I baked all the pies myself this time -- all 50 of them. My trusty pie assistant, Dakota McElderry, had returned to high school and given that he wasn't available for the weekday prep, I found myself alone in the kitchen for the first time in many months. I had forgotten how much I like -- even prefer -- working solo. With my iPhone earbuds securely in place, my apron tied around my waist, and my rolling pin at the ready, I found my rhythm, the trance-like one that had soothed my broken heart during that first year after Marcus died. I had forgotten how moving quietly, methodically, peacefully around my workspace, dusting my table with flour, rolling out dough, whisking eggs by the bowlful -- and not barking orders at Dakota or whoever else was helping with the pie stand -- allowed me the space and the time for my thoughts to wander, my ideas to flow, my nerves to calm. It was luxurious. And it reminded me of how much I still love making pie. A lot of pie.
And then, after two and a half days of baking, the pies all made and set out for display, it was show time.
|Shirley Stacey, Eldon's ace mayor (who was THANKFULLY just re-elected|
for another term!) was one of my first customers of the day.
|The ever-helpful Dakota McElderry|
My costume had some competition from a toddler. I couldn't help but think of one of those celebrity magazines with the red carpet photos of actresses caught wearing the same dress (oh, the horror!), you know that photo-driven column, "Who Wore it Better." In this case, I'm sure the little guy would have won. Especially with the devilish mustache, beard and eyebrows drawn on his face. Why didn't I think of that?!
I had a surprise visit from a woman who goes to the same college I attended -- The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. A long way from (her) home, Sarah and her mom (who hails from Iowa) stopped by for a slice of pie and brought me a gift -- a vintage pie tin along with a needle-pointed logo of my alma mater, handcrafted by Sarah herself.
Last but not least, my BFF in Eldon, Patti, showed up late in the afternoon -- also in costume. She was dressed up as....me! She had the outfit wired, down to the pigtails and overalls (which she had had to borrow for the occasion). I laughed so hard I nearly cried. Should I have been flattered? I mean, she finished off the outfit with a witch's hat after all. Was she trying to tell me something?
Really, I had such a good time with the Pumpkin Pie Palooza I'm wondering if I really can wait until Memorial Day to open up the pie stand again.
Pecan Pie Palooza anyone?