Once I posted my 35 Before 35 list, my energy-knows-no-bounds mother and my get-up-and-go stepfather took one look at the list and said “Well, we see three things we can cross off just over Thanksgiving weekend.” I looked it over and guessed which ones they meant. Not feeling a particular need to knock three things off in just five days, I settled for two. Seeing as how this was Thanksgiving, the making of a pie from scratch was a no-brainer. And seeing as how my stepfather has recently undertaken an enormous classic movie collection project, I had a feeling finally seeing Gone with the Wind was going to be the other one. I was right.
The challenge with the pie-making was two-fold: 1) finding a pie recipe for an honest-to-goodness farm-style pie, ie. top and bottom crusts, everything from scratch and no fake fillers, but also Thanksgiving appropriate, and 2) keeping my mother’s hands off of it. My mother is a master chef. Seriously. She could outcook and outbake most of those hacks on “Chopped” and could throw down with the best of best Iron Chef-style. She is also the carrier of my control freak gene, so I knew that making sure the job was entirely done by me in her kitchen was going to be easier said than done. This proved to be a needless worry; she was very respectful of my mission, gave me merely a slight pointer here and there, and I slapped her hand away only once. She was mainly my cheerleader and photographer, and using her Barefoot Contessa-esque kitchen was a total bonus. (The only snag I hit baking-wise was deciding to scrap the idea of a fancy lattice crust after making the dough for it, mostly because I read a postscript on the awesome Smitten Kitchen post, mentioning that her crust collapsed on her with this recipe. So, I went with a basic one. C’est la vie.)
Number Twenty-Seven: Baking a Pie from Scratch—check!
As one might expect, the only challenge of Gone with the Wind was actually watching the whole thing in one sitting. We were prepared to split it up between two nights, which would make each night’s viewing the length of one normal movie. But, I gotta give it to ’em—the classic melodrama, the huge skirts, the chronicles of war, and the disintegrating character of the leading lady—the thing sucked me in and next thing you know, four hours have, well…gone with the wind.
Number Thirty-Three: See Gone with the Wind—check!
The complete process is documented here: