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Veronique de Turenne

Humble pie

I'm baking an apple pie in Otis Chandler's kitchen. OK, it's my kitchen now, but it still looks an awful lot like it did when this little trailer was Otis' surfside retreat. Same avocado green formica counters, same linoleum floor, same beige plastic light plates, same leaky dishwasher, same…well, you get the picture.Pie time

I've made a few changes - big, new windows to let in the light, a Dutch door to let out the cats. Most recently I had a crew knock down one of the kitchen walls. (This is a mobile home. It took them all of two hours.) The resulting space and the countless options it revealed have all but paralyzed me. So I'm ignoring the big, fat electrical cords dangling in the corner, and the fact that the back of my 1954 Philco fridge is now the focal point of the living room. (A designer on HGTV is having recurring nightmares and doesn't know why.)

Instead, I'm paring and peeling and slicing and spicing my way to an entry in tomorrow's annual pie competition. An old-fashioned apple and a Shaker lemon. Stick with the classics. Karen Duffy Walker Gindick's pie is a Triple Chocolate Chunk Pecan marvel. She rolled the crust with her grandmother's rolling pin. Those Iowa girls. Melissa's putting fresh figs from her Point Dume orchard into a rustic galette.

Judging is at noon tomorrow at the Malibu Country Mart. You can drive on down for a slice or two. Or just wish us luck.

Next entry: Pie-eyed

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Next story: Pie-eyed

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