How a Band Aid Ruined My Pie Plans [Tall Drink of Nerd]
This is a beautiful apple galette. It was the first galette I’ve ever made and it came out of the oven so gorgeous, I could hardly contain my need to take a bite. But these simple, country pies were meant for the dinner party later that day. So I didn’t even nibble (ok, a little pinch of crust, just to be sure it wasn’t too bland or salty.) They smelled good, looked great and based on my nibbling, tasted yummy. But the success of these gorgeous pastries was undone by something as simple as a missing band-aid.
These were made to impress our downstairs neighbor, who had invited my husband and I to her standing Tuesday night dinner party. Christina, the neighbor, is friendly and interesting. I had been building social circles in my neighborhood and this seemed like a great opportunity to make a buddy. In the building no less!
Since baking makes me happy, but I only bake stuff to bring to other people, because if I ate as much as I wanted to bake, I’d weigh 4,000 pounds, this seemed like a good opportunity to get my bake on and feed my new friends. The recipe is super easy, especially as a galette, which is kind of free form so you don’t have to get too fussy. I adapted this recipe for apple pie cookies from Smitten Kitchen, into the galette form. I’d made the cookies for a dinner party earlier and they were a big hit, so I was confident the galette would rule. (You can see here that my cookies were a bit bigger than Smitten Kitchen’s. That’s because she had about 40 steps, which I was too lazy to follow. I also didn’t have various sizes of cookie cutters she did, so I used the top of a martini glass to cut my little pie circles.)
The previous day, before these galettes made my house smell all cinnamon-y, I had embarked on a massive cleaning of our apartment. My hands had gotten dry. A fissure had opened on the skin of my right index finger, really like a small paper cut, no blood, just red and irritated. So I slathered some Calendula gel on it and covered it with a band-aid.
About 20 minutes after the pies had come out of the oven and were cooling on the kitchen counter, I felt the empty space on my index finger where the band-aid had been. There was no longer a band-aid on that finger. Oh. Shit.
I mentally shuffled through my actions of the last few hours. There was my post-gym shower, where I probably removed the soggy adhesive strip and tossed it into the garbage. Then, to prep myself for making pies, I washed my hands thoroughly and removed my rings so I could knead the pie dough and stir the apple/sugar/cinnamon combo with my fingers. Searching my memory, I don’t remember having the band-aid on at that time. I swear that I had taken the band-aid off before I dug into the pies, but my certainty of that was at about 80%. I knew it wasn’t in the dough, I had rolled that out thin for the crust. If it was anywhere in there, it was among the apples.
I looked at the pies, willing them to tell me they were band-aid free. They remained silent. I looked at my husband, he just started laughing. I did a pencil-poke-around search of all the trash cans in the place, searching for that lost band-aid. My search came up empty. The fate of these pies seemed sealed. My options were few:
1. Take the pies to the dinner party and hope no band-aid appeared (which led to an elaborate imagining of one of Christina’s friends, or Christina herself finding the band-aid in her pie slice and thinking I was probably the grossest person alive. Hello new friends!! Clearly this was not an option.)
2. Call my niece and offer her a pie, or take one to the shelter where I volunteer and give it to the staff. Except there might be a band-aid in there, somewhere. Still gross. No, these pies were not meant to be given away. Ever. Not even to relatives.
3. Work through the pies myself.
It wasn’t like the band-aid had covered a big, bloody wound. I just put it on a dry skin, paper cut scratch. Still I could never admit, to anyone, that I had eaten band-aid pie.
POST SCRIPT: I worked through both pies over the course of 2 weeks. (Yes, by work-through, I mean ate.) No band-aid was ever found. I can pretty much guarantee that any pie/pastry/food product that comes out of my kitchen after this little debacle will be 100% sanitary (aka band-aid free).
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