Jillian – Pies Make Me Think

Written by Jillian

A friend and I were talking on the phone recently. In the conversation he posed this question to me: Name an item in your life that brings you comfort during these trying times? I didn’t have a ready answer, but have since been giving it thought. What exactly did he mean by “an item”? An amulet? A self-care gadget? A Linus blanket? A talisman? A favorite sweater?

My beloved water bottle covered in wool brings me comfort on chilly nights or when I’m sick. Also, I wear a sea urchin necklace I ran 26.22 miles to get. It reminds me of an available inner reserve. Crossing a parking lot early in our relationship, Steve saw a tiny pewter high-heeled shoe. He picked it up and gave it to me. I imbue this little treasure with true love.

None of my precious objects speak to these troubling times though.

With more reflection, I recognized I do have something that reassures me lately. Something that says to me “Things will get better.” This beautiful objet d’art leans on the windowsill, right next to where I sit catching the sun’s rays. It is, of all things, an eight piece pie scorer.

This nifty aluminum device has nine arms radiating from a center knob. It is a kitchen tool. By pressing down with it on a pie, the pie scorer makes perforated marks. It is incredibly useful for cutting many uniform slices of pie quickly.

My friend Julie presented me this pie scorer at the onset of the pandemic. I have yet to use it. Julie, a pie maker herself, knows I handle a lot of pies both aboard the Sunbeam, and at our weekly Table of Plenty community supper. Making pies has always been so enjoyable for me. All the steps involved, from incorporating the cold butter into the flour, to rolling out the pastry and wrapping it around a delicious filling, require time, attention and practice.

Pies are confectionery sculptures. Betty, a steward on the Sunbeam for many years, is remembered for her beautiful pies. It is my honor to humbly carry on her tradition.

My mother taught me to make pies. Pies fall into one of four categories – cream, fruit, custard, or savory. All are delicious, but, living in Cherryfield — “the blueberry capital of the world” — blueberry might be my most favorite.

Pies make me think of home, hearth, bounty, family. Pies embody love. They are baked to share with others. They are given in friendship to say thank you or, I care about you; I hope you are feeling better, I’m sorry for your loss, or, I was thinking about you. Pies are served after Sunday suppers, at coffee hours, receptions, picnics, and gatherings where people are enjoying one another. Pies are part of a caring community.

This pie scorer awaits when, once again, we come together. This utensil gives me hope.

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