I was juggling around a different image in my head when I was thinking about the outcome of today’s “novena”. I told myself I’d try my hand at making pie, for the very first time. I imagined that because Chef John created this really simple and straightforward tutorial on how to make pie crust, I was all set. “Apple pie”, I decided, since like the basic crust, the filling is pretty much chop and mix. And I probably underestimated the intricacies of making apple pie because looking at the end product, I think I might have stumbled upon a few missteps.
Pretty, my apple pie ain’t. Here are a few reasons why: I needed more dough for both the crust and the topping, and I thought the recipe I had was good for that. I was wrong. Next, remind me to use Granny Smith apples next time, because somehow during the baking process, liquid pooled in the plate making the pie crust slightly soggy. I think the apples had something to do with it. I may be wrong. And my rolling pin skills need polishing because strangely enough I couldn’t roll the dough into a circle. It ended up more…rectangular if anything.
And right this second I feel bad about writing this because I think I might have made mountains out of molehills. I feel bad because I should feel fortunate that this afternoon, all I had to worry about was to make my apple pie look pretty. For some of the people here in Mindanao, they’re worrying about whether their family members might have turned up in the funeral parlor already or if they’re still buried underneath mud or if the current took them away. Some of them are salvaging whatever’s left of their homes. Some are barely alive in evacuation centers and hospitals. Cagayan de Oro is a few hours bus ride away from Zamboanga where I live. Right now (together with Iligan) it has received the worst of Bagyong/Typhoon Sendong.
Is there room for moroseness during the holidays? I’d like to believe so. We can’t just ignore the fact that while people are celebrating and drowning in decadence, there are people at the other end of the spectrum who are suffering one way or the other.
But do we let sadness destroy our spirit? What’s the Christmas spirit in the first place? Isn’t it about giving and sharing? If that’s the case then if we can afford to celebrate and partake in whatever happiness we have, can we also share a part of that to others who need it as well?
I’m happy that aside from the occasional rain shower, Zamboanga has been spared from the flash floods brought by the typhoon. But because parts of Mindanao were not as fortunate, there is room for sadness, but there’s an even bigger room for aid and help.
There are things in life that are more important than an ugly apple pie. Yummy.ph and Chef John can help you get started. You can always make a new pie, but I don’t think you can easily repair lives destroyed.
I didn’t intend to end the post like this, but I guess wouldn’t have it any other way. Like I said, giving is an important part of the holiday spirit. Now, more than ever, please, let’s bring back the real Christmas.