What does pie mean to you?
It may come as no surprise to you that I make pie just about every day. And, if I’m not making pie, I’m thinking, dreaming, reading, and studying it. It was an unexpected meeting that has turned into a serious and long lasting love affair. Art of the Pie is going into its seventh year now, and that’s not counting the years of practicing, exploration, and experimentation that came first. I find the subject of Pie, in all its many manifestations, endlessly fascinating.
Yesterday in a conversation I was asked, “What does pie mean to you?”
I am asked that question often. My answer is simple but does take some explaining.
I was a pretty quiet and shy child growing up. A very pronounced lisp, due to a “tied tongue“, required twelve years of speech therapy to adapt the way I formed words so I could be understood. My mom decided against the surgical clip that would be a quick but invasive fix. I started to do things with my hands early on…music, sewing, cooking, and especially baking.
Sadie who lived upstairs in the caretakers apartment was my first baking teacher. I think I will always associate after school cookies and tea with liberal amounts of milk and sugar with her. Although she passed away years ago, the Irish lilt to her words, and her warm welcoming hugs are with me to this day. In her gentle way, she taught me that baking from the heart always tastes best, even if it doesn’t turn out quite like the picture in the magazine. I baked with her a lot after school up until I was nine.
When we moved a few blocks away to a house with a bigger and brighter kitchen, I started to bake on my own. Of course, I tried cookies first. My favorites were chocolate chip. I liked making them for my mom, dad, and brother. I made batches to take to school. Then I started in on cakes for birthdays for friends. Next I learned to make bread, a practice which I love even more than pie making. I always made time for baking something to giveaway and share. When I was sad or lonely, into the kitchen I went, out I came with a plate full of something to share and felt much better!
When I married and started a family, I baked nearly every day. When we moved into a new house, the first thing I would do before unpacking, would be to bake bread. When the loaf had cooled a bit, we gathered at the big round table. We didn’t need much in the way of words. We were content sharing this simple moment together. Now more than a house, we had made a home. And, so it continues.
With my hands and heart, and the simplest of ingredients, I roll out a tender dough, place inside a filling bursting with ripe sweet fruit, bake it until it is all bubbling and steaming on the inside and golden brown outside, and then happily give it away.
Simply put, what pie means to me is that it is a way that I can share the love that is inside of me.
How about you?
If you care to share a comment, I’d love to hear about what Pie means to you.