Thursday, February 01, 2007

She can bake a cherry pie

My parents have a wonderful tape (reel to reel, no less) of my siblings, done at Christmas time, well before my birth. I am the infant of our family -- the tiny baby -- and was just a twinkle in my daddy's eye when the tape was done.

Come to think of it, I was probably more of a thorn in his side, because I was the fifth child, but oh well, that's what they get for saving the best till the last.

Anyway, said tape is really funny. The first three kids (I think my older brother wasn't verbal yet, as he was only a few weeks old) are conversing and singing. The middle sister proclaims, when asked what she wants for Christmas "a potty chair," with much enthusiasm. Wonder how that was, going down the chimney.

The other thing on the tape is some really cute singing. At one point, they are singing their version of "Oh where have you been, Billy Boy, Billy Boy," and it is just too precious. Hitting the last note of "Can she back a cherry PIE" is almost out of their range, but the ensuing cracks in the tone are what makes it so sweet.

And prophetic. We had neighbors when I was a kid who had a cherry tree. Their last name was Hitchcock, and if I'd thought about it, it might have creeped me out, as this was when Alfred Hitchcock was in full swing. Nonetheless, I have memories of going out and picking cherries right off that tree. How yummy is that?

Well, my darling eldest sister decided that it was her calling in life to back a wonderful pie from the fruit of that tree. Might've been a cobbler, but in either event, we couldn't wait. There is just nothing like a cherry pie on a nice summer day -- and my sister was, and still is, a good cook. So we waited for that pie to get done, as it was a rare treat for us.

We tore into that pie like the golden ticket was buried into it. Couldn't get enough -- till the first bite, when we realized that she had forgotten the primary rule of cooking with cherries. It's the pits. Yep -- she forgot to de-pit the cherries, so eating that pie was a potential new car for our dentist, had each of us broken a tooth on those silly seeds.

And so, in answer to the eternal question, yep, she CAN bake a cherry pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy. It just might be a little hard going down.

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