The joys of a well stocked pantry

We went apple picking at Apple Holler in Wisconsin.  Other than Ryan’s bee sting on his neck at the end of the trip, it was great.  And we left with so many apples!  What does one do when you have a ton of apples?  You make a pie, obviously.

Baking apple pies is something that I feel I do have a knack for.  I have penciled in notes in my two editions of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.  My mom has told me some of her tricks to make the perfect pie crust.  A great pie crust is really what makes a pie.  Without a great pie crust, you just have baked apples.  Nothing against baked apples.  I love baked apples.

So – on to the pie.  I have two editions of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.  One from 1968 and one from 2005.  I have found that a combination of the apple pie recipes from both of these editions is my favorite pie.  I was all set to make the pie, when I realized that I was out or was running low on some of the bare necessities of baking.  I was actually running low on flour!  Since I was going to the grocery store anyways, I decided to do a small experiment.

If you have a well stocked pantry, the only cost that you will endure of baking a pie is the cost of apples and the time that it takes to prep.  A small apple pie from the bakery at the grocery store I went to cost $4.99.  And that was for an 8″ pie.  I could eat an 8″ pie in one sitting.  A frozen apple pie cost $8.00! You could make several pies for that same amount.  I was a bit surprised by the difference.

Now, on this particular occasion, I did not have a well stocked pantry.  I was out of almost everything.  In fact, the only things that I didn’t have to buy were apples and salt.  I had to pick up shortening, flour, sugar and butter.  When you add all of that expense together, it comes to about $12.00.  But I have yet to find a recipe that uses an entire pound of flour and that sack of flour is an investment in dozens of pies.   All that you would need to purchase for an apple pie would be the apples – approximately $4.00.  And for that cost, you get a homemade pie full of only ingredients that you recognize because you are the one that put them in the dessert.

I am not trying to say that the only good baked goods are the ones that you make from scratch from beginning to end.  I love buying baked goods!  Until I have mastered making meringue, the only lemon meringue pies that I will eat will come from the store.  However, if you have the time and the patience, why not give baking a try?  If the whole thing goes up in smoke, then you can always run to the store and pick up something from the bakery.

Oh – and if you have the time to pick up some caramel ice cream, that would be a good idea….

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