Vulnerability is such a unique thing, a heart strung out in the open, inner thoughts and emotions snaking their way across the surface. I feel so exposed, in a terrifying and humbling way. There are no dark corners left, no secrets that remain hidden in the shadows. I sometimes feel myself panic, my breathe caught in my throat. I can’t hide the less flattering attributes from her, she has experienced it all, every short tempered moment and sullen self-reproach. On days that I am not my best self, frustration takes over. Anger broods as I just want to lash out and then shut down. But I know that is never the way to foster those communication lines that are so precious in any relationship.
Oh, vulnerability, such an entangled mesh of emotions. It requires a constant drive to practice the realness needed, a persistent reevaluation of the inner self. It is and always will be just that, a practice. A practice that can bind two people together to form an interconnected web of souls, so fraught with emotion. The feeling of suffocation intermixes with the feeling of pure freedom, the freedom to be my own wholehearted and imperfect mess.
I strive and often fail to live in a wholehearted manner, a way that cultivates deep connection and spiritual belonging. The ease of nurturing a brave heart ebbs and flows, some weeks and months harder than others. So I keep tugging at those heartstrings, exposing my inner demons to the light, holding space for the troubles, and practicing gratitude for the joy in my life. And she is just that, pure joy.
Baking is such a beautiful art. It is a creative outlet, a production, with the end product of sustenance. And the slow process of cooking from scratch grants me time to tap into some self reflection. I prefer to bake in silence, allowing my thoughts time to linger uninterrupted. So to you, this may be just a cherry pie recipe, but to me this pie accompanied introspection.
The cherry pie filling I used in this recipe was a gift from a friend who picked local cherries earlier this summer and canned the filling. Nothing beats fresh, in season, local cherries. For the filling, cook 4 cups of pitted cherries over medium heat for about 15 minutes until their juices release. Then add 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of cornstarch (I used arrowroot powder) to the mixture and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
For all of my pies, I use a basic recipe that is flaky and buttery goodness. Mix 2 1/2 cups of flour, 2 tbsp sugar, and a dash of salt. Then cut in 2 stick of butter with a pastry blender. Once the crust is the consistency of cornmeal, add 6 tbsp of cold water. Knead into a dough then let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. After cooling, roll out the dough into whatever pie crust design you fancy.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes. Let cool for about 30 minutes then serve.