Williker is Katie Baker's best friend.  They met in college and bonded over a mutual dislike of Jesuits, a fondness for Diet Coke for breakfast, and an until-now secret passion for 60's and 70's bubble gum pop music.  The fact that the Baker had The Partridge Family’s Greatest Hits pretty much sealed the deal.

Williker's real name, it should be noted, is actually Gretel.  On the day she left for college, before the front door of her parents’ lovely Tudor home was completely closed behind her, she announced to the universe she would henceforth be known as "G." Short, sweet, to the point -- and an efficient end to all those Hansel jokes.

But then she met the Baker's mother.

Katie Sr. had a bawdy sense of humor and a wicked soft spot for practical jokes -- especially at the Baker's expense.  What she didn't do was swear.  Bob, the Baker's dad, meanwhile could efficiently wax the cochlea hairs right out of your ears with his profanity:

Bob: Jaysus Christ on a cross!  Shut the damn door!  I know for a good goddamn fact that you weren’t born in a barn fer crissakes"

The Baker:  um, I was waiting for the dog to come in. . . .

Bob:  ah, hell that's alright then.  Want to go get a Popsicle?

The baker:  I should do my homework.

Bob:  Your good goddamn homework can wait!  Get in the car, fer crissakes.

Katie Sr. preferred to use a slang of her own invention:  “Poop-a-droop” was for when her quest for well done meatloaf (read: so close to carbon that it turned into diamonds in the back yard compost) caused the smoke detector to go off. "Quick pickles” was for something serious, like one of us managed to best her at a game of chance.  Katie Sr. would bet on anything, from a roll of the dice to the color of the next car to drive past the house.  Katie Sr. had no regrets paying up when she lost and even fewer scruples about separating the Baker from her allowance when she was fool enough to bet against the house.

Katie Sr.'s daily conversation was also liberally sprinkled with “gosh!” and “gee!” and “goody!”  And when introduced to G. all she could say was "Williker!"

And alas for G., it was simply too good of a bad pun to let go.

Williker has a natural sweet tooth and there probably hasn't been a day in her life when she hasn't had a piece (or 19) of candy; she's got the dental bills to prove it.  Williker is the annoying person who will take a bite of her muffin, say, "Needed some cinnamon to balance those blue berries" -- and keep eating.  She studied chemistry at school and it seems that she's doomed to reduce everything to component parts.  Or molecules.  Or fractions. Or prepositions.  

Did the Baker mention she had to get a special dispensation from one of those aforementioned Jesuits to get out of honors physics and chemistry?

So when the Baker was looking to perfect a sturdy, but easy, goes with fruit, and nuts, and cream, and chocolate, and can be blind baked or used as a two crust pie, she turned to St. Honorius of Amies (the patron saint of bakers) and Michael Ruhlman (the author of Ratio).

Ruhlman’s book details the “codes” behind cooking and breaks them all down into ratios.  He maintains that 3-2-1 is the way to go: 3 parts flour, 2 pars fat and one part water.  The Baker measured and mixed and the Beleaguered Apprentice muttered throughout the experiment.

Williker was a very willing pie tester, and she, the Beleaguered Apprentice and the Baker all agreed they weren't there.  They were decent, but not fabulous, every day crusts.

One day Williker announced “I'll bet you tickets to My Morning Jacket that I can invent the perfect pie crust in a week.”

The Baker was more than willing to take that bet, because

1. Williker can’t get the beaters into the mixer, the cream carton into the fridge door or a suitcase into her trunk -- she may have the worst spatial abilities on earth and her love of science and potions wasn't likely to turn out a product that would fill a 9 inch pie pan with any consistency.

2. The Baker is a sentimental sap.  Both of her parents have passed on to the great racetrack in the sky, and she sometimes sees fit to honor their memories by separating a fool and her money.

And, gentle reader, Williker bested the Baker, much to Katie’s humiliation and eternal gratitude.  Because a bet is a bet, the Baker ponied up for Williker and the Beleaguered Apprentice to see My Morning Jacket.

It was magic.

Check the next entry for the recipe and try your hand at making a Savior Fork crust of your own.
 


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