Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Recipe: Deb's Amazing Apple Pie (Non-Diet, Completely Unhealthy)


3 cups Fuji apples, cut into small chunks.  (about 4 good sized apples)
Prepared (or frozen) regular pie crust, not deep-dish
2/3-3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
dash salt

1/2 stick (4 tbsp) butter (not margarine, real, SALTED butter)
1/2 cup brown sugar (I prefer dark brown)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans


1. Listen as your oldest child laments, with just a hint of tears, "You never make apple pie and it's my FAVORITE DESSERT in the WHOLE WORLD and I'll DIE IF YOU DON'T MAKE ME ONE."

2. Recall fondly when, as a teenager, you made really amazing apple pie.  Remember how easy it was and how impressed everyone in your extended family was when you brought it to Thanksgiving dinner.

3. Go to the store and lovingly select 5 pounds of apples so you have "enough."

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Allow your youngest child to pull up a stepstool so he can "help" with the making of the pie.

5. Chop up 8 apples.  About 4 will go into the pie crust, the other 4 should be stolen by your children and (you are reasonably certain) husband.

6. Combine the sugar, spices, and salt in a cereal bowl and mix with a fork.  (Reserve fork for later.)  Dump the mixture on the apples and toss until reasonably evenly coated.

7. Using the fork (you're welcome), mash together the butter, flour, and brown sugar until you've got something more-or-less dough-like.  Add pecans and mash some more.

8. Using your fingers, press the crumb mixture over the top of the apples.  USE IT ALL.  You heard me.

9. Pop that sucker right into the oven.  Use a cookie sheet.  We're not savages, for heaven's sake.

10.  Let it cook for 40 minutes as you lament the state of your thighs.

11.  At the 40 minute mark, turn off the oven and look at it longingly as it cools.  LEAVE THE PIE IN THERE.  Do not question me.

12.  About an hour later, pull the cookie sheet out.  You're welcome.  The pie should also be there, amid the delicious drips of spiced apple goo.

13.  Call your children to sample the pie.  Look at the light in their eyes as they race down the stairs screaming, "Mommy made us a pie!  We have the best mommy ever!"

14. Observe the light in their eyes die as your oldest says, "Ew, that's what an apple pie looks like?  I am NOT eating THAT."

15. Put those children to bed.

16. Open the cool whip.

17. It was too good for them, anyway.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Completely Materialistic and Shallow Reflection on the Holidays

I love Christmas.  Mostly I love the gifts.  I love giving gifts, but I also love, love, LOVE getting gifts.  Does that make me shallow?  Possibly.  If it does, I don't care, because I'm busy admiring my reflection in whatever surface is handy.

Each year Sven and I do the ritual dance known as "I Don't Know What To Get You For Christmas, Soul Mate."  Seriously, we have been together almost nineteen years (almost half my life!) and he acts as though I am some unknowable mystery when it comes to gifts.

In truth, I'm pretty easy.  I have a lot of things I like, and many of them are things I believe of which one cannot have too many.  (That was exhausting.  I'm going to eat a chocolate bar now.)  Herewith, then, is my list of THINGS FOR WHICH I HAVE AN INFINITE APPETITE:

1. Jewelry.  I love jewelry.  Tacky, tasteful, real, imaginary, costume, subtle, sparkly, vintage, brand-new... I love it all.  Give me jewelry and you will see a happy Deb.

2. Shoes.  I own a lot of shoes but generally only wear one or two pairs 99% of the time.  The others are for me to put on my feet and admire as I wobble from one end of the closet to the other, remembering why I don't wear cute shoes all the time.

3. Makeup.  Namely lipstick, eye shadow, and nail color.  I really don't think you can ever have enough. Sven disagrees, particularly about the nail color; he recently calculated that I have over 50 different nail polishes in my vintage plastic straw purse.

4. Purses.  I love bags.  Totes, clutches, hobo, cross-body, satchels, handbags...  Keep 'em coming.  I also love wallets and organizers.

5. Clothes.  Pretty clothes?  Forget about it.  Enough said.  Pajamas, socks, unmentionables...  I love it.

6.  Blankets & bedding.

7. Anything I have "Seen On TV."  I'll try it all.

8. Anything made by Apple.

9. Books, TV shows, and movies about vampires.  I'll take it all, from the laughably bad to the artistically implausible.

10. Money.  You can never be too rich or too thin.

Not that I would know.