pivot | ˈpivət | verb (pivots, pivoting, pivoted) [no object] turn on or as if on a pivot: he swung around, pivoting on his heel | the sail pivots around the axis of a virtually static mast.
She pivots and finds a new way of being out in the world…at home.
From the mid-1980s and to nearly the end of the 1990s I was dragging my feet about the computer world. I set a boundary. I was not going to let a computer in my home. It felt intrusive, and something out of science fiction. I loved Star Trek (still do) and how the computer could do so many things…including give Jean Luc Picard his “Earl Grey hot,” but that was tv and not the real world…not my world.
No, honey. We’re just fine with books.
Duncan really wanted a computer. He was home schooled up until he entered high school and a computer didn’t fit into my picture of the life we were living. Grandpa Jerry said he was concerned that without technology Duncan would miss out on learning opportunities. We talked more and I finally agreed that we could have a computer in the house. It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought. Visiting websites of museums all over the world was fascinating, even though it did take forever to load a page on dial-up. There were educational games like Oregon Trail, and others that required powers of deduction like Myst.
By the mid-2000s I could navigate my way around both PC and Mac platforms pretty well, but I kept my feet in the real world where my hands were still more fluent on a piano keyboard, in the garden planting and weeding, and the kitchen cooking and baking. Then Pie came knocking on my door followed by a steady stream of people eager to learn. I then morphed into an itinerant pie teacher (as one friend put it) traveling all over the country and abroad to teach workshops. Folks wanted more, so I created multi-day Pie Camps, again traveling to offer them until I finally settled on bringing most of my teaching home…until it abruptly stopped. A pandemic. My grandparents both died in the pandemic in the last century…within hours of each other…leaving 4 young children. So, I cancelled everything and thought…
How can I survive? Am I done? Is this it?
Well, that got old very fast. But, how could I move into a new virtual teaching world? Now, I may have been computer fluent once, but not in this virtual world that moves and changes rapidly. As I’ve been self-sufficient for pretty much all my life, asking for help was hard. Asking is also an important lesson to be learned–so that’s what I did. I asked. With the help of big-hearted experts, who so generously and willingly shared their knowledge and skill with me, Virtual Pie Camp was launched. When registration went live yesterday, it filled in 3 minutes. Yes, 1-2-3 minutes! The feeling that I had, and still have today, is that I can do this. I can bring pie making to a larger audience in the comfort of our own homes. Yours and mine. No airports or travel. No wondering what the oven will be like in a new kitchen I am teaching in or what grocery store or farm will have the fruit I need for travel classes. I will be home.
Now don’t get me wrong. I really hope that when our world opens up, that I will be able to continue to offer hands-on events, but I have to tell you, that one of the upsides for me in all this since cancelling everything, is this is now the longest period of time I have ever had without someone coming into my home to be taught. Remember, I was an accompanist and piano teacher before I entered the food world, so there have always been people in and out of my house. I was always picking up, cleaning up, tidying up and so on. I do like a tidy house, but I was doing a lot of it for business reasons and now? Well now I’m doing it just for me. The main room is set up not as a teaching class room, but as a comfy living room. I’m not worrying about moving couches, chairs, and tables for workshops, shopping and tucking large amounts of pie ingredients for sessions here and there, as I ponder things like…
- Do I have enough butter if someone needs to remake a dough?
- Have I correctly calculated the amount of fruit, flour and sugar needed for 4 days of pie making?
- Do I have all the food restrictions handled and enough of everything to make 9 meals and snacks for campers over the 4 days of camp?
And gone are those long “back of the house” days when I wake at 6 AM to prep and cook for campers, teach, make lunch, teach, make dinner, and after campers leave in the evening a few hours after dinner, I keep going, doing meal prep for the next day, dishes, cleaning counters and floors, and folding and ironing linens for the next day’s workshops, and more. Camps are strenuous, but I love every minute of them. I really don’t want to give them up.
But, now Pie is giving me an opportunity to teach in a new way. Virtually. The learning curve has been steep. Before registration went live, I put in about 70+ hours of work in a little over a week. A long time friend shared with me that I am pivoting and that in a way this is very much like making a pie–adjusting to what the dough needs, what the filling needs…what I need.
The subtitle of Art of the Pie is…
A Practical Guide to Homemade Crusts, Fillings, and Life.
Right now, Pie is guiding me to a new aspect of my life. I am pivoting home.