Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Seasonal pie opener

In which the dirt farmer receives more love...

Last week an artist I have never met emailed and we decided to meet. I was to make a fresh pie.

As luck would have it, the mail carrier [yes, the same mail carrier that delivers aprons to Pino] brought me some of her rhubarb. Nothing says spring like rhubarb pie!

I had told Martyn I'd be baking a fresh rhubarb pie for my guest that day, and that he'd have ample fresh pie that night. Well, it is flu season, and my new friend was struck down by a nasty breed of something, and had to cancel that morning.I told Martyn as he was drinking his morning gruel..."I had been so excited to make that pie too, " I said mournfully, "I'll just make muffins later in the week."

Martyn stopped in mid drink. "You're not going to make a pie now?" he asked. Beside him sat Huck, who had his best Lassie look going on, [paw down. Huck's giant chocolate eyes spoke clearly, "You must make the pie for the dirt farmer. His heart might break otherwise."

So I sent my dirt farmer off to work with a kiss and a promise of fresh pie - what
husband could want more to anticipate while working?

I whipped up the fresh pie of the season, complete with my trademark Raggedy Apifera Lattice Top. Huck and I admired it before we put it in the oven.

"Wait! Huck! I forgot to put in a bit of flour! Oh chicken feet! It will be a runny mess!" I complained.More Lassie looks. Head cocked. Paw down.

Taking the lattice work off and adding flour seemed messy and unworthy of the lovely lattice. I opted to have runny pie. So I cooked the pie for 1+ hours, and still found the juices through the lattice overly juicy, even more than I had been prepared for. "Huck, fear not, I'll just pour a bit of juice out through the lattice." And I did, but with it went the wonderful juicy sugar to sweeten and offset the wonderful
tart fruit.

"This just won't be my best pie, but it's ok. All pie is pie. My beloved will see pie, not runny pie." Huck's lip quivered, that was his Scooby Doo look.

The dirt farmer arrived home and ate pie. It was runny, and tart. But the crust was buttery and flaky. And it made Martyn happy. And Huck. Martyn said it was 'Hmmm-mmm, good" in his Andy of Mayberry twang. This of course was an untruth, but the kind full of tenderness woven into any solid relationship. The next day I made the left over pie into whole wheat bran muffins which also made Martyn happy. Perfect dirt farmer snackin'.

The moral: Fresh runny tart pie is still made with love.