There’s no better time for pie than summer. Well, summer and fall. Make that summer, fall and spring, …and winter, too. Yes, for me pie is welcome year-round…it deserves equal rights. Long live pies! Long live pies!! …sorry…got carried away there. Where was I? Oh, yes, Pie. Anytime. Good. (Just so you know, I’m not opposed to pumpkin pie in May or April or any other month.) But today, being that summer is well upon us with record temperatures here in Tennessee my mind is particularly fixated on summer-esque pies—like apple pie and cherry pie.
One summer after my junior year at Baylor I lived with my Grandma Dreier in Hesston, Kansas. It had been a tough year at school for me but for my Grandmother she was about to embark on her first summer without my Grandpa Dreier, and summer without Grandpa meant the days of fishing, gardening and visiting local community events wouldn’t be the same for her. So, it was just the two of us for the summer. While the usual G. O. U. S. (garden of unusual size) wasn’t going to make a showing this year the cherry tree in the back was going forward without Grandpa with its annual production—and producing it was.
Grandma Dreier was a pie maker. Not professionally (that distinction would be for Aunt Joan) but she approached her pies with great intention and dedication. Before the holidays in anticipation of the whole family coming (eighteen or so of us) she would do a trial run on baking her pies. She was all about making sure she still had it—and had it she did—making the perfect crust and filling, baking to perfection and then testing the results, and that’s where I exercised my talent—eating. Yes, I was often the beneficiary of these pie trials as I would arrive days before the rest of the family.
But, back to summer with Grandma Dreier…she taught me how to make pies. I had a pretty good working knowledge as my mom is a great pie maker as well, but being in-residence with a pie maker of Grandma’s caliber was a bit like learning by emersion. I have very fond memories of learning the hints and tips she had acquired over the years of her making pies.
Now, this week with the 4th of July here already and with NPR declaring this “Pie Week” I’m happy to say that pie is still very much a part of my life…both personally and professionally. Just last week food stylist Teresa Blackburn and I had our own pie happening in preparing a number of pie photographs for a retail packaging client. We ended up with a little extra time to do some personal work with the beautiful pies she had created.
When asked “What’s the best time for pie?” my answer is “Now!” And, when asked what my favorite kind of pie is, I can only respond with an enthusiastic “Yes, please!” The only question left to be answered is… with all this talk of pie does cake get jealous? Cake shall get its fair turn. Soon. Very soon.