Baking Pies, In a Makeshift Kind of Way

A tasty looking peach pie. Let's hope its looks aren't deceiving.
A tasty looking peach pie. Let's hope its looks aren't deceiving.

I convinced myself that I was well-prepared.

Nutmeg? Check. Flour? Check. Six plump peaches? Check. I had everything I needed to bake two pear pies, or so I thought.

When my friend and I started baking pies at my apartment Wednesday night, we soon realized that I was missing measuring cups. I thought I had them in my new apartment, but alas, I didn’t. They’re one of many things I had to leave behind in my old apartment. So, we grabbed a 12-oz cup from my cupboard and guestimated our way through the recipe. Now, this isn’t the best idea when it comes to baking, but it was getting late and we didn’t have time to go to the store.

When it came time to flatten the crust, we realized we didn’t have a rolling pin. Hmmm. I opened some of the drawers in my kitchen and looked for alternatives. A roll of aluminum foil. Perfect! It didn’t flatten the crust as well as we would have liked, but it worked nonetheless.

When my friend tested out the pears, she puckered her lips.

“These pears taste really salty,” she said.

“What?” I said, “I only put in a 1/4 teaspoon.” (Or was it a full teaspoon? A teaspoon isn’t that much, is it?)

I tasted a pear and could tell what she meant. It was pretty salty. I mixed the pears and ingredients together some more, which helped a little. A little salt goes a long way, apparently.

My friend and I baked pies at this time last year, and though I was worried we didn’t bake them correctly, they ended up being quite tasty. Tomorrow we’ll see if we can say the same for this year’s pies. I doubt people will tell me if they think my pie tastes bad, so I’ll be watching their expressions when they try it. I never said I was a baker, but I get some effort for trying, right?

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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