Two Kinds of Pie

comments: 59

Potpie1I looked around my little house yesterday and noticed that things felt fairly frowzy and neglected. There were little piles of junk everywhere, a mountain of  Tupperware containers of unidentifiable leftovers in the fridge (along with a small swamp of sleaze in the bottom of the veggie crisper where a bag of baby spinach liquefied and exploded, blug), a million plastic boxes of vintage things waiting for a booth at the antique market to be ready for me, overflowing laundry baskets of things dirty to be washed and things clean to be put away. Oh, and one very lazy housewife, stitching on the sofa and cluttering things further.

Potpie3I propelled myself into a small flurry of tidying then headed out to the grocery store to get some stuff for two types of pie: one new, Ina's Vegetable Pot Pies; one an old favorite we've made for years, Sour Cream Apple Pie. I figured I could not go wrong with these as a way of restoring order and comfort, somehow. I knew the apple was a sure thing, and the veggie just seemed pretty promising.


I'd seen Ina make these veggie pots the night before. I watch Barefoot Contessa every night on the bedroom television while Andy closes up the house. She often mentions cooking his favorites for Jeffrey as a way of making sure he wanted to come home every weekend (he works several hours away during the week). Andy came upstairs halfway through the program and I turned and said, "Hun, do you like me more when I cook nice things for you?" and he said quickly, "Yes."

Applepie1We both sort of stopped and stared at each other for a second, thinking about how disturbing that exchange was, and I turned back to the program while he went to brush his teeth. Huh. I couldn't decide who was worse, me for asking or him for answering so. Maybe Ina, though apparently retrograde in her intentions, was just being blatantly unmysterious about her cooking motivations. She has been married for, like, 400 years or something.

Applepie2_2 Andy Paulson often seems to not really care whether he's eating a bowl of microwave popcorn or bowl of handmade pasta. That is to say, he often seems totally happy with either, really, but that's his style — his repertoire of ways to communicate dissatisfaction is nowhere near as accomplished as mine, as he is nearly always content, or seemingly so. Nevertheless, why take chances? Hence, after a couple of weeks of slightly frenetic off-campus activity and some serious domestic neglect, I set about to clean the place up, and bake up some bubbling goodness. It helped that it was still cool and sweet, weatherwise. Sunlight dappled the counter and I had a new apron from my friend. (Linda. I miss you. I thought of you all afternoon.)

Applepie3There are many decisions that the previous owner of our house made that lead me to believe he did not actually live here. He definitely didn't cook here, or make pie crust: The counter is tiled, with grout. It's the worst idea. It's impractical to work on and the grout always looks grungy, because it is grungy. I do not make pie crust for many other reasons than the tiled counter, but the tiled counter doesn't help. I buy those Pillsbury crusts. I love those things. Just keep them very cold and they work just great.

Applepie4In fact, everything worked like a charm. If you do nothing as a result of reading this blog, I urge you to try the Sour Cream Apple Pie. It's even better the next morning, cold, with coffee. Make it for someone you love. Ask them if they love you more afterward and just see if they don't say yes.


First of all, my new favorite word is "frowzy". Second, I know Peter loves me more when the house is tidy and a yummy dinner is waiting. Having said that, I love him more when he takes over when he walks in the door from work to a house of cranky kids. (sometimes these things happen, sometimes they don't.) Third, sour cream apple pie is one of my favorite desserts Fourth, Pillsbury crust rocks. boyfriend said the same thing to me....well, almost. It is a pretty strange conversation, but I know its true that he likes me just a bit more when I make him a nice meal. I think its a male thing, really. He's lucky that I always have loved to cook. Thanks for the pie recipe, I will definitely try it tonight.

Honestly, I like me a bit more when I've made myself a nice meal. The pies look very yummy, I love vegetable or chicken pie when the weather is cooler.

oh that same man must have moved to kansas city and not lived in my house too! we have tile and grout on our counters and tell me just how in the world is a lady supposed to make pizza dough, pie crusts or knead bread? how? thank you pillsbury and thank you alicia for sanctioning it. my husband already has a weakness for apples, so i am going to sucker punch him with this pie...

ps. and NOT do the laundry...

oh my lord. the sugar mixture on top of that pie makes me want to faint.

To those with grouty kitchen counters: my grandma has this cool thing -- it's a giant sheet of thick plastic (like a cutting board, but you can roll it up) with different sizes of circles on it for different pie sizes. It's great even if you don't have grouty counters. It prevents overly floury messes. I need to get one of those, too...

Love the photos and commentary. I have tile as well and would choose tile again. But my mom's secret for pie crusts involve a tea towel heavily dusted with flour. All pastry, cookies and bread dough are rolled, or kneaded on the tea towel. After you're done, you shake it out and store it for another day. She did it and my sister and I do it as well. I'm envious about all the food. Picky family syndome over here. My family loves me best over bbq'd hot dogs and the sci-fi channel.

I am definitely making that sour cream apple pie. I have been looking for something to bake using my new gluten-free flour. I already have some fake sour cream (which is not too bad), so I guess I just need some apples.

so how were the veggie pot pies?

MMMM pie...Love Pie....mmm

Love your blog!

I was gone for a week to Lummi Island in the San Juans away from internet access. This morning in my list to do to catch up with the internet world was "check posie". I had to see all of your wonderful photos for the week and know that the move out went okay.
The pie looks yummy too.

Uggg... tile kitchen counters. I have one of those. My counter is 2x2 tile with the worlds biggest grout joint. Whats worse is that MY HUSBAND IS A TILE CONTRACTOR. To his credit, the tile was like this when we moved in, and we haven't saved up enough money to do the total kitchen redo yet. Obviously, he doesn't lift a finger in the kitchen, or I'd have a cheapo temporary one - you know 12x12 tiles with a small grount joint. Even that would be better. For a little while. ~ Can you tell this is a sore subject? :)

so unbelievably yum. Not only am I going to make that pie, but I'm also going to be using the word frowzy, because I love it. And my lucky family is going to love that pie...especially my husband who sounds a lot like your Andy. Lucky us.

I have been an INA fan since the delish coconut cupcakes. You know she has a new book coming out, right? Barefoot Contessa at Home: Everyday Recipes You'll Make Over and Over Again

Cheers, Felicia

Is frowsy even a real word?! I love it just the same...

Of course men love it when we cook for them. They are simple (and wonderful) creatures. Most of the time. :)

I love reading your posts because I can relate in so many ways!

Around my house, you'll find me telling my husband to stop cooking so well or the kids will think I am a loser. And they will never have fond memories of my cooking- only the endless peanut butter sandwiches I make for them.

I love to cook too, so the dilemma is when to let go of your female role and let the man take over? I think tonight...I work. Boy am I lucky!

Your food photos never fail to make me feel hungry!! Lovely post.

Lovely post!. Your pies look wonderful. I also have one
of those horrible tiled countertops and our house was built by a contractor and his wife as their 'dream' retirement home. I'm thinking after she cooked with these countertops she
made him build her another 'dream' home:) I love your blog...

Ina's influence is alive and well in my house too. I keep posting pictures on my blog of things I've made from her recipes. My darling husband tells me I don't have to fuss and he'd have a bowl of cereal for dinner every night. Well, I just couldn't let that happen! I just love when my daughter sits down to the table and goes, "Oh, Mom!" and "Great presentation". My husband raves about whatever I've made, too. It's so nice to be appreciated. I enjoy it all.
Can't wait for Ina's new book to come out.

This is a great post, thank you. I wanted to say that I had never heard of The Barefoot Contessa before I started reading your blog. I don't have cable and thus miss her show, and besides, I am not really a foodie. I got Barefoot in Paris out and love it. My only criticism is that every recipe seems to have two sticks of butter, 2 cups of cream, and 6 extra large eggs.

Once again you have inspired me - thank you.

You are really tempting me to make that apple pie. I used to cook a lot for my boyfriend. I love preparing a meal and sharing it.

But he is so picky that watching him always eat only the meat or pasta on the plate or pick through the meal not eating half of it really discouraged me. He will not try new recipes. He hates vegetables (except carmelized green beans and steamed carrots), he hates TUNA STEAKS for crying out loud.

I would like to cook for him, but seriously I can't make chicken alfredo every night. I joke with my friends that Jimmy only eats two things, chicken and noodle. It's kind of true though.

Any ideas for dealing with that or helping him WANT to try the WHOLE meal?

YUM. Must try that pie!!

I may have to make that sour cream apple pie. Unfortunately, the only person I have to make it for is Emma.. and shoot, she would love me more if I gave her a bag of M&M's... not work on an apple pie : )

Glad to hear about the tile on the counter.. not for you though. The previous owners of my home tiled the backsplash and left the counter Corian. I love it dearly, but I have always loved the look of tile. But I am glad to find out I would not love the feel of tile.
That being said, I may just make the sour cream apple pie for myself... I thought about the pot pie's from Ina.. I have that cookbook they are in....hmmmmm... and I think I have a bunch of Barefoot Contessa episodes to watch on my TiVo (to continue your thoughts on TV from yesterday).

i have added the sour cream apple pie to my list of 'i want to make this' and your pictures are all very step-by-stepy and cookbooky. cute!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at