Good Evening TXK

photo by Matt Cornelius
photo by Matt Cornelius

If there’s one thing that screams “America,” it’s apple pie!

So, when attempting to tap into patriotism for this July article, I thought, “What better way is there to do that than by attempting to bake an apple pie with my friend, editor, mentor, and all-around amazing woman, Kara Humphrey?” And as the adage goes, the experience that ensued was as “American as apple pie!”

I would like to first say I do not bake. When I tell people I am going to cook, I mean I’m taking a piece of Walmart salmon, some yummy frozen veggies, seasoning them all up, and throwing them into the air fryer. That is my idea of cooking.

But on a rainy Monday morning, in Kara’s rather cozy, *cough* beautiful kitchen, with the smell of apples and cinnamon floating through the air, we were apprehensive but ready to conquer the task of pie baking. My original thought was that this was going to be a breeze because Kara would be guiding me the entire way through. That was until she made it very clear to me she had never baked a pie from scratch, either. Great! I lowered my expectations to cross-your-fingers-and-hope-for-the-best. Maybe we would produce something edible… maybe not.

She gathered all the ingredients: fresh apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, eggs, and butter, and we dove in with high hopes. We started with the crust, which was much more complicated to put together than I anticipated. “Put some elbow grease into it!” Kara told me repeatedly. I had to ask several times what that even meant. After some laughter and flour strewn all over the place, we had a decent-looking crust ready for action.

Next, as we tackled the filling, we started talking about the saying, “American as apple pie.” Where did that even come from? Why is apple pie such a big deal? Truthfully, I love another American staple—McDonald’s—a lot more. But my top-notch, journalistic research revealed that apple pie has been around for centuries and became a symbol of American culture and home-cooked goodness long before the entrance of the golden arches. For me, baking this pie felt like connecting with a piece of that history. (Of course, I couldn’t dwell on that for too long, though, because peeling and slicing apples is harder than it looks.)

We tossed the diced apples with sugar, cinnamon, some salt, and some more flour, creating a mixture that looked and smelled heavenly. I finally took Kara’s advice while stirring and “put some elbow grease into it.” We slowly and delicately assembled our creation. Though still slightly terrified it was going to come out looking horrendous, it was too late to turn back, so into the oven it went.

While waiting for the pie to bake, I pondered other incredible cultures from around the world. Italians are known for their art and architecture. The French have established themselves as fashion geniuses. Mexicans have delicious food, fun music, and great parties. So, what is America’s thing? Is there such a thing as American culture? I’m not sure, but what I love most about America is our diversity. We truly are one big melting pot of different cultures, each bringing its own flavors and traditions.

Reflecting on my life, I think about what I’d call the quintessentially American moments I’ve experienced, like watching Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.” video on repeat in middle school. I was obsessed! I grew up, like many American teenagers, wildly fascinated by celebrity culture, while my brothers gave their all to American sports culture. And don’t most of us chase that “American dream” of building a family one day while also having a career? Isn’t that what they mean by “having it all?”

Then, there are those Southern traditions that shaped my entire upbringing. Every Saturday morning growing up, I’d run across the street barefoot to my granny’s house for a homemade breakfast. The smell of biscuits, gravy, bacon, and eggs greeted me so warmly every time I entered her doorway. In other cultures, Sundays are the days extended families come together for a large, home-cooked meal. There’s something so comforting about the familiar places and faces and the simple joys they always bring. (Our biscuits and gravy really are next level, though.)

Now, back to our pie. When the timer dinged, Kara said, “It’s beautiful! Come look!” We pulled it out of the oven, and she was right! The crust was golden brown, and the filling was bubbling just right. She impatiently let it cool, and we finally cut into it. The first bite was pure bliss—sweet, tangy, and delicious. Baking this pie with Kara was not only fun but also a reminder of how food can be a wonderful way to connect with others. It was a joyful, messy, and utterly delightful experience.

So, what did I learn from this baking adventure? For one, this pie served as a reminder of the incredible diversity that makes our country so special. It’s amazing how food can be tied to a moment in history, bring people together, blend cultures, and, hopefully, express love. Sure, because America is everything, maybe we don’t have our ONE thing, but the beauty of living in this free country of ours is that we get to celebrate our differences and come together to create something wonderful. We get to have a pinch of Japanese Hanami, when people celebrate the yearly blooming of cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. and a dash of Irish fun when the Chicago River is turned green every year the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day. With all the different people who make up America, we always have something to celebrate together. That’s exactly what makes America great!

So, if you got rather hungry reading this the same way I admittedly got a little hungry writing it, grab your apron, preheat your oven, and get ready to bake some memories. Here’s to apple pie, diversity, and the sweet taste of freedom.


July 5

Travis Matthews & Company

1923 Banana Club

8 pm

July 6

Moss Brothers Band

Fat Jacks Oyster & Sports Bar

8 pm

July 6

Trey Johnson

Redbone Magic Brewing Company

7 pm

July 13

Split Decision

1923 Banana Club

8 pm

July 14

Jace Bryant

Redbone Magic Brewing Company

7 pm

July 20

Calvin Richardson

Holiday Inn Texarkana, Arkansas Convention Center

1-5 pm

July 26

Josh Abbott Band

Crossties Event Venue

7 pm

July 26

Calvin Presley

Fat Jacks Oyster & Sports Bar

8 pm


Open Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays

Gateway Farmer’s Market

602 East Jefferson

7 am-noon

July 3, 10, 17, 24, & 31

Weekly Line Dance Class

Texas Elks

6:30-8:30 pm

July 3, 10, 17, 24, & 31

Free Yoga

Southwest Center

5:30-6:30 pm

July 5

Luke’s Free Friday

ThriveYoga TXK

July 6, 13, 20, 27

Texarkana Texas Farmer’s Market

Courthouse Square

8 am-noon

July 9

Silver 55+ Bingo

Texarkana Public Library

10 am

July 12

Downtown Live!

6-9 pm

July 13

Princess Storytime (ages 4-6)

Studio M Dance Academy

11:30 am-12:30 pm

July 16

Art Wall Camp at TRAHC

Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Building

July 19

Last Comic Standing with Daryl Felsberg

1923 Banana Club

7-9:30 pm

July 20 & 21


Crossties Event Venue

10 am-6 pm

July 25

Stepping Through Time

Texarkana Museums System Fundraiser & Exhibit

St. James Episcopal Great Hall

2-5 pm

July 27

Twin City Rodeo

Four States Entertainment Center

6:30 pm

July 27

Four States Homeschool Expo + Conference

Church on the Rock

9 am

< Previous Story Next Story >

Print Edition

July 2024
Print Archive



© 2024 All Rights Reserved.
Design By: Web Design