Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Oven Broke? Make Apple Pie

It was 8:00 PM. Dinner (roast chicken, baked potatoes, homecanned pickles and home-canned peaches) had been cooked and enjoyed, and all that was left was to do the dishes.

Big Little Sister said, "I want pie."

To which Deus Ex Machina quipped, "Three-point-one-four-one-five-nine-two-six-five?"

"No," she says. "Pie. Like apple-pie."

Ordinarily, even at eight o'clock at night, that wouldn't really be so much to worry about, especially in our on-demand culture. We had all of the ingredients, and it was just a matter of putting them together and popping the pie in the (electric) oven. But the other day, when I turned on the oven to preheat it for granola, the heating element caught fire, and then, we saw blue sparks. The oven was toast. So, no baking.

Except ...

We have the kind of lifestyle here in our house where there's often another option when the stuff of "modern-life" fails us. The piece-of-crap electric stove fizzles out? Use the castiron dutch oven on the woodstove!

And that's what we did.

Big Little Sister cut up apples and filled a pie shell, and then, we put the pie into the dutch oven. It cooked overnight, and they're having apple pie for breakfast.

And, then, we went one step further. We made whipped cream for the pie.

Little Fire Faery scooped the cream off the top of the raw milk. I added the powdered sugar that Deus Ex Machina made the other day and whipped it. Yes, in fact, you did read that correctly. Deus Ex Machina made powdered sugar. Using a mortar and pestle, he ground the cane sugar we buy into a fine, white powder.

It's a misconception that preparedness means getting ready for some catastrophic event. Every day, there are little things that happen that throw the balance of our days off-kilter - like the heating element going out on our oven.

The stove top still works, and there are a lot of options for cooking food on the stove. Or, in a pinch, we could pick-up take-out, but the oven is going to be out of commission for at least a week, and it's comforting to know that it doesn't have to be a hardship. Last night, for dinner, we roasted chicken on the grill outside (over woodchips - so it was "smoked" flavored ... yum! yum!), we "baked" potatoes in the woodstove, and we opened a couple of jars of last summer ;).

And, then, Big Little Sister made pie ... on the woodstove ... in the Dutch Oven ... and with a dollop of fresh, homemade whipped cream, it was a breakfast fit for Kings ... in a little house ... in the suburbs.


  1. Our oven heating element went out a few years ago. The local hardware store had a replacement, and replacement is only slightly more involved than changing a light bulb.

    I guess it cooled off up there, if you fired up the woodstove again!

  2. Larry - we ordered a replacement online. It should be here this week sometime ... I hope ... or not :). Either way works, right?

    Yep. It cooled right off. Yesterday was wicked cold, but sunny. It snowed last night :). I once heard, about Maine weather, if you don't like, stick around a few minutes - it'll change :).

  3. I should add, though, that the snow melted almost as soon as the day dawned (I won't say "sun came out", because it's cloudy today ;).

  4. Love it.... though now I want pie. (The apple kind, LOL)

  5. I'm thinking 3.14 something.

    brenda from ar

  6. Ha! Ha! You were right, Brenda. Pi = 3.14159265.

    It was my mistake - not his. He always get "Pi" right, but rattles it off so fast I don't hear him ;).

    I fixed it.

  7. Wow, that life sounds so real and good. Not big city no time to breathe. Where do I sign up?