Saturday, October 23, 2010

Oh my, PIE!

When I was a child 'pie' was a four letter word (OK, not really... it was still a three letter word) describing some mysterious dessert filled with some sort of fruit, or vegetable, or meat that adults seemed to love. Grandparents and friends would offer me a slice promising that I would love it if I'd just take a bite. Me? Take a bite? No way!!!

Later on in my school career I learned of a two letter pi (or one letter using a different alphabet). I wasn't any more fond of this pi, than I was of the other pie... though it did help me earn good grades in math. Pi or pie, I didn't want part of either.

Times have changed...

Some time after I finished college and got married I finally gave in to an offer of pie. I remember the occasion. It was an early Christmas dinner at an aunt's house and it was hot apple pie served with vanilla ice cream on top. Actually, when the offer was made, I think I turned the pie down. I don't know if my host was offended or didn't hear me, but a few minutes later there was a huge piece of pie on the plate right in front of me. I looked at the pie as it looked at me. I glanced left and right, looking for support, an extra hungry relative or the family dog to discreetly slide the plate over and let them enjoy. No luck. The dog must have been out and everybody at the table was working their way through their own equally large pieces of pie. I was on my own. I didn't want to make a scene so reluctantly I took the teeniest forkfull of apple pie, along with slightly more vanilla ice cream. I took a deep breath and then slowly put the bite in my mouth...and fell in love with Aunt Mary's apple pie!

For weeks after I HAD to have apple pie... every...single... day! I'd buy it at the store, take some home from restaurants or coax Aunt Mary to make some, and finally learned how to bake it myself. After a few months of apple pie, my husband was ready to stage an intervention. He has nothing against apple pie... his objection was to apple pie every day. He suggested branching out a bit... pumpkin pie, cherry pie, or blackberry pie for starters. At first I balked, what if the others weren't as good as apple pie? What if I hated them? However, I did finally agree to try other pies... pecan, blueberry, sweet potato, chocolate peanut butter, cranapple. Some I liked better than others, but all of them have been great.

Moving to Whidbey Island has been a treat for my pie palate. I got to try marionberry pie and loganberry pie for the first time. My current favorite is strawberry rhubarb (I still don't say no to apple pie). The island is full of wonderful places to buy ready locally made pies or the ingredients to do it yourself. No longer do I turn up my nose to pie, and I do acknowledge that my grandmother was on to something when she said I'd like it if I just gave pie a chance. (As usual, I should have listened to you the first time grammy!)

And on Saturday, November 6th, between 4 and 5pm if you've read the rest of this post I bet you'll know where to find me... The Ebey's Forever Conference Pie Social nodding my head in agreement with whatever my supervisor is saying since I'll have a bite of that heavenly prairie-made strawberry rhubarb... or apple... or berry... or some other delicious pie on my tongue. See you there!

Lauren Gansemer
NPS Ranger

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