Friday, January 30, 2009

Revising Lessons of Piecrust , 1st section

Here is the first part of my revision, i tried to expand my mother and the sensual environment and kitchen ...

Everyone loves a fresh baked pie, especially the buttery crunch of the crust. In our family, we would fight over an orphan piece of crust, the six of us, and Dad, who taught us this appreciation.

When I was ten, and sweetly unaware of the life pressures that prevented Mom from baking the rest of the pie, she let me, well, my sister, Theresa, and me, eat a whole crust! We had watched her create it two days before in the kitchen of our Baltimore row house. Small and plain, the kitchen had a table, three chairs, and a large window with a swag curtain that gave Mom easy access to holler us home from the alley, or yell, “Janice, tie your brother’s shoe,” or, “Let Donna have a turn!”

Mom flipped and gently pressed the dough as she sprinkled the white flour like fairy dust. She rolled her pin this way and that, ball bearings jiggling with each new run. Once it was thin and nearly round, she flopped it into the glass pie dish, ends spilling over. Then, with concentrated effort, she tucked and fluted the unruly edges into a perfect zigzag, a skill she eventually taught to all of us. Then there was a quick rinse of her hands and swipe on the apron before she’d tap, tap, tap fork holes, just so, all along the bottom. “So it can breathe,” she said as she popped it into the oven for the pastry gods to bless.


  1. Great opening line! I could taste that buttery crust. Also, great descriptions..."Mom flipped and gently pressed the dough as she sprinkled the white flour like fairy dust" is a favorite of mine. Also, I really like the pastry god blessings too...this is a really good start Janice. Can't wait to see the whole essay...are you going to weave both threads as we discussed before?

  2. i am going to try. i will try to drop the telling and just show scenes. i'll post part 2 tomorrow or sunday. thanks for the comment.

  3. This is working very nicely Janice. It feels slowed down, so that we can SEE your mother in the kitchen, bending over at the table preparing this goodness..your detailed description is wonderful and the line "so it can breathe"- perfect! Now we can see and taste that pie crust with you as you go further into the essay. Keep going like this!

  4. "She sprinkled the white flour like fairy dust" is a great line. Gives both your mother and the process of pie-making a sort of magical air.


Please feel free to jot down your thoughts. I would appreciate knowing your reaction if any, to what I've written, and/or your feedback on how I've written it. I am actively trying to be a better writer.