Monday, April 23, 2012

Pie Love

A favorite pie book. A pie plate. My gram's rolling pin.

I have this "thing" about pie.

Not just eating it.

But pie as a complete symbol of what I consider the good life.

The good life for me is not about jet-setting and diamonds, but about small town loveliness and aprons and vintage dishes and my grandmother and Laura Ingalls Wilder and black-and-white TV and sittin' on the front porch sippin' iced tea... THAT sort of good life. When families ate dinner together every night without beeping phones, everyone had a newspaper delivered and read it religiously, when there were only three TV networks and everyone was on the same page with information about what was happening in the world or entertainment... THAT sort of good life. When we visit Vermont and I have pie warmed and crust blackened in American Flatbread's pizza oven with yummy Ben & Jerry's vanilla ice cream on the side, or when we drive north towards Stowe past a sign that says "Fresh Pies!" and my husband and oldest daughter scream "fresh pies!" every time we drive by it and I obsess over finding a sign that says "Fresh Pies" for my kitchen wall because it is a sweet memory of the country and Vermont and the simple life and my happy family... THAT sort of good life.

Homemade pie totally reminds me of that. So therefore I am addicted to the idea of pie. It's like a very comforting sort of food, isn't it? It's simple and not-so-simple, plain but sometimes fancy, with crimping and lattice tops and all that, and can cover sweet or savory aspects depending on what you put between the crust.

Now, I'm not a pie baker. But it is my goal to become a pie baker, and master all sorts of pie and the perfect, ultimate pie crust. But in the meantime, I just obsess over all-things-pie. If there's a book about pie, or a movie about pie, or a TV show about making pies, I am all over it.

Let's see... A few years ago I read American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads by Pascale Le Draoulec. This book was just so totally everything I love in a book -- the author drove all over the U.S. in search of pies and told the stories of the people who make them. It was an extended "CBS Sunday Morning" story over and over, page after page, and I loved it. Every chapter was a story about a different person with a different pie, and recipes were included. It was the ultimate pie book for me.

Last year my daughter and I read Pie by Sarah Weeks, which was about a girl name Alice whose aunt is incredibly famous for her pies and her pie crust. When she dies unexpectedly, and someone tries to steal her pie crust recipe, Alice must figure out the mystery of the thief as well as find that elusive recipe. The book was entertaining, and each chapter started with a pie recipe -- yummy reading -- but the end/epilogue was slightly off for me. All in all, my daughter and I enjoyed reading a chapter each night. (I'm hoping to pass on my pie love to her, although now she seems slightly loyal to the current cupcake trend.)

I just found another must-read pie book a few days ago -- I was reading Real Simple magazine when I this:

It was part of an article written by a woman named Beth Howard. Howard just published a book titled Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie, after explains how pie has changed her life, including 10 solid reasons. She's a girl after my own heart. I closed the magazine and downloaded her book on my Nook faster than you can say "rolling pin." I'll let you know what I think when I finish it.

Howard blogs at and lives in Iowa in the "American Gothic House" -- you know the famous painting of the old man and woman and a pitchfork? She lives in THAT house. And has a pie stand there. I just LOVE that.

Of course, no homage to pie could be complete with mentioning the movie "Waitress." Although it had some really dark moments, the film succeeded in pie love to me -- anything with pie has to make you totally want to eat pie, and "Waitress" mentions enought oddball, off-the-wall pies to make one drool. If you've never seen the movie, check out the trailer here.

Perhaps my favorite blog EVER because it incorporates both pie and the whole "good life" that I crave is Sugar Pie Farm House. It is just a devine ode to my vintage Mayberry-style of life and includes some pretty awesome pie recipes too. She has the best recipes for just about everything, and the most awesome pantry I've ever seen, ever...

Now back to my ode to make the perfect pie. Some day, I will... My grandmother's pie crust recipe, which was really great, included vinegar -- I was just watching a "Pioneer Woman" program on The Food Network (love her!!) and she uses vinegar in her pie crust. The recipe looked so simple that I think I'm going to begin my quest with that recipe, in homage to my gram. You can find her Perfect Pie Crust recipe on this link.

Now let me go get my apron on...

Pie, pie... do you love pie as much as I do?

1 comment:

  1. The beauty of pie is that folks think it is very difficult, but it couldn't be easier. There is a reason they say "easy as pie"
    I have the same pie crust recipe as PW and it came from a little church cookbook from Ohio (I do believe vinegar is the secret)
    Another great thing about pie is that there are soooo many different types. While I must admit fruit pies intimidate me (I loathe a soupy fruit pie) one crust pies are pretty much fool proof. Good luck and welcome to the sisterhood of pie bakers.