Friday, November 6, 2009

To the Canadian Border, at Least


My mom baked amazing bread, cookies, and pie. Mmmm, pie. Her apple pie was unparalleled, at least for us kids. My Dad, however, claimed that the best apple pie he had ever eaten was made by his Aunt Eleanor. Dad grew up in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and Aunt Eleanor lived close by. Whenever Mom made apple pie (nearly every Sunday, fall and winter) Dad would cut a slice, pour Canadian tea (the only kind worth drinking, he claimed) into his bone china cup (who can drink tea from anything but?), and--after a bite or two--pronounce the success or failure of Mom's efforts by stating the name of any town between Millinocket and Antigonish, the closer to Antigonish, the better. Her pies always made it to the Canadian border, and most of the time, all the way to Halifax, but never to Antigonish. (It's hard to compete with a special memory.) Of course, Dad's true opinion was usually not announced until after he had made a tongue-in-cheek claim of "East Millinocket."

Last night, the kids and I made the pie pictured above. Dad would be dissatisfied with the gluten-free crust (can't quite blame him, but what can you do?), find the apples a touch too firm, and wish for a little less cinnamon and nutmeg. But, our pie would probably get to the Canadian border, if for no other reason than the fact that his beloved grandchildren had a hand in making it.

Photo taken 11/06/09

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