Thursday, April 16, 2015

Easy as Pie

When the idea came about to have a "pie making day" to support the North Iowa Bloggers and friends cope with the loss of our friend and fellow blogger Amy, it was easy as pie to simply say "When".  I not only wanted to be there for my friends, but I feel that being in the kitchen, and baking in particular, is very therapeutic.  So last week myself and four other friends packed up our pie supplies and headed two hours south to Cristen Clark of Food and Swine's home for a day of laughter, fellowship and pie therapy.

Cristen with her award winning recipes

One of the best parts of our "Pie Day" was all the stories and laughter shared.  Cristen started things off by welcoming us to our home and breaking out her award winning secrets on good ol' notebook pages.  I love how real Cristen is and that she felt like she could just be herself around us.  One of Cristen's best quotes from the day was "At this point in my life, butter is where it's at."  I couldn't agree more!  Who doesn't love butter!



Jeni from Jeni Eats, Jessica from Belong Create,
Cristen from Food and Swine, Mary from A Natural Plus and
Shannon from The Field Position and Enchanted Acres preparing pie crusts
I loved the fellowship we shared around Cristen's kitchen island.  It was fun to exchange our own pie tips and baking stories with each other.  One of the best tips I learned from Cristen was to "perfume" your sugar with lemon zest for fruit pies.  We used the zest from half of a lemon and rubbed it with our sugar for our fillings.  The aroma and taste was amazing.  It gave the pies that added something!  It was also a lot of fun to be apart of both Jessica and Mary's first pie baking experience!

I'm an official Blue Ribbon Baker now!
And at the end of the day the sweet reward was being able to divulge in a little pie therapy.  I chose to make Cristen's two crust pear pie with a lattice top!  When initially talking to Cristen about our "Pie Day" she recommended that everyone choose to make either a berry or a pear pie.  I had never made a pear pie before and was very intrigued!  It is similar to an apple pie but has a slightly different texture and flavor.  Cristen actually may have made me a covert - I think I actually might prefer pear pie over apple!  But now only if I had a pear tree that produced like my apple...

Our finished pies!
Me, Shannon, Mary (with JP), Jeni and Jessica
Our "Pie Day" was a success and was exactly what we all needed.  Now I think we need to head down to Cristen's again for a bread class.  (She says that's what she loves to make the most.)  Do you have any pie tips?  What's your favorite flavor of pie?  Remember to Comment for a Cause!

9 comments:

  1. I love all of these posts about this day. They just make me incredibly happy and I feel like I was right there with you. Thanks for sharing. The zest thing is new to me as well!

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    1. And it really made a noticeable freshness and "zest" to the pie! I am now going to always "perfume" my sugar for fruit pies!

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  2. A bread class would be so much fun. I had one of the best days with you and the other bloggers.

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    1. I had a great time too! I definitely think a bread class should be on the list for next time!

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  3. I love this so much. Thank you for sharing this special day. It's so incredible to watch the online community rally around a loss that is so very, very real.

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    1. Thanks Brooke. The online and offline support has been amazing.

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  4. Oh my gosh. Can I just hire her to teach me how to bake? Those pies all look amazing!

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  5. Great post, Val! I think you've coined a new phrase, "pie therapy." Move over retail therapy... I have a new vice. :)

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  6. That was one of the best days with you girls! Thank you for making the trip down! Bread next?

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