Monday, November 1, 2010

Perseverence and Apple Pie

Ah, a nip in the air reminds her of apple pie—but after four increasingly frantic attempts at a previously tried and true crust, she left the dog lapping the mess and went in search of Mrs. Pillsbury.

  

Sometimes you just have to know when let go and move on. As F. Scott Fitzgerald put it, “Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.” The question is, just what is that point of knowing the difference between perseverance and obstinacy, of winning or quitting?

   

As a Christian, I can get my mind in quite a tangle by over-spiritualizing my every move. Saturday’s scenario was simple: company coming for dessert, apples in season, make a pie.

 

The sun was shining, the music playing. I cheerfully gathered my supplies only to discover there wasn’t a pie pan in the house. Undaunted, I ran down to the local five and dime, purchased a pan and hurried home.

   

I had two types of flour on hand, one an all-purpose light, the other, an all-purpose unbleached. Not anticipating any problems, I mixed the light flour according to the recipe. The sticky mound clung to the bowl like wet mud. I threw in more flour, but pasty wads twirled around the roller and left gaping holes in the stuff stuck to the board. Thinking maybe it wouldn’t adhere to the smooth surface of the granite countertop, I dumped the mess on it, but my superglue dough clung in defiance.

 

Deciding the light flour no good, I tried the all-purpose unbleached. This batch sucked up the water and shortening like cement in a mixer.

 

Now I am frustrated and begin to wonder why, why my very pleasant enterprise is making me feel like throwing balls of pastry at the wall. Maybe the devil doesn’t want me to make a pie because it will bless my company, or conversely, maybe God doesn’t want me to make a pie because they hate pie, or are allergic to apples. Should I persevere and get the victory over the dough, make something else, find a bakery? By this time I’m beginning to wonder why I ever invited people for dessert.

   

Which brought me back to the important. It’s all about the company, not the pie. Defying the devil, I once again hurried off to the store for the ready-made crust, and heeding God (just in case He actually was warning me), grabbed a bag of berries and an angel food cake.

   

Several hours later, the mess is cleaned, the puppy walked (because she ate so much spilled flour) the candles lit, and my attitude readjusted.  

   

“Which would you prefer?” I ask my guests. Ignorant of the drama that preceded this presentation of perfectly mounded pie and the berries and cake, they choose. 

 

“Both,” they said.

1 comment:

  1. I am going to laugh about this all day! I can picture this happening! I love that. Maybe God was warning you they hate pie. Maybe Satan wanted you to make them a different dessert! That's so perfectly what we've all experienced with a simple frustration. I love it! (I ALWAYS buy the Pillsbury ready made crust and then I have to admit that it's store bought crust so my company doesn't think I'm lying and then I worry that they think I'm not a Proverbs 31 woman because I didn't make my crust from scratch and then I worry that I'm fussy over a luxury problem when there are people who don't ever even get to eat pie. (See, I can relate!)

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