A Day Off at Pie Cottage

A Day Off at Pie Cottage

Today is my first day off at Pie Cottage in quite a while after being on the road for workshops, and then coming home and jumping right into another series of workshops, AND having out of town houseguests on and off for two weeks.

Pie Cottage breakfast on my day off.

So, I was really happy today when I could have a leisurely morning…and of course that included a lovely slice of pie with my coffee. While I was enjoying it, I thought about the fun class in which I made it this weekend and the sweet folks who came to take part in it.

Kara (left) and her mom Kathy (middle) came to a workshop in Austin a few years ago, and then just joined me on Whidbey Island for Pie Camp. Just as soon as camp was over, they signed up for the gluten free workshop at my home in Port Angeles. Wow! This is a lot of traveling for them as Kara is from Austin and Kathy is from Los Angeles.  Anne (right), had heard about the gluten free class at the last minute and made arrangements to come over from the Seattle area. It was her first time. What a great group they were!

Preparing for a class takes a lot of energy and there are many details to attend to. I really love my work and can’t think of any thing that I would rather be doing right now unless it might be visiting Duncan and Robin or snuggling up with sweet Gretapie!

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I’ve arranged and adjusted my little cottage over the years to be just right for my work. I don’t have closets full of shoes, but if you open the folding doors of the biggest one in the house, you’ll find it packed with bowls, sheet pans, food processors, cookie cutters, and pie tools. Then there are shelves full of pie equipment needed for workshops and Pie Camps, and easily over 60 pie pans of various material (glass, metal, ceramic), size (from 4.5″ to 12″), and shape (round, heart, and pi)!

I have a chest freezer tucked outside on the back deck that is full of locally sourced fruit, leaf lard, butter, and flour which feeds into my vintage 1970’s refrigerator with freezer on the bottom. In that freezer drawer are pastry cloths, extra doughs, bags of flour, tasties, and a bowl or two. Yup, I freeze my pie bowl as an extra boost to keeping things chilled in my pastry baking.

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I keep unbaked rolls of cinnamon sugar rollups in the freezer for last minute treats. I call them Tasties!

I’m baking a pie right now that will be taken to a retirement party today that I almost forgot about. Luckily I had a frozen pie all ready to go from this weekend’s classes that would do just fine.  I unwrapped it and set it on the counter while the oven preheated, and it should still be done in time to make the party. Having an extra pie or two made up and ready to pop into the oven at a moment’s notice is a great idea for those days like today!

Bakers note: Use a little common sense when baking a frozen pie. If it is in a glass or ceramic pan, set it out on the counter while the oven preheats so it tempers a bit before you pop it in to bake. Also, you might need to add 10-15 minutes to the bake time. When the top is the color you like, it’s easy to place a piece of foil loosely over the baking pie until the filling is done. Oh, you might tear an opening in the middle of the foil so the pie can continue to vent easily.

Now, I’m going to make a cup of tea, kick my feet up, and read a book with Greta snuggled in close by…and tomorrow, I’m off to see Duncan and Robin!

Love from Gretapie and Me…

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