five panel door swung open and the lights came on. The kitchen was empty.
“Told you,” Neil said. “Come back to bed, baby.”
Lights snapped off. Door swung closed. A pair of footsteps soft headed up the stairs of the old house. Hushed bickering sounded overhead as the floor boards squeaked.

Mae reached for cold spring water. Not everybody knew cold water binds the pastry without melting out the butter. Mae worked her dough into the jadeite pie pan. Flour, salt, sugar, butter, cold water, and the know how is what made a crust good. Filling poured liquid sunset in the darkness. The oven grinned wide for the pie. The ancient cook dusted her hands on her apron and started on the apple cake.

Photo by Amanda Reed on

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