This is pie baking season. Which, on one hand, is totally awesome. Because of all the things I can cook, pie is one of them.

Let me rephrase that – of all the thing I can cook, that thing is pie.

I make a killer apple pie. Rockin’. Stellar. It’s published, in fact. (Okay, so I co-authored the cookbook, but still. Published!) And every holiday season, I uncrumple that same recipe I’ve used since I was 12, each time with Nate pointing out that I’m a complete moron for not having it committed to memory by now, and start peeling Granny Smiths.

My memory jarred by this post from Binky, I was reminded of the Great Thanksgiving Day Apple Pie Debacle of 2003, the last year I resided in my small bachelorette apartment in the West Village. This was a place with a galley kitchen so narrow, when the oven door opened it hit the opposite wall. Needless to say, I cooked infrequently.

Unprepared for Thanksgiving at my mom’s house as always, I woke up at 7am to start preparing my single contribution to the meal. I preheated the oven–and moments later was overcome with the most wretched, horrible, evil, holocaust kind of stench. It was worse than 9/11 and that’s saying something.

The foulness sent Nate and me gasping for air into the hallway, even ten minutes after having turned off the gas.

At a loss, we called the building’s handyman who pulled out the broiler pan (oh, the broiler pan! Never thought to check the broiler pan.) and declared, “Mice. You have a lot of mice living in your stove.”

“Oh my God,” I gasped. “Did I just…was I…did the oven…did we just cook the mice?”

Nate and I looked at each other in horror.

“Worse,” the handyman said in his thick, Eastern European accent. “You cook about three pounds mice shit.”

Every Thanksgiving from then on, we sit down to eat my pie at Thanksgiving and someone inevitably blurts out, HEY LIZ, REMEMBER THE TIME YOU DIDN’T EVEN KNOW YOU HAD MICE LIVING IN YOUR STOVE AND COOKED THE MICE SHIT?

Which of course, is awesome. And really whets the appetite for that pie.

If you have questions for the VP of toy safety of the Toy Industry Association–anything at all–you can continue to leave them through the weekend on my last post.


36 thoughts on “Pie.”

  1. Holy crap! (quite literally apparently)I think I’m now scarred for life. Blech does not even begin to cover it.

  2. That is hilarious! And good for you for being able to bake apple pie!I still struggle with sugar cookies over the holidays… anyone have a good recipe?

  3. I’m trying to repress the image so I won’t be reminded of it next time I attempt and apple pie. Image must leave! Thinking of Happy Things now!

  4. That is absolutely classic. A holiday tale to be passed around the table for years to come. And it makes me feel a little less lonely in a world where most people don’t seem to take for granted the operational status of their ovens like we do. Or did. Although I’m not all that sure I learned my lesson. Shame on me and all that.

  5. Ugh. Ugh!Should not have read this while eating lunch. 😉On the other hand, the fact that you co-authored a cookbook is a complete surprise to me. Don’t you always say you’re not a cook? I would say you have the credentials to be!

  6. YUCK, YUCK, YUCK.Baked mouse poo…ew.I’m interested to learn how you co-authored a cookbook, but didn’t use your oven enough to know about these mouse squatters!< HREF="http://playgroupsarenoplaceforchildren.com" REL="nofollow">Jennifer, Le Binky Bitch<>

  7. I think I’m glad you never cooked for me in that apartment. Mice! Geesh, you would’ve thought having Des around would’ve kept them out of your place?

  8. god, I love pie.I’m not certain that mouse-poo pie falls into the category of pie that I love. (I don’t think I’m going to experiment in order to determine the truth of that statement, either. I’m a smartie like that.)I wish you lived near me so you could teach me your mad pie-skillz, Liz. I am desperate to learn pie-crust-making. it would match up so nicely with my current solo kitchen talent of chocolate-chip cookies. (and I *do* have the recipe memorized. hi, I’m a nerd. surprise.)

  9. Did you know that you are a recommended read in Google Reader today? ‘Cuz you are. So I came! I read! I like!I make kick-ass pie, too. I have never preheated mouse shit, though, once, my two year old stepped square in the middle of an apple pie I was taking to dinner at my mom’s house. My husband had placed it on the floor of the van (WTF?) and I was 8 months pregnant with my second child. And I cried and cried.

  10. No WAY. I just had the repair guy in because my oven stopped heating. Turns out there were mice living under the bottom drawer, living the high life on bits of pumpkin pie. I fired the cat, then gave the mice a tasty feast of peanut butter borax balls.

  11. Pie should be a food group. No link to the cookbook?“You cook three pounds mice shit.” That’s REALLY funny!

  12. Too funny! And I agree with Motherhood Uncensored. I’d much rather cook mice shit than actual mice! And isn’t it nice of everyone to remind you year after year? That’s what family is for!I am also known for my apple pie, which I make every year from a scrap of crumpled paper (although I’m a regular baker). I have a great no-roll pie crust recipe and a great sugar cookie recipe. I’ll post them on my blog next week if anyone wants them.

  13. very good description.i’m gasping for air + running outside.pie is a competitive sport in my familyi don’t attempt pie

  14. EWWWWWWW! That beats the autumn that we had field mice living in our gas grill. Jamie was too scared to chase them out, so I had to move the little nest and cute little critters myself. At least we noticed before we fired up the barbie.

  15. BA HA HA!! I had the exact same problem with my oven the first year of not-so-glorious home ownership in upstate NY, except I was supposed to be cooking a TURKEY for about 8 people. FYI, one can’t buy a new stove ever, anywhere “off the floor” especially the day before T’giving. Nope, no matter how much pleading, tears and throwing oneself on the shoes of the manager, it’s just not done. Oh and I really recommend that no one ever try to cook an 11 pounder in a crock pot. Whole. Ever. I still remember my poor 8 year old neice crying because she thought my sister was actually going to make her eat it.

  16. SOOO hilarious! Loved your post.I’m just wondering, how long does it take to accumulate three pounds of mice shit?! (Vision of Groucho raising eyebrows and twiddling cigar – “And I thought I was a bad housewife!”)

  17. I’ve been haunted by a mouse in my apartment for the past week. Sending me over the edge. The bastard may have been hanging out in the oven. Wow. That’s a lot to take in.That pie story is hilarious.

  18. Thanks Liz. Thanks a fucking alot. I'll never eat again. (oh, that might be a good thing though…)

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