Tastes Like Fall (or also, the one where I feel sad, and then I make a galette)

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I am not at the place where I originally wanted to be in my life. At the age of 29, I am working in an entry-level retail job (that I really enjoy, don’t get me wrong) that has absolutely nothing to do with the bachelor’s degree that I worked so hard to earn over 7 years ago. I am currently putting myself through school, still going through menial prerequisites in order to get accepted into nursing school in the very near future.

I am, and have always been, a straight-A student, but my work ethic tends to just make me feel angry lately. I force myself to work hard and do well on tests regarding subjects that I really don’t care about, and watch other students (of whom most are 10 years or more younger than me) skate by and seem to have lovely, exciting lives and either the same or better jobs than me.

I’ve had higher-paying jobs with more responsibility. And this fact occasionally makes me look at my current life with more than a little tinge of depression. I know that I’m working towards a larger goal. I know that lots of people change careers and their lives at mid-stream and end up being very successful. I know that the hard work that I put in now will result in multiple rewards later down the line. However, it’s hard to remember this when you’re standing at a cash register, ringing up someone who used to be a close friend from high school, realizing how much you’re stuck in this weird life you didn’t think you’d be leading.

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Then today, I realized we had lots of apples in the fridge and the temperature was starting to drop. I realized that I now had the opportunities to have evenings free to spend with Dan and time to enjoy something while I worked on homework. I decided to make a galette.

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A galette is a rustic tart/pie that’s not too picky about whether or not your crust technique is perfect or if you have enough or too much apples or whatever extra tasty bits you might want to throw in there. It tastes awesome all the same.

I always use Pinch My Salt‘s Apple Galette recipe. It’s served us well so many times in the past and is easily adaptable to whatever fruit you may have in mind.

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One thing that I always do to make my pie/tart-making easier is a trick I learned from Joy the Baker and her Easy No-Roll Pie Crust Method. When making crusty-type things, I always throw my butter in the freezer for a few seconds, and then grate it with a cheese grater into the bowl before blending it in.

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It makes incorporating those ingredients so much easier. It makes life better. Trust me.

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All those sugared and spiced apples (I always add plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg in there) get poured into that lovely buttery, flaky crust.

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Then you just fold up the sides as prettily or as lackadaisically as you want, egg wash the sides, and sprinkle with some raw sugar and cinnamon.

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Yeah, I might have a slight cinnamon obsession, especially in the fall. Like I’ve heard Giada de Laurentiis say before, cinnamon feels like a warm hug. A hug I feel like we all need right about now.

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Pull that bad boy out of the oven and marvel at its delightful rustic-ness. Let’s get a closer look.

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Closer.

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Better. Crusty, flaky, warm, spicy, tart, and delicious.

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I had to cut a piece to get a good picture of the sweet, gooey insides, but I had to leave it to the side and not eat any until Dan gets home. It was a struggle.

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I mean, look at that. Good grief.

I know that making pies is not the answer to all of my life’s problems, but it certainly helps. It helps to know that I can make something like this come out right, even when other things aren’t perfect. It helps that even if the pie’s not perfect, it’s still going to taste amazing and will make someone I love really happy. It helps that it smells like fall and lets me know that time is still passing and that my goals are getting closer.

It just helps.

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