A Pie Cottage Pilgrimage

I love it when visitors come to Pie Cottage! It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to share everything about it that makes it so special to me.

Kate McDermott's Pie Cottage

Pie Cottage

Plus, you know how it is when you have company coming. Everything gets cleaned, put away, and tidied.


Tom Conway and Linda Nygaard Make a Pilgrimage to Pie Cottage

Several weeks ago, food friends Tom Conway and Linda Nygaard made the trek from their homes on Vashon Island up to the North Coast of the Olympic Peninsula to my little cottage. It’s really not all that far…as the crow flies…but with a ferry schedule to get off island and a draw bridge across the Hood Canal that opens and closes for marine traffic…sometimes it can feel much farther than the 90 miles it is.


Tom Conway (far left) at an Art of the Pie Workshop in Seattle

I met Tom when he took an Art of the Pie workshop from me in Seattle a few years back and Linda at a food conference in Portland. How neat that these two hooked up for a day to make what they called a Pie Cottage Pilgrimage.

Over pieces of rhubarb pie, made with fruit I had grown and frozen, we shared stories about our much beloved and pampered furry four-legged friends, and of course, pie. Tips, tricks and recipes were our top topics.

All though similar, each of us each have our own takes on how to make Shaker Lemon Pie. I love this pie as it is like eating sunshine when made with the lemons sliced paper thin. And using a lemon with a thin skin like a Meyer is key. Its flavor is bright without being as tart as “regular commercial” lemons, too.

Tom says, Shaker Lemon is “a very adult pie” and that you either like its flavor and texture…or not. I find that most folks who taste it do love it. This prompted Linda to tell the story of how she made one to share with a friend, who after one bite, politely put the fork down. More pie for her!

Shaker Lemon Pie can easily be adapted as Tom has done here with his Shaker Lemon Tart.


Linda keeps her eye on the pie that Tom is holding!

All too soon, it was time for my friends to depart so they could catch the ferry back to their lovely island homes. Of course, I sent them off with the rest of my rhubarb pie to enjoy. Tom declared it to be “the best” rhubarb pie he has had which brought a smile to my face. And, as you can see in the photo, Linda kept an eye on the pie to be sure that she would get her fair share, too.

I look forward to making a Pie Pilgrimage to their island homes, soon.



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  1. says

    Ah Kate, I have to tell you that was a pie-perfect day. Thank you so much for stoking the fire, serving up the world’s best rhubarb pie, sharing your sweet Greta and opening up your heart and home to two of your biggest fans. Your hospitality is as genuine and generous as the pies you bake. I, make that we, look forward to returning the favor on Vashon. I’ll make you a pie, the student to the master. Warm regards!

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