Saturday, February 20, 2010

Goodbye, Bob

Death is part of life. I continue to be reminded of this almost daily. Yesterday, on the day that marked six months of Marcus' passing, I learned that Bob Webb, father of my friend Mimi, died. He passed away a few weeks ago, I was told by Betty, my Texas landlord who just lost her faithful four-legged companion, Shippy, due to old age. I just saw Mimi the day I left LA to return to Portland in the RV, so I can only surmise Bob passed away immediately after my visit with Mimi. I met Bob this summer in at Mimi's La Posada Milagro Guest House in Terlingua and made him a Banana Cream Pie. I fell in love with him as if he was a surrogate grandfather and he, in turn, adopted me as his "fifth daughter." Our time together was short but as sweet and nurturing as the vanilla pudding in the homemade pie. Mimi cooked us suppers as Bob and I sat around the kitchen table where he talked animatedly about his days in the war, when he lived in Japan and Germany. He was interested in hearing about Marcus' work (Marcus was workng in Germany this summer) and even spoke a little German with me. Well, now Bob will be able to meet Marcus for himself and ask him all about what it was like to be an engineer with a German automotive powerhouse. Better yet, Bob will be reunited with his two late wives.
Whatever version of heaven you believe in, I like to think there will be a huge smorgasbord of pie and that Bob is up there right now helping himself to the biggest, best piece of Banana Cream Pie he's ever tasted. (As for Marcus, surely he's enjoying some good German beer with his pie.) We'll miss you, Bob. Party on, dudes. And save some pie (and beer) for the rest of us, because we'll all be joining you eventually.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pie TV Shoot Stats

As promised, we added up the numbers for our pie TV shoot. Here's the final tally.RV Road Trip
Number of miles driven in the RV (RT Portland-Los Angeles, and including my Christmas trip to Arizona): 4,521
Number of miles I drove RV prior to this trip: 0
Number of parking or speeding tickets: 0 (yay!)
Number of dings on the RV roof from parallel parking too close to trees: 4
Number of hours spent caulking the leaky roof: 5
Number of times Janice fought to keep Jack off her lap before giving up: 9

Number of times people honked because of our pie sign in the window: 67
Number of Café Lattes served to Janice over 12 mornings: 12
Number of times we sang “Pants on the Ground”: 26
Number of times we imitated Pigmy Will’s voice: too many!

Number of In ‘N Out burgers eaten: 3 each

Pie Interviews and Consumption

Number of pie bakers interviewed: 12
Age of oldest person interviewed: 92
Age of youngest person interviewed: 7
Number of people we taught to bake pies: 13 (14 if you include Janice)

Number of pounds of apples purchased: 160
Number of pies baked: 58
Number of pie slices given away on National Pie Day: 384
Number of pieces of pie eaten in 12 days: 21 each!
Number of pie varieties eaten: 12
Number of bites of coconut cream pie Janice ate: 1
Number of pounds gained: 0 (Ha!)

Number of months since Marcus died: 6 (you didn’t think I forgot about him, did you?!)
Number of times we thanked him for doing “advance security” for us: 24
Number of times I cried on camera about him: 3
Number of hours out of 8 I wished he could have been with us giving out pie slices on National Pie Day: 8

Follow up
Number of post-shoot (hand-written, not email) thank you cards I’ve sent so far: 0 (gotta go so I can get those written!)
Number of hours I’ve spent (so far) working out content for the next 12 episodes: 6

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Are They Trying to Tell Me Something?

This is the box of t-shirts we had made for the TV shoot. We had imprinted on the shirts "The World Needs More Pie" but the box label stated something slightly different: Beth Howard Needs More Pie.

If they were trying to tell me something, well, I couldn't agree more!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

For Valentine's Day...Not Pie

Looking like two snow-capped volcanoes (appropriate for this part of the country!), it was Red Velvet Cupcakes -- not pie -- that were my Valentine's Day treat. While I am not a fan of the whole cupcake craze (how can I be? I'm devoted to pie!), these were homemade by my friend Alison and MUCH tastier than any $4 cupcake I've purchased in a certain Beverly Hills bakery. A perfect anti-Valentine's celebration, we sat at her house last night, curled up under blankets and watched TV, drooling over Apolo Anton Ohno's thigh muscles while jamming the spongy, light things into our mouths. Alison's frosting -- her own combo of cream cheese and whipped cream -- was worthy of a gold medal.