I wanted my husband to clean the garage (or, as I refer to that area, “Our Shame”). I also wanted him to reassemble my beloved dining table so we could put it on Craig’s List. Ah Craig, take care of my baby. I love that table, but it doesn’t fit in my house. Well, it fits, but it serves as a platform for packrattery, so it must go. In any case, my consolation prize for the husband was that the girls and I were going camping for a couple days with the neighbors. But as the time drew nigh, I became more and more cowed by the task: packing gear, cramming my queen-size blow-up mattress into the van, cooking six meals on a camp stove; I shuddered to contemplate it. My neighbor can sleep on a gunny sack on a precipice in high wind so nothing phases her, but being away from my washing machine for 48 hours was giving me shortness of breath. I have written here before about my complicated relationship with the pastime of camping.
So we didn’t go camping, but took a pleasant day trip to nearby Deep Lake, a lake that is, oddly, shallow way out, and therefore somewhat novel. So I had to break it to my husband that we wouldn’t be leaving him and he wouldn’t be watching 17 episodes of The Shield and furthermore, he would have to put the table together and clean the garage with all of us bugging him. How to make it up to my long-suffering mate of 3 weeks shy of 15 years? Well no man can or should resist pie, correct? Or perhaps a better way of saying it is that I wouldn’t trust a man who refused pie. No man is a pieless isle.
I once found, and subsequently misplaced, a recipe for Double Good Blueberry Pie. I love that name. I have since found recipes that go by that name, but they are imposters that don’t involve custard. I believe some matches are destined, meant to be. Custard and berries – now that’s fate. That’s double good. If anyone knows a reason why these two should not be joined, don’t bother commenting on my blog.
I knew Johnson’s Berry Farm has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it run of the enormous Richter Berry – a blackberry as big as an Italian prune and dee-licious. That was the berry to marry with custard, nestle in a crust and pronounce “spouse and spouse,” as is our way in Washington state.
But upon visiting the farmstand at the crack of dawn so no one would get fruit that was rightfully mine, I found that the season would not begin until August. What to do? Well as the song goes, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” Or as my husband says – and I try not to think too deeply about the implications of this – “It’s all about low expectations.”
So I hit the roadside, where the berries are abundant, free and dusty. Two quart-size yogurt containers later (my oldest daughter and I love knowing we can gather the innards for a pie in ten minutes and two containers) and I was ready to nuptialize. This recipe from Martha Stewart seemed a safe approximation of Double Good Pie.
Indeed, it was a happy occasion and a match made in oven. Once it’s baked, it’s fate.