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The Pie Fairy Strikes Again

"Butcher Pam" Ginsberg

“Butcher Pam” Ginsberg

It was a two-pie-by day here in CurvyMama land. I’ve been wanting to show my appreciation for special souls in my life, and I’ve been making a good deal of cherry pie lately. So it was only natural to put those two things together.

As you might recall if you follow along with us here, a “pie-by” is the brainchild of my mentor and pie sister Kate McDermott, who makes and teaches pie in Washington state, and writes the Art of the Pie blog. A pie-by is simple: you make a pie and drop it off as a surprise for someone who care about. 

I also was charmed last year to read of a years-long lovefest between a never-named pie fairy and a certain gentleman who received her pastry ministerings, never knowing who she was. When her wings grew delicate with age, she resigned her post with a bittersweet little note. But the loveliness of the pie fairy story stayed with me.

So did a sweet rescue performed by my mom many years ago: Happening by the soon-to-expire parking meter where my car was parked while I was waiting tables, she put change in, and left a note: “The Blue Fairy strikes again.” In my family, oddly, the fairy that silently swapped out lost teeth under your pillow for coins was the Blue Fairy. And, apparently, years later she still craved to make children happy by saving them from nasty parking fines while they were trying to earn a meager living.

So every once in a while, I try to blend the pie-by, the pie fairy and the Blue Fairy into a little good deed of my own.

Today’s was a double whammy. I brought a cherry pie to Emery, who is the best, kindest, most ethical mechanic a girl could ever want. In addition to providing wonderful and affordable service to my various cars over the years (including the Honda CR-V that serves as my pie-mobile), Emery has looked over every used car I’ve considered buying, taking care to check out every last part before giving it his blessing. For those acts of service and devotion, he refuses to take a cent, and yet he gives me priceless levels of peace of mind. Thank you, Emery!

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I also got to bring a cherry pie to Pam Ginsberg, the best and baddest-ass butcher a piebaking girl could ever know. (That’s her in the top photo) It’s Pam’s leaf lard that makes my piecrust amazing. The lard she renders from around her hogs’ kidneys is pure, white, rich and creamy. Perfection. So I thought it’s high time to hightail it over to Wagshal’s, the neighborhood market here in D.C. where Pam holds forth, and return the grace she brings to my pies. Enjoy every bite, Pam. As she would say: “Hey, thanks, sweetheart.”

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