Close my eyes, make the pies all day

Before yesterday, here is what I knew about making your own pie crust:

MOM: “Making your own pie crust is overrated.”

That’s all. I’ve only used store-bought crust. Making your own pie crust seemed like a feat of mythical proportions. And, actually, I’ve had people compliment store-bought crust before. So my mom (who knows how to make her own pie crust, for the record, and just chooses not to) could be right. But, after seeing Waitress, I was determined to learn, so Mike bought me a bunch of supplies including a fancy-schmancy pie pan, an apron, and a pie cookbook for my birthday present. I decided that instead of my usual flag cake for the 4th, we’d have pie. Blueberry and strawberry.

I chose to make a cream cheese based crust. Here I am mixing it together.

And here is the beautiful fruit. I don’t use that bowl as much as I should. It worked really well yesterday.

Here I am sorting the fruit. Mike kept sticking the camera in my face. hehe.

The crust was, obviously, the scary part. I had only ever used the frozen ones that are already lined for you. Don’t look at me like that. You know you enjoyed it. But I managed to get it in the pan okay. I just didn’t roll them out large enough. I’ll know better for next time.

Here is the actual fruit in the crust. Mmmmmmmm. Makes me hungry right now.

I hope, I hope it works!

And here I am trying to seal the sides of the crust. Since I didn’t roll the crust out large enough, I am not doing this right. But doesn’t it look cute just the same?

Pie in the oven!

Turning the pie!

And, finally, the finished product.

(Plus one picture with an American flag bandana, just for Scott.)

Since I didn’t exactly know what I was doing, there are clearly some things I could improve on. But it worked out okay. The blueberries were pretty tart, but the juices were sweet, so it ended up being a nice combination of flavors.

This was the most low-key 4th of July we’d had in a while – the past several years have seen us busy celebrating with friends and family, but this year Mike and I stayed home and read and baked and grilled steak. He ended up not having to do his radio show last night, so we got to go see the fireworks with Melissa and her sister instead. The fireworks were truly fantastic (you can see our pictures here). The place we parked was truly a bad idea. I was frustrated last night, but after a decent night’s sleep, I have decided that I don’t want the long wait to overshadow the really nice time we had. (That’s not to say we’d go to the same place next time, though.) I love fireworks. I love how life just stops for them, people pulling over by the side of the road, traffic ceasing. I love the moment when the first one goes up in the air and the crowd makes a collective gasp. I love how everyone applauds, even if you’re in a field far away from where they’re actually being set off. And I love that I can pretend that they’re for me. That joke never gets old. (To me. I think other people find it tiresome. But maybe that is because they are jealous that they don’t get fireworks before their birthdays.)

I have enjoyed the fun and frivolity of past Birthday Weekends (I mean, really, last year’s Birthday Weekend was one of the greatest weekends of my life), but a quieter time was what I needed this year. The past year has been dramatic and draining, and I just needed for things to be low-key. I feel like I say that all the time – “low-key.” In October, it was practically the theme of an entire weekend. I am thankful for the smaller festivities this year, the friends who have helped me celebrate. And for Mike, who encouraged me to achieve one of my goals, and who is putting together a fantastic meal for the evening.

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