HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: How many of you like pie?
How many of you love pie?
How many of you have made a pie in the past week? Or even two? Or in the last month?
Why is that?
Is it because the cliché 'easy as pie" doesn't feel like it's true?
I thought about that this weekend. I had such a memorable one, speaking in Santa Barbara at an event featuring four authors. One of the people I was to interview is the pie lady, the pie wizard, the “pie-chiatrist,” named Kate McDermott.
I’d been asked to interview her and Craig Johnson for this event, I had no problem with the fabulous Craig. I love the Longmire books, (who doesn’t?) and he’s brilliant, and that interview would be a joy.
But to interview an author of a pie cookbook? I mean, sure, I love pie as much as anyone else. But except for talking about mixing stuff, and rolling dough and leaf lard versus regular lard, and how to weave a lattice crust (or whatever) how do you interview someone about pie recipes? In front of 500 people who may or may not care?
The first answer was that the book is gorgeous. Incredibly gorgeous. And so beautifully bound that it lays flat on the counter. No more having to flip the pages back to recover the recipe you're trying to follow. And the photographs! Fabulous. So I thought, okay, that’s two questions.
But I soon learned the secrets of The Art Of the Pie. It became very clear that the book was about a lot more than pie. (Like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is not really about motorcycles. I mean, it is, but it isn’t.) Sure, this book has incredible recipes. But Kate’s watchwords about making pie are “keep everything chilled, remember to vent, and respect the boundaries.” Now if that isn't a lesson for life, I've never heard one.
One woman I talk to about it afterward said "Who knew that making pies could solve all your problems? “And when you read The Art of the Pie, you will see it is true.
I probably have not made a pie for years, but honestly? It's irresistible to me now. It seems voluptuous, somehow, and inspirational, and rewarding, and a joy in every way. Is Mother's Day coming soon? It's such a perfect present. Is daughter's day coming soon? (Is there such a thing?) It's a perfect present. This is a life-changing book, even if you don't bake. But after looking at this book, I promise you will.
Kate says she wants to demystify pie. And indeed, she demystifies not only pie, but life. Keep everything chilled, remember to vent, know your boundaries. And trust yourself.
Now, I’m off to make a pie. Femmes, what kind should I make?