Monday, 24 August 2015

Pie Bee?

I don't know what the right word for it is, but this weekend, I caught part of a pie bee.

My mom, aunt, sisters and nieces get together to make apple pies from the apple tree in my brother's garden each year.  Story goes, that last year, they made 78 apple pies, apple crisps and other assorted apple things.

To a regular joe, like me, standing alone in my kitchen, the idea of peeling enough apples for 78 pies makes my back hurt and my eyes water.  Now that I have attended the great pie fest, I get it.  They cheat.

Excuse the blurry picture, but if you look, you see two apple peelers.  All along I have thought the yearly exercise was a test of the fortitude of womenkind, but quite clearly, they cheat.

Having all my notions firmly set down, I watched this group of women get together to do what women used to do on a regular basis, have a work bee.

Everybody has their job.

 Glenda and Kathy peel.  Kathy in the blue shirt, and Glenda, who you can only see here a bit (she shows up later better) in the white shirt cleaning her peeler, and grabbing the next apple.

My Auntie Doris in the pink blouse, who likes the cute little flared scarves, and sister Gail in the rust cut the long strips of apples into tidy sections.

My niece, Kristen who is in charge of the cinnamon and sugar and all the good stuff that makes pie that little bit more. Kristen is really good at this part.  Just the right amount of sugar.  Just the right amount of spicy goodness.  I know.  I tested at this stage.

This is a second shot of Kristen filling pie shells and pans, because her cousin Micki was working and couldn't make it to the Pie Bee.  It is also a second shot of Kristen just because.

An action series of mom and her job.  Well part of it. She makes all the crusts and usually starts the night before.  This year she did it right before the rest of them showed up but the pies are going to be splendid even with the bit of rush thrown in. 

Everybody has a job. Even dad.

Supervisor.  Dad brought up the pallet of apples.  Yes it was a pallet of bags, pails and boxes of apples.  If you had a shopping cart, it would have been heaping and you would have had two carts. He is in charge of making sure the apples get picked and brought to the factory.  This year, he, Auntie Doris and Kathy, had to pick a few extra apples at a second suppliers house.  They worried there wouldn't be enough. (pallet of apples) Dad is also in charge of equipment repair and maintenance.  He sharpens blades and repairs peelers. He has a product line job too.  He is the guy who has the tough job of quality control and product testing.  He eats pie. 

Its a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

In an incredibly short time, there was a counter full of pies and crisps and pies topped with the crisp topping.  Before they were done, I would bet the floor was covered with pies.  Everybody goes home with pie.

Next year, I will arrange to stay for the whole Pie Bee, so that I can do my job, dishes.   I skipped out on that but I don't think they will let me get away with that next year.

It was great to surprise them all for breakfast in the morning and take part in a fun afternoon.  


Christine said...

This is so wonderful! I love seeing all your family members. Pie pastry is my nemesis. My dough is always not-quite-right and to top if off I am a disaster with a rolling pin. Seriously awful. But this post is so inspiring it makes me think maybe I should tackle it again. Maybe I can find a class somewhere. Hmm...

Brendaknits said...

This day looks like so much fun. And the kitchen is beautiful. I see your Mom uses Tenderflake for her crusts as do I. IT makes a great crust.

Anonymous said...

We'll have to mark the calendar and hold you to attending pie day 2016. gd