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Utah, United States
One night while tucking Abby into bed she sweetly chimed, "good night! Sleep tight! Don't let the bed bites bug you!" I like her thinking. Sometimes life bites. The trick is to not let it bug you.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Today I post an homage to my dear friend, Apple Slice. I will call it
Tart du Fleur: The Black Bottom Pie
Never, Ever Judge a Book By Its Cover: You Might Regret It.
Or Not Know That You Should.

The Glendale 1st Ward had a huge population of kids when I was a member. I think there were 20 girls in my age group alone at one point. When I was a teenager, we had some pretty darn fun activities, and since I have always been a joiner, I never missed one.

In the midst of all of this churchy participation, like sometime during the fetal period of life, I became acquainted with Apple Slice. Maybe it was because we shared the same name, or it could have been because our birthdays were only a few days apart, we were commonly referred to in tandem and frequently found together. Slice and I set up for and attended dances together, bunked together at the youth conferences, planned for many a goofy slumber party and occasionally hung out after church. (In the name of full disclosure, I should mention that Apple Slice was also one of my bridesmaids. To use the Pasadena vernacular, we "homies.")

Every fun church activity costs money. I figured this out some time during my early adolescence. Back in the day, we held fundraisers to finance these activities. Apple Slice and I were, for all practical purposes, probably the most stalwart participants of these fundraisers. Some of these fundraisers were practical and relatively fun- the Stuffed Potato Dinners, Christmas Gift-wrapping, and "Heart-Attacking" homes for Valentine's Day. A few of the other ideas were probably, well, rather stupid (read "Beehive Babysitting Bonanza").

One of the more questionable of the fundraisers I recall was a bake sale-auction. I say questionable because, quite frankly, who really trusts the plate of brownies made by a 13 year old?!! Evidently several people did back then, and if anyone thinks they would now, please read on.

Apple Slice and I decided to combine efforts and approached the bake sale with anticipation. We knew we had to "put our shoulders to the wheel," so to speak. We would not be satisfied with entering an ordinary plate of snickerdoodles. Somehow we came up with a recipe for "Black Bottom Pie." Neither of us had ever tasted one, nor did we know what it was supposed to taste like (or look like, for that matter). This did not hinder us in any way.

We set about making the crust. Unable to detect the obvious canister of fresh flour on the counter, we located some ancient bag from the recesses of the pantry. After a good deal of time spent puttering about the kitchen, we rejoiced as we brought forth our masterful creation- a semblance of a pie crust. We marvelled over it and congratulated ourselves for it until, what did we see, but little brown spots embedded in the dough. Panicking, we each exclaimed something like "Weevils? We spent all that time laboring over this [pathetic excuse for a] pie crust, and there were weevils in that flour?" I remember looking at each other in bewilderment, each waiting for the other to state the obvious: "We can't start over now. That took too much time. We must carry on in the name of the cause." (Snort) Somehow we came to this conclusion, and we proceeded with the filling.

Now, if you read the ingredients in the recipe, you will note that one of the ingredients is rum. I'm sure we didn't use this. I don't even remember if we had any rum flavoring. But I think that the fact that the recipe even called for it probably made us feel like real rebels. As I recall, the filling may have been a bit lumpy. And the recipe we had called for a meringue topping, which ended up being dense and runny rather than light and fluffy. We became concerned that any Black Bottom Pie connoisseurs at the auction might call us on our mistake. In desperation, we stuck some marigolds from Apple Slice's yard into the center of the pie to distract from our inferior meringue and decided to give our dessert creation a different name. Apple Slice was studying French at the time, and we thought a French name would sound gourmet.

Off we went to the church, where we placed our "pie" on the auction table and labeled it "Tart du Fleur." A paper for bids was set in front of it, which we casually monitored throughout the evening. At some point one of us realized that there were more little buglets, this time coming out of the flowers and landing in the "meringue"! We did our best to nonchalantly pick them out, and then I think we attempted to hide from public view. Much to our astonishment, our pie took the highest bid of the evening: $27.00!

I think the really pathetic thing about this whole incident was that the bidders of the evening, knowing us and our moms, probably thought they were getting some kind of Molly Mormon delight. They certainly would have assumed that the pie would have been minimally, bug-free. And to top it off, we even received calls from the family that ended up with the pie, complimenting us on the delicious dessert and thanking us for it.

Ultimately, the lesson
that can be learned here
is not to trust the sweet and clean looks of the treat, nor that of those who made it! ***

For the record, Apple Slice is now an amazing cook who speaks French fluently. Tu es une tres bon fille


apple slice said...

Okay, I'm so happy, I'm crying. This is a beautiful post and I am going to share it with the world. You are a gem and a terrif raconteuse (fem. of raconteur, I hope).

KTG said...

lol- I hope I didn't slaughter the French, K. Please correct any errors.

aunt_bud said...

I remember that day well. I never understood what a "weevil" was. As a young kid, I thought you said "evils" instead of "weevils" and I wondered what "evils" we had in the cupboards. It scared me a little and I remember searching through my corn flakes for months after to make sure it was "evil" free and making mom look at my corn flakes before eating them. I had a hard time trusting those cupboards. I'll think of your story about homemade baked goods every time our family passes a taco truck on the road and Chris asks, "Wanna taco?" I don't trust taco trusts either.

KTG said...

I only ever frequented the taco truck across from Rose City Diner. It was THE taco truck. At 11pm, if your friend said "taco truck?" you knew where they wanted to go. I highly recommend the taco truck experience, Bud. It's like an ice cream truck for grown-ups!

p.s. we made the pie at KL's house, a most unevil, unweevil place. All those years you could have been spared of fearing "evils!" Sorry for the traumatization.

apple slice said...

Aunt Bud, what a doll you are. I hope Noah is well! :) Evils is a more descriptive name for the buggies. Our cupboards were full of them (yes, mostly the dry cereal). We also had a variety of moths. For some reason, I don't have the same flying bug problem in this climate, but there are silverfish to take their place. My own comment is actually making me ill. I will restrict my comments to the weather. Hot.

KTG, your French is perfection. As is your memory.