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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student


COLUMN: Breaking Free: Life is like baking a pie from scratch


After two hours in the kitchen, the fire alarm going off three times and the kitchen counter covered in flour, a homemade apple pie with a golden-brown crust sat on the dining table in my home.  

I spontaneously decided on a Thursday evening to go to the grocery store and get ingredients to make an apple pie. For a week I had a bag of apples I picked sitting on my kitchen counter that needed to be used.  

I debated back and forth whether to make the pie crust at home or get a premade one. Since I picked the apples by hand, I had to go all in and make the crust at home. But not having made a homemade pie since senior year of high school, I bought a premade crust just in case.  

I layed out all of the ingredients on the kitchen counter when I got home, pulled the apple pie recipe on my phone, turned on some music and went to work.  

For the pie dough, mix the flour, salt, butter and water together. For the filling, slice and peel the apples, mix in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg. Place in oven for an hour until crust is golden brown.  

A layer of flour covered my kitchen counter littered with measuring cups, and anticipation of how the pie would turn out grew.  

The timer went off to let me know that the pie should be done. It looked delicious; did it taste delicious?  

Delivering the first slice to my friend without having the first taste, I soon found out it was. The crust crunchy but soft, the taste not too sweet but not too bitter. 

[Related: COLUMN: Breaking Free: the want to escape your own skin]

Life is like a homemade pie.  

At times you have no clue what you’re doing. You’re taking in life day by day, living for the hope of it all. Feeling secure and confident at certain points, and other points unsure if a decision you made was the right one.  

You’re following the recipe life has given you through experiences, whether that’s advice from parents or mentors or what you’ve learned in school. You got the dough to come together, but you’re unsure if you need to add more water or not because you don’t know if the consistency is good or needs work. 

After making the apple filling, you pour it into the pie pan, but is it too much or too little? Should I have placed the apple slices in a more precise way instead of just dumping them?  

Then, because your kitchen has poor airflow, the fire alarm goes off three times, which you have to deal with and find a solution for while making sure the pie is not burning.  

But, after the flour is cleaned off the counter and the pie didn’t burn or wasn’t undercooked, you realize: wow, I did this; it was scary at first, but it turned out to be good and others enjoy it as well.  

Just like making a pie from scratch, life is a process. Filled with messes you have to clean up and conflicts you have to find solutions to. You have to learn to trust your gut instincts and make decisions. Are they telling you the pie needs to be cooked for five more minutes or is it done? 

[Related: COLUMN: Breaking Free: Three friends and a house]

Then, one day, you are recognized, and you realize you didn’t burn or undercook the pie. You just had to trust the process and believe in yourself.  

Natalie Fitzgibbons (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in American studies. She hopes to inspire people with her words and make a positive impact in people’s lives and the world.  

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