11/20/09

Wise Women Friday: Margaret Junkin Preston

IMG_7216Image by Neeta Lind via Flickr

Words of Wisdom from Virginia poet Margaret Junkin Preston (1820-1897):

But see, in our open clearings,
How golden the melons lie;
Enrich them with sweets and spices,
And give us the pumpkin-pie!

I am not by nature zealous, but there is one subject on which I feel the need to proselytize: Pie.

There are people out there who don't like pie. I know! It's shocking, but true! They call it gummy, gooey, cardboardy.

You know what I think? I think they've only had store bought pies, but calling a store bought pie a pie is like calling a paint-by-numbers a Di Vinci. Store bought pies are slugs wrapped in shoeboxes. They're stewing fruit compost trapped in congealed petroleum. They are evil. They are wrong, and they do not even deserved the moniker pie. They should be called goo blobs or treacle blats or gummy patties.

True pie -- homemade pie -- is a work of art. It is flakey, buttery crust wrapped like love around cinnamon-and-sugar-sweetened apples or creamy pumpkin or chiffony lemon or any number of wonderful fruits or custards. It is whipped cream on top, or ice cream, and maybe even a drizzle of hot caramel. It is everything you wanted your childhood to be.

So this Thanksgiving, here is what you must do: you must make a pie. You must dip your hands in flour and you must roll out your dough, and you must fill it with whatever wonderful thing you want to fill it with, and you must savor its soul-building essence as its aroma wafts from your oven. Then, and only then, will you know the peace of pie. (Alternately, you can let someone else create the pie, but it must be someone trustworthy, someone who'll do it right. You won't really experience the peace of pie, but you will know its satisfaction, and you will be happy.)

So go! Bake! May the peace of pie be with you.

Amen.


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23 comments:

Lynne said...

I loved this post, especially the play on words wishing us the "peace" of pie! I am mildly suspicious of anyone who doesn't at least like pie and, like you, I'm pretty certain that they just haven't had a good one. But, not everyone has the pie crust touch, some people are better off letting another bake it! I do a pretty good crust but it doesn't match Mom's, Kate's, or yours! Happy pie baking!

Rois said...

I will NEVER again look at pie in a store without laughing.I bake my own so don't worry I won't be buying one either after this posting.
Ever had Chicken Blob Nobbs? It's a dish the rest of the world calls Chicken Nuggets.I am sure you get it.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Rois

altadenahiker said...

Just like none of us kids could paint like our father, we couldn't bake like our mum. But whoa, what a lot of work.

Deb said...

My grandma spoiled us forever with her pies ~ no store bought pies for us! Ever.

PS: I take it you and Carbs got back together? ;o)~

Joanne said...

Oh so true. I think it's knowing the whole caring process that goes into the baking, that makes the flavor even sweeter. Happy baking to you :)

Margaret said...

I am baking, but it is a momentary reprieve from the hateful low carb diet. I saw this study about people on low carb and regular diets. Both groups lost weight, but the low carb people were all depressed.

Vanda said...

There are no pies where I came from. We had many, many different desserts, but no pies. Strange. At first I was not impressed. The pies that came my way were gaggingly sweet, artificially flawored goop. Then I started baking. I make a mean apple-cranberry pie.

Desiree said...

I'll be making pecan pie next week...

Bec said...

Great advice! I'm actually bemoaning that I won't be doing Thanksgiving baking but maybe I'll make a pie this weekend just for the fun of it.

Susan C said...

I was thinking of skipping the pumpkin pie this year, but now I am seriously craving it.

Cafe Observer said...

Professor of Baking, even though you can't eat the high carbs you can still bake for the resta us! Bakers need Eaters. We trust you to do it right, MF.

So, you must still bake. And, may the peace & joy of pie baking be upon you.

Italo said...

AMEN :D
Have a nice week end

Shell Sherree said...

You have a special bond with baking. It's quite inspiring.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Margaret, I'm not really sure how to weigh in on this. You see, one of my earliest dead end jobs was working at Marie Callenders on Las Tunas. The owner had his unemployable surfer brother in charge of the mostly female staff. I refused to service him, guaranteeing I would never be promoted to the coveted position of waitress. I've held this against pies ever since.

I will accept a "peace" because it's coming from you.

... daisy... said...

I can't believe there are people that don't like pie!!! o_O
Have fun baking then!!!

Big Fat Mama said...

I agree. 100%. I never buy store bought pies but make a mean, no KILLER, apple pie. I also use only butter in the crust.

Lovely post. Happy Thanksgiving all you Americans. The Canadian one is long past.

Petrea said...

I am no priest of pie, but an avid follower. You'd be impressed by my pie-ety.

PA, that you were not ambitious to advance via the backroom in a dead-end job says only good about you. If you had to sacrifice pie in the process, I say it was worth it.

pasadenapio said...

I plan on baking a couple of them! Piece be with you as well.

Olga said...

Love this--I'll be incorporating it into my Thanksgiving Day blessing.

Daisy said...

I'm on the hunt for a piece of the "perfect" pumpkin pie and haven't found it yet. But I'll keep trying, and remember, never trust a skinny cook/baker!

Idelle Davidson said...

Please come and bake me a pie.

pasadenapio said...

I have a cousin who bakes a couple of macademia nut pies every year for Thanksgiving. Same gooey richness as pecan pie but with the added bonus of that aloha nut! We all fight over those pies every year.

gaelikaa said...

I'd love a piece of pie right now! Haven't had one in years!