Inspired by Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Things Found in a Kitchen
What I remember most are her bright red fingernails.
Each shiny nail a perfect oval.
I must have been quite young as her hands were close to my line of sight at the kitchen counter. Watching my mother demonstrate how to flute a pie crust.
First flatten the dough onto the pan’s rim. Press your right forefinger into the dough on the edge. At the same time, pinch the dough around it using your left thumb and forefinger…to form an even point. Repeat the process around the pan until there is a circle of neat grooves. Sealing the top and bottom crusts together. So the juices from all the freshly sliced apples don’t leak out during baking.
The process of fluting is difficult to explain – which is probably why she showed me. Many times.
She was careful. Gentle. No hurrying. No impatient sighs. Voice unusually soft and low. See? This is how you do it. I was mesmerized. Each indentation she made on the crust’s edge forced bits of dough and flour onto and under her nails…red polish slowly disappearing. The tips of her fingers eventually a dusty white.
My mother also wore matching lipstick…which outlined the ever-present red slice of discontent on her face…
…which momentarily slipped away when she was working on a piecrust.
Calmly focused on the pie pan as she expertly rotated it…pressing her manicured fingers methodically into the fresh dough…she was an Artist at Work.
Creating a masterpiece. All her own.