Last week I went down to 400 W. Superior to pay my water bill. In line in front of me was an older woman, dressed in chef’s clothing. We started off talking about how long it would take to get waited on, and then the conversation got around to why we were in line.

She mentioned her car had got booted and it was done in front of her place of employment. She then mentioned that she cooked and had been on her feet for hours and the chairs in the place were truly beckoning her. I told her to go ahead and sit down and when the time came for her to be next, she could go ahead of me.

The woman thanked me. She mentioned that she cooks for a living. I jokingly told her that unless she were on staff at a mental hospital, there wasn’t any other reason for her to be wearing a white jacket. I asked what she cooked and her response put a gleam in my eyes.

“Pies,” she said.

My mouth began to water. Lately I have had a craving for apple pie. One bakery did some excellent apple slices. But the last time I bought from them, the slices were stale. No wonder the woman at the counter gave me an extra slice. When a bakery intentionally sells you stale items, then it’s time to never shop there ever again.

I’ve gotten apple pies from Costco and Sam’s Club. Although the pies looked pretty, in the end they weren’t all that great. And with far too many apple pies being either soggy or tasting too much of artificial flavorings, I’ve been hesitant to buy them in the grocery stores for fear of wasting my money. And even though an apple pie is a relatively simple item to make, I haven’t had the free time to bake one myself.

My next question was where did she bake pies at? When she said Ashland and Chicago avenues, my smile got even bigger. A bakery in the direction of home is always a plus.

I asked the name. She replied, “Hoosier Mama Pie Company.” By then it was time for her to see the clerk and I soon followed. The two of us ended up leaving the building at the same time, and I told her I was going to go buy one of the pies she baked.

Driving down Chicago Avenue, I almost missed the bakery. I had to go around the corner and come back in order to see it because the bakery literally occupies half a storefront. The inside only has room for two tiny tables and a small counter. The aroma from inside the place was intoxicating.

I told the owner that I had come to buy a pie because of her employee. When she asked me what kind, apple was my automatic response. It wasn’t until she began wrapping the small pie that I paid attention to the price board. The tiny pie for one was $8. My eyes got real big when I saw the cost. But I had the money so I went ahead and purchased the pie.

I didn’t open it until I got back to my job’s parking lot. When I finally took this pie for one out of the box, I could smell the butter. I dug my fork in and got a huge wedge of both pie crust and filling. As I lifted the fork to my mouth, I thought the pie had better be damn good.

And it was. The crust was buttery and flaky. The apple filling was firm and not mushy. I was in heaven on earth while eating that pie.

If you would like to try their pie, you can visit Hoosier Mama Pie Company at 1618 1/2 (I told you it was half a store) W. Chicago Avenue. Their phone number is 312-243-4846.

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