The last pre-contest pie has been made…

Last night I made one last apple pie before the contest. I have to admit, it went smoothly – even for me. (I’m still a little scared of the apple corer as I’ve cut myself a couple of times…and while I *did* struggle to extract the cores from it, I was able to do so without incident this time around…)

My mother reminded me that she gave me one of those pie crust roll-out sheets for Christmas a year or two ago (I’m pretty sure it came from The Pampered Chef, but I can’t find anything comparable online). True confession: when I received it, I thought it was some sort of protective sheet that you were supposed to cut up to line your pans and so I’ve never actually used it before now. It has concentric circles with measurements (as well as a pie crust recipe that calls for a combination of lard and butter, but I’ve come too far with my Crisco-only crust to change things now…) and, perhaps it was just a coincidence, but it seemed a lot easier to roll out the crusts (you know, instead of eyeballing it…and never being completely sure my top crust is going to be adequate). Crimping the edges was a breeze (although I’m still not entirely satisfied with my “vents” – it seems like I should be able to come up with something more creative…I really like the concept of a standard “L” design…but thus far I have struggled to bring it to life)…although when I took a knife to the excess hangy-down bits, I ended up losing a lot of the crust I had crimped, too…which meant parts looked a bit shoddy. I guess I’ll freak out about that more on Friday if it actually happens. (And will perhaps make an entirely new top crust as I’ve been working toward this moment since January 23??) Perhaps holding up the entire pie is a bad idea? I just remember my aunt just holding it up on one hand and spinning it while slicing the edges in one smooth movement with a knife in her other hand. I’ve always tried to do it this way myself. Gravity, however, seemed to play against me last night.

Otherwise…I’m still not sure how to transport all the pie stuff I’m going to need. I’m pretty sure the apartment-like hotel where I’ll be baking comes with silverware, but what about actual pie ingredients like flour and butter? It seems like they would be difficult to transport (especially butter). But will I have time to track down an Orlando-area grocery store? (Have I mentioned that my first actual job was at the Publix bakery in Marietta, Georgia? Perhaps returning to Publix would somehow be poignant?)

And…what about the fruit? Is it crazy to carry on apples and apricots with me? Should I buy them in Orlando as to not be jeered by airport security? I worry apricots will be really hard to find…would canned apricots do in a pinch? Dried?

What if I forget something really important (like, I don’t know – a peeler) that might be hard to track down in a strange city?

And, as I mentioned, the apple-corer is kind of sharp – if I put it in my suitcase with my rolling pins and pie crust shields and rolling-out mats, will I get in trouble when they x-ray my suitcase?

And what if they lose my luggage?? I think I would have a nervous breakdown.

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