This is the 5th in a series of Pie Camp stories.
These words are from Mark who, like so many that have attend Pie Camp, arrived as a stranger and left as a much valued friend.
Making Pie to Celebrate
To celebrate my retirement my wife gave me a gift certificate for a weekend retreat in 2017 at Kate’s Pie Camp. While I know my way around the kitchen, my baking skills were limited to making an assortment of cookies with my daughter as she grew up. While I always felt pies should have been included on the food pyramid, pie making – more particularly the crust of the pie – was beyond my reach. Pie Camp changed all of that.
There were six pie campers at Pie Camp and it became apparent the other five were there for something of a master’s class in pie making, while I was expecting a Pie 101 class. One of the many endearing qualities about Kate is her ability to make beginners and veterans alike realize they can develop or sharpen their skills to make pies that are the envy of family and friends.
For beginners Pie Camp takes you to the trail head of Pie Forest, and teaches you the ten essentials you’ll need to know when exploring Pie Forest. For veterans, Pie Camp hones your navigational skills for use in Pie Forest, and teaches techniques that will get you off the well-worn trails to hidden vistas and wonders. No matter how experienced a pie camper you may be, Pie Camp will either provide or enhance one’s skills to make pies with confidence.
Pie Camp is much more than learning the techniques and mechanics of pie making. For Kate, pie making is her joie de vivre. As an enthusiastic, practicing “piechiatrist”, Kate believes that finding and liberating the inner pie maker within us will fill our lives with joy and happiness. The making of a pie is meditative, and the sharing of it is communal. The making of a great pie with a leaf lard crust is a challenge, and its rewards are the smiles and compliments received when sharing it.
Make It a Pie
Got a friend or neighbor who has hit a rough patch in their life? Make them a pie. The perfect item to polish off a family holiday dinner? Make it a pie. A potluck with a group of strangers? You’ll part with them knowing your name after they have had a piece of your pie.
Pie Camp did not make me the maker of great pies. I do, however, make very good pies and am on my way to becoming a great pie maker. While knowing the fundamentals of pie making is essential, it’s the love and enthusiasm one brings to pie making that brings out the true flavor of pies, and makes them special. I learned these things from Kate at Pie Camp, and for that I, and those I share my pies with, will be forever grateful.
Mark’s Favorite Pies
To Make: Chicken Pot Pie, because my grandmother and mother made the same pie, and it brings back warm, fond memories of both. (Recipe)
To Eat: Any pie not frozen and bought from a store, but if I had to fess up and not hurt a pie maker feelings, it would be a Peach Pie. (Recipe)