My wife Bev, an otherwise sensible woman, lives in the fear that some online scoundrel will one day get his nefarious little fingers on an old photo of me in my long-hair, mountain-man days – well before she’d met and whipped my unkempt butt into shape – and post it for all eyes to behold, triggering a scandal that brings down The Pie Academy and finds us living on the street.
She has a point: when you live in an area with lots of alligators and snakes, as we do, living on the street is not the optimal address.
And Lord save my soul when she discovers that such a photo has indeed been published, and I’m the scoundrel who put it here.
I couldn’t resist. My daughter Ali, the cutie standing beside me (above), recently found this photo among her grandmother’s belongings. It was probably taken some 20 years ago now, for a magazine story I cannot precisely recall, but it doesn’t really matter.
What matters – and the entire point of me posting this here – is the unabashed joy Ali clearly feels baking alongside her “pop.” That’s the way it always was when my kids were little. They all loved to bake – there’s my youngest son, Sam, intently doing his thing in the background – and baking became part of the bond that keeps me connected with my kids today.
If you have kids or grandkids and you’ve never baked with them before, why not give it a shot in 2013? There’s no app for that; you just dive right in and do it.
Can it be chaotic and messy? You bet it can. There were times – after putting together, say, my one large fruit pie and their four smaller ones – when I had little choice but to march the kids outside and just hose them off. They loved it.
I plan to write more about pie making with kids in 2013. For now, just a few quick tips that might help: Everyone wears aprons. A tarp on the floor can alleviate a big mess. Make sure to give kids age appropriate tasks – no sharp cutters in small, uncertain hands. And be sure to bring your sense of humor and plenty of patience to the table.
I’d love to hear stories from any of you who enjoy baking with your kids or grandkids, pies or otherwise. Is this something you do often? Something you’d like to try, but you’re a little uneasy with? Just use the contact form at the top of the page to get in touch. Thanks!
Meanwhile, here’s a semi-frozen peanut butter pie recipe kids will love – one that even predates the photo above. Enjoy.
(NOTE: Please read the headnote to the recipe, about raw egg whites.)