As I looked forward to National Pie Day — today, January 23rd — I’m afraid I let my thoughts swirl into heady daydreams that were like gusts of wind that pick up bits and pieces of litter here and there and then suddenly drop the lot in an untidy jumble.
First thought: Oh, Pie Day is coming again! I must bake a pie!
Maybe another Pear Pie, as at left?
Thought #2: If I am going to all the trouble to make a pie, I might as well do more than one kind.
#3: If I am baking more than one pie, I better invite some guests to help me eat them.
#4: Why not plan for 3-4 kinds of pie, and have a Pie Open House, say from 4-7 p.m. on Pie Day, to accommodate the schedules of several friends.
Another chain of events and thoughts brought me to my senses. Last week at our agape meal I was served a big slice of cheesecake, enough pie to last me a month at least. And this morning I reviewed my short-term goals and realized that Pie Day does not facilitate them…
(The above picture is of my own Amusing Lemon Meringue Pie)
Goals? Since when do I have goals? I am certainly not the goal-oriented type, but I am trying some wintertime goals this year that involve: 1) spending time in a large room that needs a thorough sorting and organizing, and it’s not the kitchen; and 2) ramping up my exercise to recover strength I’ve lost in the last two years or so — also not going to happen in the kitchen.
If you let me count the ways I love pie, it might be that I love the idea and history and symbolism of pies more than the eating of them. I remember my grandma and a friend named Kris, either of whom could put together a pie and have it in the oven as easily as some of us butter a piece of bread. There was the time we watched my daughter Pippin form the first rustic galette I ever saw made, one of the select few pies ever to come out of the difficult oven in our mountain cabin. I recall happy days in the kitchen with the counters — and sometimes floors — white with flour, when I would revel in being able to accomplish this kind of nourishment for the body and soul.
In later years it has been easy to take pictures of these pastries, each one a unique event. When Mr. Glad was still my fiancé we never thought of taking a picture of the first pie either of us had made, as we worked together on it and laughed (afterward) about the Pie Predicament we ran into. But it is the one part of that Thanksgiving feast that remains in my mind.
When I am reading the recipes and remembering pies of the past, or rolling out the crust — or especially admiring one fresh from the oven! — I’m energized with creative joy and the idealism of family love and tradition. When I sit down to eat my pie, I am faced with — my weakness. I am one of those people for whom the wholesome enjoyment of that first bite quickly turns into a passion of the wrong kind.
Pie as an ideal and as memories brought me to the creative satisfaction of writing this post. Pie as a reality becomes something I too often consume with a lack of reverence. It’s not too late for repentance, you say? That is true; we must never stop repenting. 🙂 I won’t refuse gifts of pie, but this year at least I will let my celebration be mostly in words and pictures, without spending a whole day at it.
One thing I might like to do today is look around Blogland and see if any of you are baking and/or eating a special pie today. I will love to look at your pictures and celebrate together!