Friday, September 19, 2014

Trashy Recipe Recommendation: Apple Pie

Last weekend, my boys and I helped their grandma peel, core, and slice apples so that she could can apple pie filling to have on hand for the rest of the year.  I swear there’s hardly a thing that makes me happier than spending a perfect fall weekend relaxing with my kids and husband on my in-laws’ farm while doing things like this—especially when my mother-in-law is being nice to me.

I love it when my mom-in-law unearths a contraption like the one below from somewhere deep in one of her cupboards, and I, unable to contain my excitement, say something like, “Oh my gosh!  What is that?  I’ve never seen anything like that before!”

She usually gives me a certain “look,” and I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure it’s meant to convey respect.  The utmost respect for my thirst for knowledge.

Sometimes after receiving that look, I’ll mess with her by pulling a really sad face.  “Well,” I’ll say, “I might have learned more about baking if my mom hadn’t left and my dad had had time to teach me.  As it was,” I’ll add, wiping an imaginary tear off of my face, “he was lucky to pop a family-sized frozen dinner into the oven before helping the five of us with our homework every night. 

“He worked 7 days a week to support us all, you know,” I’ll continue. “And dessert?  Dessert was a luxury only afforded those from a two-parent home.  Who had time for dessert?  Dessert wasn’t an apple pie; dessert was a popsicle in the bathtub after all of our math problems were finished.”

Oh my gosh, I LOVE hitting it home with the whole dessert speech.  I got that popsicle idea a couple of years ago at a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) meeting when I was a stay-at-home mom.  If you haven’t tried it, it’s brilliant if you have young kids.  No mess, as all of that messy popsicle sticky washes right off in the bathtub.

All of the rest of that divorce stuff really happened, but you guys, if you’ve noticed anything about me, it’s that I kind of enjoy laughing at life, and I’ve been majorly blessed to be able to put things in a much greater perspective.  The moral of the story?  The divorce was way dramatic, but it could have been a hell of a lot worse in the grand scheme of what others have to deal with in life. 

Plus, my mom moved, like, 10 minutes away when she left, which really put a damper on the plans that the five of us had had for being children of a broken family.  We’d seen all of these after-school specials about kids from broken homes, and they made it look so good.

“I’m pretty sure we’ll get to be latchkey kids now,” my older sister breathed one day, soon after all of the divorce talk turned serious.

“Really?  Do you think it’ll get that bad?” I’d asked.

“I hope so,” she’d responded.  “Dad will be at work and Mom will be at her new house, and nobody will be there to fix us dinner…”

“And we can have canned ravioli and lollipops for every meal…”

“And eat it while we’re watching MTV…”

Really, besides the fact we’d now be home alone after school, the rest of our dream wasn’t all that different from how we were currently being raised.  But the prospect of having our very own shiny new keys—an actual something to put onto my keychain collection besides keychains—made it all the more exciting to me.

But lo and be-damned-hold, my mom moved just down the road, and she could pop over to Dad’s to heat up the ravioli and keep an eye on us whenever she felt like it. 

Our very own shiny new keys weren’t even necessary, which I thought was really stupid.  How could we be latchkey kids from a broken home when our mom was there to let us in the house every day?

We had also kind of thought that being kids of divorce meant double the Christmas celebrations, double the birthday parties, and double the parent guilt, meaning we could get away with murder at whichever house we’d decided to grace with our presence on any given day. 

But what did our parents do?  They immediately set up and stuck with a very regular schedule, as they believed that children benefited from rules and consistency.  And birthday parties and Christmas celebrations?  They did all of that stuff together with us in order to keep a sense of normalcy.  Selfish bastards. 

They still pull that shit to this day.

Anyway, my mother-in-law will catch on one of these days to the fact that I totally play up the non-existent shortcomings in my upbringing, but until then, I’ll just keep practicing my pouty face in the mirror.

Where was I going with this?

Oh, yes, a recipe. 

This is supposed to be a recipe recommendation for apple pie inspired by my fun canning experience with my mother-in-law last weekend, but peeps, I’m not even going to pretend that I’ve ever attempted to make an apple pie—or that I’ve gotten any further than figuring out what the hell that 1872-era illegal doctor-looking contraption pictured above was used for and then fighting with my boys over whose turn it was to use it.

And you can bet your ass that I wasn’t going to ask my mother-in-law anything else about the art of apple pies, as I didn’t want to risk being on the receiving end of another “look” on an otherwise lovely day that we were having together.

So here’s what I’m going to do instead.  I’m going to give you a recipe for an alcoholic drink called Apple Pie (because it tastes just like apple pie), a drink with which I became very familiar during a couple of different occasions in my early 20’s.

I once consumed so much of it that I made out with my high school boyfriend on a float trip about 3 years after we’d broken up.  That in itself wouldn’t have been so bad; for once in my young life, I wasn’t a cheating whore because at the time, I was single and so was he.

No, that wasn’t the problem at all.  The problem was that he had a tendency to try and be funny—and he was usually pretty successful.  That time, he kept repeating “Sit on my face” very loudly over and over again so that all of the people outside of our little makeout pup tent heard.

For the record, I did NOT sit on his face.  Even I have a teensy bit of self-respect, and no matter how drunk I was on Apple Pie, I decided to employ that self-respect that night.  There were, after all, about 15 other people—mutual friends from high school and college—also on the canoe trip who would have borne witness to the face sitting, and I just couldn’t have that.

But apparently it didn’t matter, because no matter how much I vehemently denied doing it and no matter how much I knew that they knew I didn’t do it, the fact of the matter was that they’d heard the line and it was funny.  And they didn’t let me forget it until THEY finally forgot it about it several years later.  Until then, though, I had to endure “sit on my face” taunts in the most random of places: 

“Hey!” I’d say to one of them in the courtyard of church after Mass on a Sunday when I was visiting my dad.  “How’ve things been?”

“Well, hey, Shay!” he/she would respond.  “Have you sat on a face lately?” 

Assholes.  I hate my friends.

Sweet Jesus, how did a happy little story about a fall weekend peeling apples with my boys turn into…this? 

Ah, well, here’s the recipe. 

Full disclosure:  I never actually made this, but I was present when my friends did, and I certainly consumed a lot of it…which means that I was too drunk to pay attention to what they were putting into it.  Honest to God, peeps, I don’t remember one single ingredient involved in making this delicious drink, but I could guess that something apple-y played a big part in it.

Anyhoo, I looked it up on and found a really easy recipe.  I’m going to try it this weekend in the name of “research for a piece that I’m working on.”  (I love saying shit like that to my husband.  His eyes roll so far up into his head that I always wonder if THIS will be the time that they get stuck up there, rendering him blind.) 

If the drink turns out bad, I'll come back and amend the recipe to the best of my abilities--which will probably make it worse, as I hardly have any abilities.  But I don't think I'll need to do that, anyway.  There are all kinds of positive reviews and really great tips for preparation from people who have tried it.

One quick tip from me:  Make sure none of your ex-boyfriends OR their stupid faces are around while you’re drinking it. 

You’ll need:

·         1 gallon apple juice

·         1 gallon apple cider

·         1 1/2 cups white sugar or to taste

·         6 cinnamon sticks

·         1 (1 liter) bottle 190 proof grain alcohol

Place the apple cider, apple juice, cinnamon sticks, and sugar into a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, and discard the cinnamon sticks. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then stir in the grain alcohol.

If you want to save and drink later (this recipe says that you can save it in your refrigerator for 6 months or more), pour into quart-size canning jars, seal with the lids and rings, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

*Can be served hot or cold



  1. If this drink doesn't work out for you, I developed a recipe for something I call an Apple Pie Shotini last year, you can check that out.

  2. Oh, you had me until grain alcohol. The last time I had grain alcohol was mixed with lemonade in college - I'm not going back there. Well, okay, maybe I'll try.