Birthday cake is good, but birthday pie might be even better

NOTE: This post has been written by Guest Pie Maker Emily Alden Foster.

When my sister turned 8 or 9 or one of those pre-teen ages, she decided she wanted a pie for her birthday. I was disappointed because she wanted cherry pie and I hate cherries. It turned out that my sister was also disappointed with her birthday pie. When it came out of the oven, in went the candles. And by “in” I mean into the pie, because they melted. Ooops.

Fast-forward to my 20ishth birthday, and my dear friend and birth-week-sharer Lauralee’s somethingth birthday, and there’s birthday pie again. In fact, we were so excited about pie at this point that we decided to have a pie party. We each made a pie or two and many of the guests also came bearing pies. It was a horrible, horrible party. Of course it was fun, but there’s something horrible about being surrounded by twelve pies and being too full (or too afraid of a diabetic coma) to eat more than the tiniest sliver of each. Everyone was very thankful when a late-arriving guest brought a savory pie: pizza. The cheese soaked up enough of the sugar that we were able to move and talk to each other again instead of curling in the fetal position moaning and waiting for our digestive systems to cope with the full pound of sugar that each of us had just consumed. For the next week my roommates and I had pie at every meal. I didn’t make a pie again for a long time.

This year I once again turned to the pie for my birthday celebration. (Also for Channing’s birthday celebration, but that’s already been posted here.) This time it was sugar-free, because I’m trying really hard not to eat sugar. I love sugar, but my body doesn’t. The best method I’ve found for making sugar free desserts involves fruit juice concentrate (although technically fruit has sugar, it’s the added processed sugar nonsense that I’m worried about) and in my experience is more delicious with pies than cakes. I take birthdays pretty seriously, and didn’t want to take a chance on having a gross cake, so I went with the peach-raspberry pie. Delicious! We went out for pizza while the pie was cooling. It’s about a half-hour walk to the pizza place, most of which I spent singing a song I made up about pie and how I was going to eat two of them. It was a good birthday. Not at all horrible or disappointing, and with plenty of pie.