Happy New Year! Last year was full of many wonderful surprises for me. I continue to be grateful that I am able to teach the Art of the Pie to so many. Highlights of the year for me were moving back to Pie Cottage. I teach one to two workshops a month here.
This year also saw the first ever Pie Camp in July 2012. The first time doing this was a total experiment. I had no idea who, if anyone, would want to come bake with me for four days. But, I found out that there are other pie making fanatics out there. I’m grateful to Jean Layton, who said “YES!” when I asked if she would like to come teach and bake with me and Cathy Grossman, who travelled from Washington DC and wrote about the pie-filled days we shared for USA Today. We gathered, baked, laughed, cried, danced and became family for our days together.
Based on how much fun everyone had, I scheduled more Pie Camps for 2013. But, as Pie Cottage is small (it really is a cottage!), I found a lovely retreat center on Whidbey Island, not too far from where I live, where 20 campers will be able to attend each camp.
If you have an idea of something that you might like to learn about, please let me know! I’m looking at different pie related subjects to present at future camps including a crafts session, English tarts, pie as metaphor for life, and upper crust as an art form.
Speaking of upper crust, another Pie Camp, “Upper Crust” will be held in Montana at The Resort at Paws Up. I’ll be meeting up in October with my dear friends Chef Robin Leventhal and photographer Andrew Scrivani for what should be a pretty fun 4 days! So all in all, I’d say that more Pie Camps are going to be happening!
I thought you might like to learn a bit more about me.
I’ve been baking since I was a little girl but have never been professionally trained. I’m a by the seat of my pants kind of girl. Give me a project and I’ll figure out how to do it. I don’t know the baking rules, I just bake. So, when I hear that I break all (or many) of the rules in baking, I just have to smile, laugh and wonder if I don’t know what the rules are, am I really breaking them?
Anyway, I love to bake, make soup, read, sew, knit and garden and if I could do all at the same time, I would!
My family is small but of utmost important to me. There is NOTHING I like better than having my son, Duncan, home with his sweet partner, Robin. Duncan loves to cook and bake and it seems that no matter who’s house he is in, the kitchen is where I can find him regularly whipping up something delicious to share. Sharing meals with friends and family is right at the top of my list of “Best Of”s.
This year I’ll be bringing Greta, my new four-legged friend home to Pie Cottage. I have Annie Cobb to thank here. Annie had tried for two years to schedule a private 2-day pie and baking weekend for herself and some friends. It ended up being an Art of the Pie Workshop that she brought her hubby Michael to.
During the hours we spent together, we realized that there was a heck of lot more going on here than just pie. I shared with them the story of my dog Lady who I still miss dearly. And, at the end of the class, they promised to find me my dog and train her for me. And that is just what is happening!
Michael is a dog whisperer and Annie finds rescue dogs. Greta is at their home in Chicago right now. I can’t wait to travel there to meet her and bring her home in just a few weeks.
In addition to my wonderful pie life, I also have a full-time job working for what I think is the best family owned company in the world, Taylor Shellfish Farms. I’ve been with them now for about 10 years. I started by stuffing envelopes and now I am the head of social media and websites. Who would have thought! And, in case you are wondering, I do indeed bring lots of pies to meetings including an occasional Big Clam Pie.
That’s enough about me. So from Pie Cottage my wish for you is that 2013 is full of great happiness, health, prosperity, family and of course Pie!
All my berry best,