Oh trouble trouble trouble. What shall I bake for the Martha Stewart pie show? I had such grandiose ideas of different ways to create a poetry pie, but let’s face it, we’re flying 1,500 miles to get there, and it’s going to be tough enough to get my pie with its silver doilies through TSA, although I did check the website and they claim there really is no problem at all. I’ll just send it through the X-ray machine and be on my way, flying to NYC with a pie on my lap, my Mohawk friend Hannah next to me all the way.
Believe me, we are some excited.
I’ve decided: The pie, my dears, will be a decadent brownie pie with a ginger snap crust. Gooey and spicy. Pretty I hope. I make the practice pie tonight, I think.
But first the poems, it needs to be crammed with poetry, just like McCabe (in the Altman film McCabe and Mrs. Miller). And the poetry needs to be of the postcard variety, only about pies and baking, not trains this time.
As it is, I’m pretty far behind on my postcard poems, so maybe this will give me a chance to catch up.
Okay, six poems about pie:
Pat’s Apple Raisin Pie
Kayaking in Florida’s 10,000 islands,
expeditioning with Outward Bound,
I finally shed one more food phobia
and ate a meal that included raisins–
didn’t even try to pick them out.
But still, you know, even so, I don’t regret
passing up Pat’s Apple Pie with Rum-Soaked Raisins
in the filling. It just did not seem right
there on the table with our stoic New England fare.
Yogurt Dream Pie
Yogurt! I loved it! Made it myself in funny
little cups, plugged into a yellow warming tray that
I bought from some catalog. I put it in
everything, even Dream Whip pie with lemon
Jello-O and who knows what else. “I like it,”
said Dad, pointing with his fork. “What’s in it?”
“Yogurt,” I beamed, then watched in astonishment
as he pushed it way, slid back his chair, and
left the kitchen for the comfort and security
of his old, familiar recliner.
Steak and Mushroom Pie
We bought the first one in a tin in some tiny
gourmet shop in Portland, Maine, so cool we were
as college students, English majors, worldly
in our willingness to try something new, something
that I could replicate in our galley kitchen where I had
Already failed so stupendously to create coq au vin
and had come up with pink chicken. But, my dear,
let me tell you, that steak and mushroom pie, the
one that I made myself, still sizzles on my tongue, leaving
its savory essence in memory ever better, every year.
“Mincemeat pie,” I said to John, “was invented by Paul Bunyan
after Babe the Blue Ox finished off the last of the
real minces, a single-ox extermination unit, that one. So
Paul had to create a dish every bit as sweet and delicious.
I don’t know whether he poured brandy into the first
one, or if that was someone else’s idea, so in either case,
what you have here is actually mock mince.
“Can’t say that I care,” he said, and sliced his way
through my crust of cookie cuttered stars, ate his way
into yet another Great American Myth.
Another Thanksgiving, Another Pie
Somehow, my son and I developed our
own tradition over the years, never quite getting
the pumpkin pie right, always managing to forget
one ingredient, never two, always finagling our
way through the shopping list, then opening the
oven door to find something unexpected in
shape or texture, but always finding something
for sure that we could pass off as pie.
Boston Cream in Boston
When Nanny turned 72, we all hauled down to
Boston for a night at The Pops, preceded by a
dinner at Jakie Wirth, me a satellite to Nanny’s family
who gossiped and sipped, drank beer,
drank wine. And for dessert the crisp waiters trouped
out with the most fabulous Boston Cream Pie
I have seen in my life, decadent as only custard
and chocolate can be. She cut us each an
ample slice, and surveyed her congenial tribe with
a nod and a knowing grin, a bit of custard on her lip.