I made a couple of triple cherry pies over the weekend. The triple being fresh frozen sweet cherries, canned tart cherries, and dried cherries. (Yes, Liz, you can make this pie using canned cherries — I wanted to be sure.)
One I gave to my friend (who took the gorgeous photo above), and another I brought to another friend along with dinner (The Food Geek’s Tarragon Mac and Cheese — always a favorite.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about what pie represents for me. It’s obviously not just pie, but a stress reliever, a way I like to reward, honor, thank, or delight people. I like being good at something I can make with my hands, that is tangible (everything I do professionally, is not.)
I started baking pies when my son was heading to college. It was a half-empty nest occupation, meant to fill a hole that swelled when he left.
It became more than that; an outlet into something I could control and that gave me satisfaction, the joy that comes from pleasing others, and, of course, really great pie. It became important to me, and still is, although I bake far less frequently than I did at one time. I had to get through the lessons, the experiments, and the failures and that took a lot of pie baking, before now, when I’m reasonably confident and can turn out a fine pie when I put my mind to it.
I made, what I will forever refer to as the most perfect apple pie ever made, and rushing from oven to car to take it to a friend’s birthday dinner, I dropped it. Spectacularly. With witnesses, one, a neighbor’s young daughter, who immediately came over and wrapped her little arms around me and I started to cry.
It put me off baking pie for a couple of weeks. But I mourned it, as we do when what we’ve worked on, invested in, created with love and then inadvertently destroyed. And then I dried my tears, realized it wasn’t the end of the world — far from it — and enjoyed a lovely birthday dinner with some great friends.
I returned to pie baking with two triumphant cherry pies.
What’s the lesson here? Know of what you’re capable. Don’t stop doing what you love, just because you have the occasional misstep or complete failure. Pick yourself up, accept the hug, and get back to the business of being you. I’m working on that, a couple pies at a time.