The Great Undertaking

144 apples, 48 crusts, numerous cups of flour and endless hours of rolling, slicing, peeling, and crimping and the result: 24 homemade apple pies. (and a nice big pie for Papa and a crisp for the non-gluten eaters) It wasn’t an easy task signing up to make 24 apple pies for the annual Walter Hunt 4th of July race  and when I agreed to it, I had no knowledge of what I was in for.

Four days prior to the Fourth of July, the Great Undertaking began. About 16 sticks of butter and lots of flour went into the mixer and two hours later the 48 crusts were finished (we won’t mention my injury where I sliced my finger). The next day a batch was made in the evening in the first of many brutally hot and uncomfortable days. No one was motivated to cook but it had to be done. Tempers where high and it was a task now, not anything to enjoy. 

6 pies were whipped out and about 30 apples where sliced and peeled thanks to a handy dandy slicer and peeler. I burned myself at least once every day due to careless flinging and rushing. I was advised by numerous people many times to “slow down.” Which I ignored of course.

The next day was a dentist appointment in the morning, swimming in the afternoon and yet another late night. Time was ticking and there were still 12 pies left to make. Wednesday evening was spent, once again, not reading on the hammock, but endless rolling, and peeling, and crimping.

Thursday morning Papa left for Bangor to complete last minute errands. By 11, Mama and I were off again. I started rolling the dough out trying to be efficient as possible. After the first batch of 6 came out (the magic number of how many pies could be baked in the oven) we were switching out the extra layer of pie tins when I picked up the glass oven pan and found it to be burning hot. I shrieked sufficiently loud and almost broke it over the island. After that near mishap things went smoothly until “The Great Dough Incident.”

All of a sudden the dough stopped rolling out and began to crumble under the touch. Mama was rolling and the temperature in the kitchen raised about 20 degrees as tempers once again reached cracking point. Thank goodness for the extra dough and once again everything rolled smoothly. The last 6 pies were shoved in the oven and we began work on a crumble and a delicious pie for Papa. It was supposed to be a surprise,  but unfortunately he came home as we were making it. He was driving “THE”  4th of July truck.



The last pie was finally pulled out and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. None of them had exploded, been incinerated, or dropped. The last of them were wrapped and placed into the freezer. Race day (today), dawned gray and miserable but the race ran smoothly and the pies  were a hit! The pies were given to the age group winners and I got myself a spot on the Rhino Redux when I turn 18! All in all, it was a stressful, hair graying and humid week but it turned out all right. Happy 4th of July!




 Papa’s pie with special decorations by Mama.


 The gluten-free crisp!


  1. Cheryl says:

    Job well done, ladies! Lovely post as well, Margaret! I’m guessing you might take a pie baking break until Thanksgiving!

  2. emily says:

    So dramatic Margaret! I can’t wait to hear about making thanksgiving dinner…..more drama I’m sure! They look yummy.

  3. Denise Slazas says:

    I enjoyed your blog tremendously, Margaret. And I imagine those pies tasted every bit as good as they look. Well done! However, I would be curious to know just how hot your kitchen became with the baking of so many pies on such a hot and humid day.

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