Author's Note: I'm working on focusing my stories using prompts from an old writing book I have. This prompt called for me to write a story around a recipe. I'm actually very pleased as to how this turned out. The recipe used here is not mine. I just got it online. I'm only in season 2 of Supernatural, I might've incorrectly stated some things and for that I apologize. I've made up a bit about Mary's family so this story is a bit AU though not by much! Please enjoy!
"Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness."
Mary Winchester frowned as she studied the yellowing recipe card that she held in her hand. After nearly a whole afternoon spent looking for her great-grandmother's recipe, she now found that she could barely read the elegant cursive that had been written onto the small notecard. Would it have killed people in the 20th century to write in block print? Scowling, she furiously scanned the notecard, trying to decode the ingredients list that was seemingly curling into itself. No wonder her own mother had refrained from making this pie! It was impossible to read!
"Damn," Mary cursed softly under her breath as she re-reads the card and tried to process it. "Come on!"
"Something wrong?" John's voice startled her and Mary nearly jumped as she smiled at her husband. "Is the baby—?" Mary shot him a small grin and placed a hand on her huge belly. She was due in less than a month and though she had managed to have a pretty smooth pregnancy, all she wanted was some pie and not some store bought pie—homemade, fresh from the oven, amazing pie. And this apple pie fit all of those requirements. The one time she had a taste of it was at Thanksgiving 15 years ago, when her grandmother had made it. With a small grin, her grandmother had pressed the faded recipe card into Mary's hand on the way out.
"I want you to have it, dear." Her grandmother had explained. "It's time for you to have it." Her grandmother had died later that year, making this recipe the only thing she had left of her.
"Mary?" John prompted, snapping his wife out of a memory. "Are you and the baby—?"
"He just wants some pie." Mary assured him and the tension instantly faded from John's features.
"I could go and get something—" John began, reaching for his keys when Mary shook her head and handed him the card.
"No, I have a recipe," She explained. "I just can't read it." John chuckled dryly and then held his hand out for the recipe. Mary relinquished her hold on the card and watched as John's eyes scanned the paper.
"How old is this?" Her husband questioned as he studied the paper.
"Well, my mother told me that this recipe was copied down by her grandmother so . . ." Mary's voice trailed off, letting John do the math. Her mother had never bothered with pie—claimed it was too much hassle and that was why the recipe had stayed in Mary's grandmother's hands. Still, it was interesting to think about. How many of her relatives had made this exact pie? How many generations would continue to do so?
Suddenly, John's eyes lit up with understanding. A swell of hope filled Mary's system and a grin she couldn't control tugged at her lips.
"Grab some paper and a pen." John ordered and Mary did so. Holding the pen aloft, she was ready. With a steady voice, John began to read off the ingredients and Mary grinned as the seemingly incomprehensible words on the page suddenly sprung forth with new meaning.
That night, Mary made her first of many pies and she felt just a little bit closer to her grandmother and all those family members that had come before her.
Apple Pie—(The easy-to-read-version courtesy of Mary Winchester)
8 cups sliced, peeled assorted baking apples
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon milk
1. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice.
2. Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apples and toss well to coat.
3. Fill pastry lined 9 inch pie pan with apple mixture. Dot with butter.
4. Place second crust on top of pie filling, cut slits in top of crust to vent. Seal the edges of the crust with a fork or by hand.
5. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and milk. Brush mixture over top crust.
6. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.
8. Eat and enjoy! (Not part of the original recipe, but it seems just as important, doesn't it?)
Sam stared at the preciously preserved recipe that his own mother had written out. He memorized the way that Mary Winchester wrote—how her "2"s curled towards the bottom, the way her "M"s were slightly off-centered, how she wrote an extra step that showed off her personality—as if that would somehow make him feel closer to the woman that had meant so much to his father and Dean. Sam had no memories of Mary—just stories that Dean had reluctantly divulged over the years—and as he checked the list with the items he had purchased, he wished, not for the first time, that he had been able to know his mother.
But there was no point on dwelling on his lack of memories. He had gotten this recipe out for a reason—he was going to bake this pie and give it to Dean. Sure, he had never baked a pie before and had no experience in cooking (the one time he had helped Jess bake cookies hadn't counted), but that wasn't going to stop him. Their father's death had taken a toll on both of them, but Dean refused to acknowledge his grief. He just went through the motions each day and didn't talk and barely ate. If Sam couldn't get through to his brother, maybe their mother's pie could. After all, maybe the fact that the recipe had been something John had held onto would somehow help Dean through his grief.
Or maybe Dean would just throw the pie at him and shout about how he didn't need Sam's help or his stupid pie.
"Okay," Sam mumbled, dispelling that image away as he checked to make sure that he had all the necessary ingredients. Seeing that he did, the youngest Winchester took a steadying breath in. He had hunted down vampires, ghosts, and demons. He could certainly handle a pie. "Let's do this."
Three hours—and one destroyed kitchen—later, Sam finally had the pie. Sure, it wasn't exactly the best looking pie since Sam had burned the crust and the top of the pie appeared to be blacker than golden brown, but after a quick taste test, Sam deemed that it tasted fine. A little smoky, but still sweet and good which was all that mattered. Cutting a huge slice of the pie, Sam placed it on a plate and then grabbed a fork.
"Dean?" Sam called hesitantly as he stepped outside, knowing he wouldn't get an answer, but still wishing for one. The familiar pounding of the Impala alerted him to his brother's whereabouts and Sam braced himself as he headed over to his older brother. "Hey."
Dean said nothing, continuing to pound out the dents instead. Sam was used to the silence by now, but it didn't make it any easier. He missed the way his brother used to joke and smile and laugh about anything and everything. Sam was trying to be strong, but deep down he was breaking inside and he wanted—hell, he needed Dean to come and help pick up the pieces.
And frankly, he just wanted his big brother back.
"I, uh," Sam's voice faltered and he cursed himself silently. This wasn't that hard! Just give him the piece! "I baked this for you." Sam extended the plate with the pie slice out to Dean who eyed it oddly.
Dean remained silent, his eyes locked on the pie.
"You what?" Dean's voice was rough and almost hoarse, as if he hadn't used it in a long time. A small grin tugged at Sam's lips. It had been so long since Dean had spoken to him. Maybe he was getting through to him after all!
"I baked you some pie." Sam repeated and Dean eyed him oddly. "I used Mom's old recipe." He told him quickly, knowing that he probably should've lied, that bringing Mom up was a bad idea right now, but something inside him forced him to tell the truth.
"I thought . . ." Dean's voice faded away as he dropped the crowbar and took the plate. His tone was full of awe when he asked, "Dad kept it?"
"Yeah," Sam answered, the smile now a full-out grin. "It was stuffed in one of the pages in his journal. I almost missed it, but . . ." Sam gestured to the pie. "I remembered you talking about how much you loved her apple pie. I know, mine probably sucks but—"
"It's great, Sammy." Dean told him sincerely.
"You haven't even tried it." Sam retorted. Dean took a heaping forkful and placed it in his mouth. Sam held his breath, wondering if this pie had the key to helping Dean. Sam watched as Dean quickly devoured the slice.
"It's great." Dean reiterated and rewarded Sam with a small smile.
"There's a lot more in the kitchen," the youngest Winchester began, a hopeful twinge entering his voice. "Maybe, you could have another slice with dinner?" His brother had been skipping meals and Sam had been trying to coax him to the dinner table for days.
"Sure." Dean said and Sam grinned again.
"Okay." Dean picked up the crowbar and smirked slightly.
"But you know, Sam," Dean began. "I didn't know you were such a girl."
"Shut up." Sam mumbled, his eyes misting. His brother was coming back. This pie was magical—it was saving their family.
"Seriously, Samantha," Dean continued, though there was no heat in his tone—just good-natured teasing. "Next thing you know, you're going to be watching those cheesy Lifetime movies." Sam beamed as he let his brother get back to work. Maybe things weren't perfect right now, but Sam held hope that soon things would be okay. Underneath the rage and grief, Dean was still there and Sam was determined to save him like Dean had done so many times for him. Heading back to the kitchen, Sam wondered what other recipes he could try. Maybe their mom had written others and maybe John had kept them.
"Bitch." Dean's voice caught him off-guard and Sam froze suddenly, halfway up the porch steps. He chuckled dryly, the happiness threatening to overwhelm him. He turned and met Dean's gaze.
Maybe it would take many more pies, but Sam had faith.
He and Dean were going to be okay.
Author's Note: I'm really happy with how this turned out, but now I really want some pie. Anyways, please review if you have a chance!