CurvyMama went to Colorado last weekend to see the youngest offspring, SweetiePie Sara, who was wearying a bit of dormitory life and feeling rather far from her home in D.C. I thought I’d bring along a predictable taste of home–pie–until she texted, as I was packing: I would love to make pie with you! So I threw a rolling pin and a pie tin into my carry-on, and away I went.
We had a totally fun weekend, hanging out and chatting, poking in the shops in funky little towns nearby, having a girls slumber-party-and-movie in my big bed at the gorgeous hotel. We even went horseback riding through the craggy red rocks of Garden of the Gods Park. But CurvyMama really got her groove goin’ when we made pies together in the dorm kitchen.
Now this took some doing. I had never baked in a kitchen that was so devoid of, um, just about everything. We picked up the flour, butter, cream, parchment paper and other supplies at the market. We went by a little spice shop in town for spices so we didn’t have to buy six different big bottles, far more than we needed.
But we kept getting thrown for a loop as we went about our business: Oh, my! No sponges to wipe counters down with. No whisks or big spoons to mix and stir with. No towels to wipe your hands on. No potholders. We had to go to the front desk at the dorm to sign out a container of measuring cups and a big spoon. When it was time to serve the pie, we realized there were no plates. Or knives. Or forks. So we made do, cutting slices with a spatula and serving them on paper towels. Someone hunted down a few plastic forks somewhere.
So this was pie-making in its rawest form. Pie-making in the wild, even right there in the middle of civilization. But that’s what made it a great adventure, as well as a fun way to spend time together. Plus, CurvyMama felt she was Doing a Public Service by teaching the youth of America (or at least two members of it) how to make pie.
I should modify that. SweetiePie Sara knows how to make pie. She, after all, fearlessly conquered the making and rolling of crust when she was about 11. Then she helped me lose my fear of it by telling me that if she could do it, I certainly could, too. But now, at 19, she
wanted to reunite in the pie kitchen as a way of finding “home” again, even 2,000 miles away. And her boyfriend, Kevin, a game and friendly California chap, was eager to learn. He proved quite a natural with pastry, and she, as always, was happy and at home with her hands in dough.
We made a pumpkin pie and a blackberry pie. And I left the pie tin and the rolling pin there with her, with the flour, sugar, spices and a few other things; a hopeful little pie-making kit, all ready to make her feel at home even when she’s far away.