Friday, September 11, 2009

Apples, and more apples, and How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World

I first ran into this book back in high school taking a "pretend you're a teacher" class. At least I think that's where I did. Otherwise it was my first year teaching and we used it for a nutrition unit and geography.

So, we read this several times. I mean a lot, and then we related it to Me on the Map, and talked about maps some. Then we had to get out the map and read it again and find the places on the map (it's kind of like when you give a mouse a cookie, you keep needing to do more).

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You can't tell super well, but that's our map of all the places needed to go to make an apple pie. Actually, we only had to go to Whole Foods and pick one of every kind of apple to try. That, and our pantry, which has all the rest.

Now, to make that pie.

Ingredients:
Crust
2 C flour
1 C butter
1 t salt
1/2 C ice water (in reality it's about 4 tablespoons)
1 egg yolk (which I didn't actually use)

Filling
5 granny smith apples
3/4 C sugar
1t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 T butter (ummm..... I forgot that part)

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So first let your kids have fun with the apple peeler corer slicer (isn't that a horrendously long name?). Settle the argument with, no you only get to do one, and Mommy does the rest.

Let them break the apples into slices, remind them frequently that we aren't trying to make apple confetti. Listen to them happily tell you that you don't want peels in your apple pie because it makes bad pies, just like it makes bad applesauce. Think to yourself, they do listen to me.

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Let the kids help you mix the different ingredients together. Then finally get frustrated when a cup of flour gets on the floor, and they just don't have the upper body strength to really mix the silly thing, and so make them go watch TV while you mix it.

Now, divide the dough into two different balls, and for some strange reason let the kids help you roll the dough out. In case you're wondering, this is a bad idea. It's sure to get you losing your temper as they ruin the nice crust you had rolled out. Seriously think about how bad the jail time would be if you beat your children senseless (okay, not really, but I did come close to losing my temper when they tore a huge hole in the dough for the tenth time).

Again send them off to watch TV while you finish rolling out the dough. Then let them come back to make the filling. Here's my method:

Put all the apples in a gallon ziploc bag, throw in the sugar, cinammon, and salt. Shake like crazy. Now it's all mixed together, dump it into the pie. Arrange so it looks "pretty." Slap the top crust on and voila! You've got a pie all ready to bake.

Now, I don't like apple pie. Actually, the only pie I like is pumpkin and various cream type things. But, Jeff says that was a great pie even if I left out the butter.

I've also learned, that while I can make cookies, cake, and various other things like that with the kids, a pie is no fun. Really, it's only frustrating. Very very frustrating. But, they had lots of fun with the whole thing.
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