The TwoJunes are rarely apart, but every now and then, something comes up. This past weekend Nicole flew to Los Angeles and drove back up with her dad while Lisa stayed home. And what did Lisa do while Nicole was away? Well, she thought this would be good weekend to make pie. We may have mentioned Lisa has a problem of scale in the past? A life spent matching large batches is hard to unlearn, but this time she had a plan for her plethora of pie.
She’d been invited on Saturday to a party celebrating the existence of pi, the mathematical symbol. (Yes, she is that geeky.) That’s one pie. Then, there were some pears and apples that needed using up, plus she’d been eyeballing the first rhubarb at the market. That’s two pies. Also, there was a good portion of a huge roast chicken, idling in the refrigerator. That’d yield at least 3 pot pies, just as good as cash, valuable in this tight economy. She quickly arranged to barter one pot pie for some desperately needed video equipment assistance. Then, there’s Nicole’s Dad. He can eat pie like nobody’s business. And the neighbor lady with whom TwoJunes carry on a revolving dessert exchange, with the empty plate currently at our house. Forget diamonds. Nothing says love like a warm pie…friends, family, neighbors, teachers, there’s never a shortage of pie appreciators.
Now, admittedly, this pie operation takes a while—a weekend, in fact, but it isn’t all pie, all the time. There’s visiting, other cooking and garden chores accomplished, napping, dog walking, crossword puzzles, a whole life woven into the process. And from the time spent, 2 couples each get two full meals, plus 5 individual lunches from the pot pies, at least 16 servings of dessert are created, 2 quarts of stock are leftover for soup next week, plus there were some bonus treats with the pie dough scraps, Cinnamon Sugar Crunchies and Parmesan-Pepper Sticks. Virtually no waste, either, just some bare bones and veggie scraps for the compost bin with the Stella, the dog, taking care of any stray bits of chicken that came of the bones in the stock-making.
Pie is happy-go-lucky, willing to accommodate whatever you want to put in there, sweet or savory, one crust or two, streusel or not, a la mode or straight up. Pie is all about regular old ingredients who magically become more than the sum of their parts when they cozy up in some nice pastry. It’s the American story, the ultimate democratic dessert. TwoJunes are proud to citizens of the nation that perfected pie. It’s that very spirit of inventiveness, thriftiness, industriousness, hominess and lack of pretension that will get us out of these dire times.
If anybody wants the recipes for the fruit pies or assorted minor other treats mentioned, please just send us an email and we’d be happy to oblige. We’d also love to hear your pie stories. Next week, the construction of the long-anticipated cold frame—those seedlings are coming in fast!
Check out our Weekend of Pie Slideshow
Lisa Bell is a freelance producer, writer and editor. She spent the first fifteen years of her working life as a pastry chef, recipe developer, test kitchen director, food stylist and print editor. She has also taught cooking classes, run a small cooking school, and worked as a food scientist. Nicole Rees currently works as a baking scientist. She is also a food writer and cookbook author specializing in baking science. Her most recent book Baking Unplugged, is filled with simple, scratch recipes that require no electric gadgets beyond an oven.