Promises and pie-crust are made to be broken. – Jonathan Swift
A year after Darcy’s life got flipped in a way that Will Smith was never going to rap about, Darcy managed to finish college grab up her diploma, something she was pretty sure wasn’t worth the paper and it used to print it, and hit the road in a rust bucket of a Rabbit named Rochelle.
Rochelle made it as far as New York State before giving up the ghost and Darcy found herself living in the closet sized room of her grandmother’s best friend in an old brick apartment building in Brooklyn with crappy water pressure and dim lighting. She found work in a small pie shop in the same rundown neighbourhood after insulting the manager on how crappy their cherry pie actually was.
Cherry Pie was small, a tiny kitchen and a counter top with a dozen red leather seats. They served pie and coffee. Nothing else. Charlie the owner said the shop had once been a Drug Store in the 1930s, and he named the shop after the Warrant song, which made Darcy wince every time Charlie started talking about his days as a roadie in the eighties.
But the pies, well the pies were all hers. Darcy never wanted to be a lawyer. She didn’t want to work in politics. All she ever wanted was to listen to music, bake like her grandma taught her, and above all she wanted to be happy. And mostly she was. But a tiny little part of her missed New Mexico, where she made coffee for brilliant scientists, tased a god and watched a fire breathing motherfucking Decepticon destroy a small town. But New York had superheroes and aliens too so it wasn’t all bad.
Darcy stood at the counter humming along to her One Geek to Rule Them All playlist (all songs from her favourite TV shows and movies) as she added flour, butter, sugar and spoonfuls of ice water into the large industrial mixer in the small kitchen of Cherry Pie.
“Hey Lewis! We need you out here. Got a big order. And you gotta see this guy.” Kelly shouted as she held open the swing door. Darcy huffed and grabbed a cloth, wiping her hands clean and straightening out her blue and red uniform.
“What’s the problem? Did you not read the sign?” Darcy snarked pointing up at the blackboard that read ‘Menu: Slice of Pie and Coffee. If you don’t like it, get out.’
“No. No problem ma’am. I just wanted to place a large order. To, uh go. My friend Phil said this place made the best pie around.” Rumbled a deep voice, and Darcy finally looked up, and up to see bright blue eyes, blond hair, and a somewhat confused smile .
“Yes ma’am.” Blondie Bear said and pulled his wallet out of his worn leather jacket.
“Today’s meat pie is Beef and Guinness. It’s a fruit pie day so there’s Princess Peach, Mango Mania, Blueberry Bifrost, She’s My Cherry Pie and Life’s a Mockery Pie. What do you want?”
“All of them, ma’am. Four of each pie.”
“Darcy.” Darcy grinned as she held out her hand to shake.
“Well Steve, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Darcy beamed as she shook Steve’s warm hand with her flour dusted fingers and Steve face lit up in a grin.
“Casablanca.” Steve murmured to himself, dipping his head down sheepishly.
“Kelly grab Steve here a slice of Life’s a Mockery and a cup of coffee.” Darcy shouted over her shoulder and reluctantly let go of Steve’s hand. Sure that the imprints of his calluses were seared on her brain. Because damn Blondie Bear was hot, even if he dressed like Grandpa Joe, and Darcy felt her cheek growing hot. “I’ll um, I’ll have your pies boxed up and ready as soon as I can Steve.”
Life’s a Mockery (Mock Apple Pie)
pastry for double-crust pie
18 saltines, halved
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Place bottom pastry in a 9 in pie plate. Layer crackers in the pie shell and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour the mixture over the crackers (it will be quite thin). Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut lattice strips from the remaining pastry and place them over the filling. Seal and flute the edges. Bake at 400f for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
A little bit of history: Mock apple pie became popular during the depression when apples were in short supply but crackers were always in the cupboard. As Steve Rogers grew up poor it's a recipe his mother would have made for him when he was small.
fin (for now)