Please don’t throw me in that briar patch!

Fish gotta swim

Birds gotta fly

I gotta have

My hands in a pie….

Can’t help it. I whipped up a few pie crusts tonight. I had stuff to think about, and pie-making is the ultimate in cheap therapy. Making those homemade crusts just might be one of my favorite parts of the whole process.

I’m gonna make a couple of cheese pies in the morning for a breakfast at our daughter’s school. I forgot that cheese pies make their own crusts, so there I was….with crust. Couldn’t be helped.

Now, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the story of Brer Rabbit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br’er_Rabbit

It’s not considered very politically correct these days, but my Dad really liked the story. In a nutshell, Brer Rabbit pleads not to be thrown into the briar patch, but it’s really what he wants all along. He was a trickster for sure. I think my Dad appreciated how sly the rabbit was…he was a rather sly old dude himself at times.

I thought of him when I saw the brand name of the main ingredient for tonight’s pie: Shoofly Pie.

So when my daughter needed two pies for school and one for her art class Friday afternoon…Please, please don’t make me bake pies! I’m not foolin’ anybody near as well as that rabbit. I’m hooked. Throw me on in.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been around molasses. I know my mom used it for baking, but it’s been awhile since I’ve been close by.

Stinky.

I mean the stuff smells kinda nasty. On the bottle, it is described as “unsulfered.” I have no idea what that means, but…P.U. I also was reminded of how the phrase “slow as molasses” came to be. After carefully measuring the black, sludgy liquid into a liquid measure, I had to use a spatula to “hurry” it out of there. Taking its time. Please don’t pour me into that pie!

The filling had molasses, brown sugar, boiling water (to dissolve the sugar), vanilla, and baking soda, which turned out to be the most exciting ingredient. When I put that 1/2 tsp of baking soda into the hot filling, it sizzled and bubbled like a party was goin’ on in there. Then it settled down and just looked like a black stinky swimming pool.

After I poured the filling into the chilled homemade crust, I put the butter crumble on top. The recipe said not to tamp it down, so I didn’t. Not that I could have if I’d wanted to–the stuff just sorta sank in the stink pool and eventually built up on top. Then it baked for 10 minutes at one temperature and 25 minutes at another.

It really was science in the kitchen, because I couldn’t believe that it turned into an actual pie. The crust did not really behave–it kinda fell in a bit. But it turned out, somehow. It even produced a very nice slice.You’re supposed to wait until it “cools thoroughly” to cut it. You may realize by now that I have a bit of a waiting issue…so I didn’t wait, and it still worked. I recently watched a great new show on the food channel entitled “For the Love of Pie!” It’s a very good show, and I will record all the upcoming episodes. It’s full of pie bakers and lots of good ideas. Anyway, one shop specialized in Shoofly Pie, and a customer of theirs described this pie as “tasting a slice of American history.”

I tasted it. Don’t know much about history. Let’s just say it has a very specific flavor. Has anyone else tasted Shoofly Pie? I’m curious about your reaction.

I mean, I just don’t know about it. Somebody please come over here and taste it tomorrow. I tasted it naked and with whipped cream (the PIE was naked, that is) and I just can’t make up my mind.

Shoo.

Shoo Fly.

Shoo Fly Pie.

Hmm.

Enough about that. Something caught my eye as I was cleaning up the kitchen tonight. Here it is. It’s on the bottom of one of those throw-away pans you use to take a casserole to someone. Don’t know why, but that pan was preachin’ to me tonight.

Support the bottom.

Now, I know this is true for cooking pies, big heavy turkeys and other stuff with hot scalding liquid in a cheapo pan.

We all know it’s true for panty hose and carrying babies.

And we’ve all seen what can happen if you don’t “support the bottom.” Someone or something’s gonna get burned, or dropped, or at the very least–look horrible.

True in life, you know. Not much is gonna happen for any of us if we’re not supported. Sure, we can make it through, but the end results are always so much better with support. We’ve all seen what happens when people are not supported. They get burned. They feel dropped. They look (and feel) horrible.

I’ve been in both places and you probably have, too. I’ve been the one to need support. Without it, I would have splashed all over the place–truly a “hot mess.” I’ve also been blessed to be the supporter a few times.

I’ve found that holding a person up in a time of need does not make my emotional “arms” tired–only stronger.

Be a supporter. If you can possibly help it, don’t let anyone feel dropped, burned, or horrible. It does us all good to take our eyes off of ourselves for a while and seek out others who need us.

And when you feel yourself starting to spill over the edges, let someone support you. It will make you both stronger.

 

One thought on “Please don’t throw me in that briar patch!

  1. Ann Bryant says:

    It’s now official! I have fallen head over heels for you, Shannon. Your blog is just the best! Keep on keepin’ on, and if I was at home today, I’d definitely be stopping by for a slice of Shoofly Pie.

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