Thursday, April 2, 2009
A guy at church started it. When we had our Mission Miles fundraiser at St. Luke's, he suggested we offer pies as prizes. The fact that he is passionate about pies was of course at the root of his inspiration. So a parade of homebaked pies entered the hall, from chess and apple to fudge and pecan. Bagged and bowed, tagged and adorned, each pie was enticing and memory-evoking. One church member baked at least four because she couldn't decide which one she wanted to donate. Lead runners got their pick of the pies, and not a single one was left orphan at the end of the fundraiser.
So we started talking about pies. How they're a distinctly Southern thing. That there are pie people and cake people, and it's rare to find someone who likes both equally well. One Sunday School class learned that some folks pronounce them "pahs," and some crisply enunciate the long vowel i. That pies should be plain, a la mode, warm, room temperature, crustless, crusty, deep dish, bite sized, homemade, special ordered at Fresh Market or Wright Gourmet, and so on. The only consensus was that pie is GOOD.
Of course we started making pies at home. The first was a long-treasured buttermilk pie I remember my grandmother serving, fresh from the oven and unadorned with whipped cream or ice cream. That one lasted two days. Next came the favorite chocolate fudge pie, half gone before the filling had a chance to cool into brownie mode. I'm thinking about a layered strawberry pie next, with strata of cream cheese and fruit and rich praline.
Rather surreally, there are knitters who knit pies. They also knit vegetables, alien creatures, entire three-course meals, and even wedding cakes. Personally, I'd rather invest that time in creating food for the soul. It may not last as long as that knitted thing, but the memory goes on forever.