NEW! Nine Days Of Pie Art!

Nine Days Of Pie 2017 official art, by Tim Smith.

The Nine Days Of Pie is very nearly upon us, and this year promises to be like no other! Moving from hosting the holiday at our home in Astoria to instead be hosted at various locations all over Portland, will make this an amazing event!

The final venue schedule is coming at the stroke of Midnight tonight!!!

Prepare for pie, pie, and more pie!



The Nine Days Of Pie Is Coming! This year it’s citywide!

The Nine Days Of Pie 2017 is going to be bigger & better than ever!

With all that is happening in the world today, common ground and peace over pie is needed like never before! This has led us to look beyond hosting folks in our home. This year, we are bringing the Nine Days Of Pie to all of Portland! Each night we will celebrate a different neighborhood, and invite people to get together and meet their neighbors over pie. Free pie, while supplies last.  

Look for the full list of host locations coming soon!

What is The Nine Days Of Pie?

The Nine Days Of Pie is a celebration of Pie and People, it’s about bringing community together and sharing pie. 

The Nine Days Of Pie began on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington, when recent transplants Shane and Amy Bugbee decided to celebrate Shane’s birthday by inviting anyone they knew, and people they didn’t know, over for pie for nine straight days, from November 1st to 9th.

The next year it moved with them over to Astoria Oregon where it grew bigger, and became a thing of legend. Amy made a minimum of three pies each day, and folks came from as close as next door, to hundreds of miles away. Many diverse minds, people from all walks of life, met and bonded over pie.

Now is the time for a peace-filled pie party. This year it’s Portland, soon the world!

Who is behind this Pie-stravaganza? 

Amy Bugbee has been official pie maker and hostess of The Nine Days Of Pie since the idea for the holiday was born. It was created to celebrate her pie-loving-husband Shane’s birthday, eliminate any sad feelings regarding established family holidays, and meet new people in a place where they knew almost no one.

Though not a baking novice, it also offered a great excuse to perfect her pie making. Amy Bugbee has a long history as a baker, she trained under James Beard’s favorite pastry chef, Nanci Main, she started her own vanilla business in 2009 called Triple XXX Vanilla, she published the ‘Vanilla 101′ cookbook in 2014, and famed cartoonist R. Crumb said, “Amy makes a fine cookie”.

Not just a culinary artiste, Amy Bugbee is, among other things, a writer, event promoter, and social media pioneer – she’s worked with Lemmy from Motorhead, she’s spoke at Harvard University, and had cookies with Anton LaVey!

No, this is no normal holiday, it’s better.

Come on down, enjoy some pie, meet your neighbors, and who knows, maybe we can figure out world peace while we’re at it!

More to come….

Day 5, of the Nine Days Of Pie, 2016 version

Day 5 Pies:

What a day! Three, count ‘em three different GRAPE PIES! Last night the amazing Helen spent 4 long hours peeling grapes, this morning she caught the 8 am bus to Astoria and then walked all the way to our house. She came with a container full of peeled grapes and a bag of the peels. Yes, that’s right, a bag of the peels. It’s true, I had recipes for grape pies and a grape skins pie. No Joke! And Helen is no joke either, she may be one of the most thoughtful people to ever walk the earth! Not only did she come with love peeled grapes, but also a gift for Shane. A statue of the very first piece of art he was ever exposed to – The Screaming Hand skateboard art by Jim Phillips!

This was Saturday, so I had a feeling we might have a bit of a crowd, and I was right. I believe 12 or 13 people joined us for pie, and one guest came just for the art!

Helen arrived early, then our favorite produce guy and art scholar Andy came to see Shane’s studio, not long after came more guests and several Big Surprises!  A knock at the door brought Jan with her friend Charlie. Jan had said she would not make it this year, so her arrival was a delight, then another surprise, Heather and Tim who also said they would not be making it tricked us as a surprise! Then came great friends Steve & Alan, Bill, Kathy & her four legged friend Frida, and Wenda too!  What a great group!  Conversation rolled and roared. Shane was showered with gifts and everyone brought goodies for pie!

This great mix of people is exactly what the Nine Days of Pie is about! Then as the evening calmed down another knock came upon the door, Carol!!! Carol is a smart and amazing woman, a new York City transplant and political activist like no other! Conversation ramped back up about everything from the Water Protectors to the election, to non-violent communication, and how city folk find it challenging to fit in in a rural community in a state with its entire population smaller than NYC!

Suddenly Carol hurt her elbow and Heather, a healer jumped into action rubbing her arm and then her feet until she felt wonderful!

Oh Nine Days Of Pie! Bringing people together, with kindness and generosity and pie!

Day 4, 2016 version of Nine Days of Pie

Day 4 Pies

Tonight was a quieter night at the Nine Days Of Pie, and that was perfect for us to spend real good time without guests, Bill arrived with his friend and former wife Lori, then later we were joined by their daughter Emily and her friend Nevaeh. Emily is 13 and has been a real trouper this year, trying a variety of pies, so as promised I made an apple slab pie with pie crust rolled into little pinwheels of cinnamon, butter, and sugar.

Also on the menu today was another pie with apple, a savory pie of Apple, sausage and cheddar cheese. It’s a redo from a failed pie from a previous year, so I was glad to redo it! The third pie of today was Navy Bean, and it is a traditional Muslim dessert not unlike pumpkin pie, but with more texture.

I was surprised and received to have a small group on Friday, it was really great to get to know Lori better and have a chance to sit down for a while. I even had a glass of wine!

Progress was also made on the art chair Wenda brought over on Day 1, it is going to be a really special chair when it’s all done!


Day 3 of the Nine Days Of Pie, 2016 edition

Day 3 Pies:

There’s a lot to be said for taking time off the j.o.b. for this. I had all three pies done or at least baking by 7 pm. AND i had most of the dishes washed!

The focus on art continued today as Roger Hayes came by for open studio this afternoon to work with Shane in his studio. The two of them were busy down there, I could hear banter and launching and periods of silence and machinery and the compressor, I have not been down there yet tonight to see the results, but they were hard at work earlier when I stopped down to visit a few hours in. 

Meanwhile, the pies just seemed to go along, though adjustments were made here and there.

Sally, Roger’s wife and also an accomplished artist, was next to arrive. Roger and Sally live literally around the corner from us, but we almost never get to spend time with together. Roger announced to us this was his first ay as a gentle of leisure, so perhaps we will see more them. Hopefully.

The next knock on the door brought Bill with his daughter Emily, they are our staples of Nine Days of Pie, which is really nice. Almost like having family.  We were all enjoying pie, even Emily liked the chicken pie, which is a big compliment from a 13-year-old! Then another knock brought Lila from over the river with her friend Jeff. They enjoyed a variety of pie and were soon as stuffed as the rest of us. When they arrived we had nine different pies on the table! I think Lila’s friend was a bit overwhelmed by the absurdity of the event.

We all enjoyed conversation about everything from art, to the madness of the election, DNA tests, secret family members, and we pondered the vast differences of people in various parts of America. What I am saying is, another perfect day!

I must say, Nine Days of Pie 2016 has been really stupendous so far. Tomorrow is another day and I don’t want to get cocky with 6 more days to go!

A merry Nine Days Of Pie to all and to all a good night!

Day 2, of the Nine Days Of Pie

Day 2 Pies:

Today, all of our guest were artists, and what could be better than that?!?!

The day began with a bounty of gifts from Wenda, who we met a few months ago when Shane answered an ad to buy her welder, they really hit it off immediately and have been looking for a chance to get together again. Today was the day! She gave Shane the most amazing gift, and the ribbon was crime scene tape from a real crime! She even brought a mod wooden chair for an art co-lab for everyone! She had a quick taste of pies and headed out.

Not long after we received some truly tragic news from dear friend far away, one of our only friends from our Minnesota experience had passed away. Devastated, Shane said we would dedicate this Nine Days Of Pie to Sunrise Chosa, and we quickly set about to create a small alter for him in the living room. He was a wonderful, brilliant person, and the world is truly less without his youthful light, sweetness, and genius.

This caused a slightly delayed start to pie making, but I stuck with the full plan of pies. First, I made my first ever chiffon pie! I always want to make them, but always run out of days during the nine days of pie. Being home and not working during this year’s celebration has helped a lot. We have been in possession of a bottle of Kraken Rum, so a Rum Chiffon Pie it was to be! I thought “black” rum might make a grey pie, but in reality it was dark brown and made for more of a tan color.

For the savory I made a odd but delicious Shrimp Pie from an old cookbook, and for the third pie I made a Rhubarb and Raspberry pie that remains untouched.

 As pie time came, Bill and his beautiful daughter Emily arrived. As promised, he has made two days in a row so far! As mentioned previously, Bill is an amazing actor and a good ukulele player. Next came Jane another lifelong area resident, Jane’s father was best friends with Bill’s uncle, which is a great story of the old Astoria that made us love this area so much. Jane is a painter, costume designer and writer, it is always a pleasure to see her! Soon Wenda returned for evening pie, she is also an amazing artist, and in the spirit of the Nine Days of Pie she was snapping photos of everything! Another knock brought Sondra and Will, recent transplants to the area who came from Colorado and Arizona, and they too are artists!

  Soon the chair was being covered in art, and lively conversation was happening, and pie was disappearing, and there was lots of pie since plenty was left from yesterday, including the entire Cherry Almond pie! It was a wonderful time, and especially to see Shane laughing and talking art and having a great time, which is what the Nine days of Pie is all about!

Day 1 of 2016′s Nine Days Of Pie!

Day 1 Pies:

The first night of the Nine Days of Pie has come and gone, and it was a great success! Normally, on the first day of the Nine Days Of Pie, I play it safe and go with classics I know I can do without fail. I don’t make pies for the rest of the year usually, so It’s almost always been a full year since I last rolled a crust or made a filling, so Day 1 is where I get “un-rusty”. This year I threw caution to wind! 

I started out making a filling for hand pies, which I plan to make when needed. The filling is vegan, incase an unexpected vegan shows up, I’ll be ready.

For the savory pie, I made a mustard tart, which was quite delicious! Not too mustardy. It was fun to make too, I got to steam veggies for it which I thought was really smart, and I will probably do that more in the future instead of sautéing veggies for pies.

Next, I made a coconut custard pie from and old cookbook. The thing about old cookbooks is some of the instructions and even ingredients do not translate well, and the measurements are different. I made the pie exact to the recipe, but I had quite a bit of liquid left over, so much I made 4 mini pies in addition to the regular size. Of course when it was all cooks it shrunk down quite a bit, but in its precooked state the filling was nearly pouring over the crust! It turned out okay, not greatest ever, but decent, and maybe better chilled though the recipe did not say to.

The third pie is one I have made twice before too rave reviews, it’s a cherry (shane’s historical favorite one) with a layer of REAL almond paste on the bottom.

Our single guest for the night was out neighbor Bill a talented actor who could probably be the next Steve Buscemi if he wasn’t in Astoria Oregon. It was so nice to sit and have pie with Shane and Bill, and hear the two of them talking away in the next room while I baked.

Since no one else came by, I decided this was the perfect audience to test the hand pies on and see how the filling held up. I was worried that is might be too watery. So I took the leftover ball of crust and rolled it out. I made four small pies. They were actually done before the cherry pie was firmed up, so we each enjoyed one and agreed the filling was just right.

It was a perfect first day of the Nine Days Of Pie, quite wonderful!



Patronize the Pie if recipes ye shall try!

With seven years worth of recipes on this website, it is a pretty epic resource for pie. I have made pies from old out-of-print cookbooks, peculiar small run cookbooks – Such as one from an airline’s staff, and oddities I have created myself, plus of course pies from the far corners of the internet! There’s a lot of pies here, with me baking more than 30  each year for the last few years, and five years of nearly zero repeats, the collection is vast.

If you enjoy the pies on this blog, or if you enjoy following along with the celebration, or if you want to support this wacky, self-funded art project, perhaps you’ll want to become a Patron Of Pie! Or a Patron Of Shane and Amy! If so, why not sign up for Patreon?

As you can see, there are no ads poking at you from the sidebar, no pop-ups, nothing of the sort! This is pure, ad-free, information!

Patreon allows anyone to support us with a one-time donation, or a regular monthly boost, and it can be as little at $2. It’s a pretty amazing service for us creatives, and we thank you sincerely and with great gratitude if you do. Simply click the link:

The countdown the Pie has begun, a cartful of groceries purchased, and housecleaning is commencing. See you soon for pie!

Nine Days Of Pie 2016 coming soon!!!

Hard to believe nearly a year has passed since last year’s festivities! I have been collecting a number of new pie recipes these months, and have decided to try to do all the pies I always want to do that never seem to happen. Look for new pies, old favorites, and wild experiments this year.

Of course all the pie is fun, and sometimes delicious, but the real reason for the celebration is the birthday of Shane Bugbee on November 9th! He is the Pie Master and it is his love of pie that created this amazing holiday!

As always, we welcome satellite celebrations, please post photos of your Nine Days Of Pie pies & celebration! Someday, this holiday will be world-wide and could bring world peace to our planet!

I am working out my rolling pin to get ready, and we’ll see you soon!

Also Big News! We have an “official” Nine Days Of Pie Motel!

Coming from out of town?
Mention Nine Days Of Pie and get a special rate of $55 a nite at: 
Atomic Motel (formerly the Lamplighter Motel)
131 W Marine Dr, Astoria, OR 97103
(503) 325-4051 

Stop by for a slice!

Day 9: Happy Birthday Shane!!!

Day 9 Pies:

Another Nine Days Of Pie has come and gone. It ended well on Monday night, Shane’s birthday.

An early visit brought us Stephen and Alan baring the gift of crab, and ah ha the admission that Alan was the person placing those little figures around. Unfortunately, they could not stay very long.

On this night, everyone got a gift with a visit from two local dignitaries, Jane Herrold, a well known artist and notable local fisherman’s daughter, and Dave Densmore, the famed poet, adventurer, and Alaska Fisherman. To see these two old friends interact was a rare treat! This is what the Nine Days of Pie is truly about – Trading stories and jokes and eating pie, with Dave’s partner Renee and Karri Gallagher. It was a great finale to a very action packed and pie filled Nine Days of Pie.

I always look forward to the Nine Days Of Pie, and I am always glad when it is over. It is a challenge to host an open house pie party for 9 straight evenings, but a great adventure and community builder. It is a ritual and a celebration, there is power and suffering, pleasure and pain, and most of all, indulgence.

There were a plethora of pies on this final night, yet for perhaps the first time ever, butter remains in the freezer, and a couple balls of crust are still chilling…

Most of all, I would like to thank everyone who came and shared pie with us, a big thank you to everyone who brought gifts, or pie, or whatever, and especially thanks to Shane for being so wonderful that you deserve your own holiday!!! I love you!


2 am Monday Morning 11-9-15

The Nine Days of Pie has kicked my ass! I have lost count of how many pies I have made. Many people have also brought pies, thus far including lemon meringue, mini apple caramel, and paleo pumpkin and cranberry, others brought additional supplies such as butter and fine cream, and wine and crab. Several people have suggested, and after my struggle this year to make enough pie to really allow for pie frenzy, next year may be a full on pie potluck.

It is after 2 am and the last pie of Sunday night is just about to come out of the oven! I have failed miserably with my promised daily posts. Not only did I fail to post daily blogs, I did not post recipes either. This leaves me the obvious dilemma of what the hell did I bake on Tuesday? and that sort of thing.

The Nine Days Of Pie the 2015 version has been a wild ride! Pie madness, last minute pie changes, near disasters, and even a pie heckler made for the most insane Nine Days of Pie ever!

Full pie list, recipes, and a recap coming soon…


Day 8: Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015

Day 8 Pies:

  • Chicken Spinach Pie
  • Raspberry Pie
  • Blueberry & Blackberry Paleo Pie (not very good)
  • Pumpkin & Cranberry (brought by Angela)

Sunday came much too quickly, but here it was Day 8! Over the years, most Nine Days Of Pie celebrations include two weekends, but not this year and that has made it rather challenging for me. I had planned to make the Aussie Humble Pie, but it when I read the recipe and saw it took 4.5 hours (Humble? Not so much.) I kept putting it off for the weekend, but now that I read the recipe yet again and more thoroughly, the filling actually needs to sit in the fridge overnight, ugh! SO Chicken Spinach Pie it is..

Our first guest of the evening was a great and total surprise, the amazing artist Roger McKay. We have only gotten to chat with Roger in passing here and there, but at our last run in I was armed with Nine Days Of Pie postcards! This was a wonderful surprise, and I know a real treat for Shane, as he does not often have the chance to spend time with other professional artists, and certainly none here in Astoria! Roger told us he has made a living at art for more than 40 years! He is one of the artists involved in the recent restoration of the Astor Column.

Another knock on the door brought additional Astoria royalty, Elleda & Bruce with Elleda’s awesome cousin Amy! Amy visits Elleda and Bruce every year around this time and we always look forward to seeing them all. Elleda is a well known photographer, and she brought Shane a beautiful and creepy print of an old doll having from a mirror. Perfect!  We all were enjoying pie and a low roar of conversation and laughter when another knock not he door brought us Angela and her son Ruben, they were sporting a beautiful diary, gluten and sugar free pumpkin and cranberry pie. It was a work of art. She told us her son said they HAD TO come because we invented out own holiday!!!

I decided to make a full on Raspberry Pie because no one ever makes raspberry pies, it’s always raspberry and something. And, I never do lattice crust, but there I was latticing it up! I also got daring and attempted a blue and black berry crumble top paleo pie, but it did not turn out very good. And never mind the two great gluten free pies I’d made days before, tonight when I had yet another lousy gluten free pie, our neighbor Sean came by – he and his wife Shannon had experienced the failed sweet potato of day one, but had of course missed the lemon custard and the peanut butter! Thank goodness Angela’s amazing pie was there to save the day!

Angela's Pie saved the day!

Day 7: Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015

Day 7 Pies:

This being Saturday allowed for some slightly more challenging pies than I am able to do on the weeknights. I’d read an interesting article about Key Lime Pie and it’s origins  that came along with a slightly boastful recipe so I was excited to make an authentic key lime pie!  Lucky for me, Shane offered to squeeze all those tiny key limes! And geez, it took the whole bag!

I also decided today would be the perfect day for spanakopita. It takes a while to make AND it makes a lot of pie, so it was perfect for a possible Saturday crowd.

Word came two of our invitees were passing through town and would be coming early. Our invitation for weekends said 5pm, and I had toyed with making it 3 pm, but I felt that made for too long of a day for Shane and I. Of course for Corina and Joe we were willing to make an exception! We met Corina when we lives in a beach shack in Seaview WA, she was our next door neighbor. Eventually, she moved away to California and met Joe, he’s a military guy even worked for what they call a “Private Security firm”, they have an adorable little boy but he did not join us today. Nowadays they live south of Portland, so we don’t get to see them as much as we wish we could. One thing for sure, Corina & Joe are the people I can count on to bring a pie, and this year was no exception, this year they treated us to a mile high Lemon Meringue pie from the famed Cottage Bakery in Long Beach.

Verna and William arrived all the way from Portland, and Verna who is an amazing cook & baker brought some delicious vanilla lavender shortbread cookies. Verna and William are eccentric adventurers and creatives, and they are always a treat to spend time with. William studies fencing, Verna is always climbing some giant hill or mountain, they are a blast! Since we don’t get to spend that much time with them in person, it’s always great to watch their adventures through social media. They could really not be more different than Corina and Joe, and yet there they were all chatting it up, and then our neighbor Bill and daughter Emily stopped by for a spot of pie before Bill’s theater rehearsal and finally, Stephen and Alan joined us once again adding some local flare to the festivities, and offering a near crate of tea.

I’d planned to make an apple pie, an upsidedown apple pie, because Emily likes apple pies and that’s about it (I was the same way at her age), but the pie was not ready before Bill had to depart, so I had to deliver a slice to Emily at home. Emily is a great kid, growing into a great teenager, and any time I can do something nice for her I always like to. Someday the world will know her name, I am pretty certain of that!

In addition, I decided to try a different Pecan Pie recipe, and this time follow it to the letter, the results? A damn good pecan pie! Might have been the Lyle’s Golden Syrup I used from England???

I’d noticed a few days back a little figure appeared in the kitchen, a little Minion guy, then tonight after everyone had left there was a viking fellow with a sword and a cape, and Shane said he had yet another in his office. We pondered where these could be coming from, but we hadn’t a clue….

Day 6, Friday, Nov. 6, 2015

Day 6 Pies:

Friday was upon us, and with that brought a large crowd to our door, tonight we were joined by Cathy Nist, Nik & Jessie (baby free tonight), Sally and Roger, William Ham, Bill Honl and his friend Sheila, Charlotte & Steve made a return visit, as did Stephen and Alan, and Carol Newman who came early and left quick, but made a huge mark on the entire event when she sang a beautiful song to Shane for his birthday. It was so wonderful to watch his face go from amazed to honored to embarrassed back to wondrous amazement! Such a great gift from such a beautiful woman with such a beautiful voice! It was just magical!

With 15 guests for pie, any pie surplus was gone in a jiffy, and soon all eyes were awaiting tonight’s offerings. Cathy brought a pile of rhubarb as a gift, along with two beautiful pounds of butter. Somehow the fresh rhubarb got placed on the top of the oven and soon it was making the house very fragrant. The only problem there was, it wasn’t in a pie! It was just cooking on top of the stove while I baked the Asparagus Tart. I quickly whipped out some strawberries and went to work assembling a quick Rhubarb Strawberry Pie, as the crowd continued to swell I made a quick Buttermilk Pie, but overlooking key instructions it turned out with separated layers. Of course everyone said it “tasted fine”, yeah right. Roger and Sally brought a couple pints of ice cream which helped sooth the sweet tooth beasts in everyone between pies.

Some time back we met a nice lady at a holiday party at the famed Sou’Wester, her name was Kimberly and it turned out she and Shane shared the birthday of November 9th, so it was nice to see her make her way into the kitchen, holding a few sticks of butter and accompanied by her beautiful teenage daughter Sunny. It was an eclectic mix of Astoria, full of a lot of laughs and surreal conversation.

This was a hectic but fun evening, and it is always nice to see different people in our community getting to know each other better.


Day 5, Thursday, Nov 5, 2015

Day 5 Pie: Spiced Lamb

Day 5 was upon us, and with a Peanut Butter Pie ready and waiting, and a number of other quarters and halves hanging around I felt pretty good. Mid-afternoon brought our first guests all the way from Portland, our dear old friend Lonnie and young friend Stephanie. I raced home early to enjoy a bit of their visit when I learned they were not staying over.

We met Lonnie in Portland during our year long road trip project back in 2007, he became a subject in our videos and our book and we have remained friends ever since. Shane met Stephanie through Lonnie some time back, but she’d moved away for school for a few years. She recently moved back, and I was glad to get to know her a little better. While our conversation was great, it was over far too soon, and then they were gone.

I prepared a Spiced Lamb Pie for tonight’s savory, while Shane and I enjoyed each other’s company. The time passed quickly, and no knocks came!  We have not had a night of just us in some time so this was a welcome treat! We laughed and listened to music and danced in the kitchen! A perfect night!

The lamb filling was too hot to make hand pies, again the crust was melting off the top, so I struggled to get two hand pies into the oven and then gave up and made it a full size meat pie. We split one of the ugly but delicious hand pies, and talked a while more.

As soon as the porch light went off promptly at eleven o’clock I was headed up to bed!

Day 4: Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015

Day 4 Pies:

We made it to Wednesday, Day 4! Every year I make a list of the pies I plan to do and on which day – A Pie Schedule as I call it, and every year the list goes out the window.  But, this year was different, because for the first time ever rather than being disappointed in myself, I realized it is just a helpful guide to stop me from buying supplies for 60 pies, or trying to do too much.

When the porch light was turned on, we were delighted with a visit from our neighbor Bill Honl. We actually met Bill at the Nine Days Of Pie some years back, he came as the guest of one of our favorite community radio personalities, and now I really can’t imagine our life without him! We’ve had good times and bad, Bill became our next door neighbor a while after we first became friends, and it’s always nice to talk with him. He is also a great actor, and we have enjoyed seeing him in a number of local plays over the years, currently he’s rehearsing for a reader’s theater production in which he’ll be playing an old Jewish man in New York. He also did a cool art project over the summer where he invited people to tell him something he doesn’t know, check it out:

Soon another knock came upon the door, and it was ….. it was Lisa Marie and Jane! “I brought you a gift” announced Lisa Marie as she entered, and boy did she – The one and only Jane Herrold! I introduced them both to Bill. When Bill said “Nice to meet you” to Jane she retorted, “Yeah, for the millionth time!”. Talk about an ice breaker!

Soon there was a revelation that Bill’s uncle was Jane’s father’s best friend, and we were all dazzled with stories of the two men and their adventures and Uncle Buck’s naughty sense of humor, it was just perfect.

I’d told Shane about my heckling experience, but by this time I’d figured it was it was just me who’d had a bad day, and decided since it’s the Nine Days Of Pie we would not mention anything about it to Lisa Marie if she came by again. There was one stipulation, I didn’t want her to be with me in the kitchen. On this Shane took the immediate lead, and told everyone that I didn’t want anyone in the kitchen tonight, and he would be serving pie. He immediately began serving pie to our guests and everyone seemed happy. With one disaster thwarted headed back into the kitchen to roll my dough and prepare the night’s savory, of course all of the great conversation in the living room had made me lose track of time and my Wagon Wheel Apple Pie’s with the cheddar cheese crusts were a little too well done. Rats!

The French Easter Pie was one of the most unusual and popular savories of last year’s celebration so I was eager to try it again, with one minor change, instead of pork I was using a sweet apple chicken sausage. I prepared the pie and then realized I’d forgotten to boil the eggs so I worked to catch up on that. A knock on our door brought Karri bearing gifts of a wonderfully practical variety – cleaning supplies for the kitchen, and even a pair of new cooling racks!

On this day, I would say the pies were pretty good, everyone enjoyed the second coconut creme pie from yesterday, the repurposed sweet potato which was now rather tasty, and Pear Anise. We dove into the French Easter, which was even better than I remembered with the chicken sausage, but alas the late cooked and still hot eggs had reaped havoc on the pie crust, which melted right off several of the eggs.

The night ended great, with pleasant conversation all around. I felt so pumped up after everyone left, I stayed up and made two peanut butter refrigerator pies for tomorrow, oh but now I stayed up way too late and it is tomorrow…..

Day 3: Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015

Day 3 Pies:

Today was a much better day than yesterday. Really how could it get any worse?

I was glad to know Jan Bono would be joining us on this night, she a prolific writer, a retired teacher, and one of my absolute favorite people! Her RSVP meant one thing for sure, No almonds in anything tonight. I woke up early early to make the Coconut Creme Pies before heading out for the day. I based it on a recipe, but it made the the thickest coconut creme pie I have ever seen, it was more like a Coconut Butter Pie. As the festivities neared I made the crusts for the the other two pies, both of which only required a single crust. Tonight I was recreating two favorite pies from previous years as part of a loose retrospective, it would be a Leek & Chèvre Tart for the savory and Pear Anise for the third variety, which was a surprise favorite a while back.

Jan arrived with “Election Pie” in hand, it was after all election day. We enjoyed the Coconut Creme and caught up. Jan always has a grand adventure going, some better than others, it was nice to hear about a recent one – she recently returned from China! You can read about her trip to China here: Jan has a sharp sense of humor and always says that we make her feel like Lilly Munster! I am not sure if that is good or bad.

In a funny twist of fate, a knock upon the door brought Nik & Jessie and baby Lilly, both attended the school that Jan taught while she was teaching there! Small world! Nik & Jessie are a great young couple we used to live next door to in Seaview WA, Shane performed their marriage ceremony, and they are really like family to us. The also hold the distinction to be the only people to have attended EVERY YEAR of the Nine Days of Pie, they were a our only guests! That’s right, we created the Nine Days of Pie just as a wacky party for ourselves, and it has grown profoundly over the years. That first year I remember vividly eating little fired hand pies of fig and sweet potato pies in Shane’s art studio on the beach while we all made stuff.

Jessie made little round Apple Caramel Pies, with criss cross tops, and they were delicious! Another knock on the door brought Isa, an eclectic woman I’ve met around town but never got to really chat with. This was her second visit to the Nine Days Of Pie and it was enjoyable to get to know her.

Yes, the Nine Days Of Pie will be good times from here on, no more bad days!

Day 2: Monday, Nov. 2, 2015

Day 2 Pies:

  • Bison Shepherd’s Pie
  • Raspberry Blueberry Pie
  • Lemon Custard Pie (gluten free)
  • Repurposed Sweet Potato Apple Pie
  • Heath Bar Pie (brought by Sean & Theresa)

Day two began well enough, I knew for sure the famed Dark Lady and her beau Sean would be joining us tonight, Sean has real specific dietary restrictions. Then, Jonas and Kate from AFRU Gallery sent word they would be delivering the art back from Shane’s recent exhibit there, Jonas said Kate is gluten free and not feeling so hot, so this was a night that I needed to plan carefully.

I decided a berry pie would be good for most every one, I did a bison Shepherd’s pie which was gluten free by default of no crust and no flour in the thickener, and a gluten free lemon custard.  The guests began just rolling in long before I was ready with pie, so luckily there was some left from yesterday. We were joined by fellow relocated city dwellers Stephen and Alan whose great company is always a pleasure and by several of their friends Charlotte and Steven from California, and their neighbor LisaMarie. Theresa (aka Dark Lady) and Sean arrived from Portland with the wonderful Helen Metropolis, AND a Heath Bar pie made by Sean!!! How cool was that?!?! Some people think it’s bad form to bring pie to the Nine Days of Pie, but we welcome it, and especially when there is such a large group, and especially when someone has a restrictive diet – even if that diet includes Burger King over zucchini. Ha. Helen is someone we usually only get to see online, or in rushed and chaotic circumstances, so it was great to have her as a guest in person and overnight.

Then Jonas and Kate arrived. We were surprised to find they had never met Dark Lady & Sean since they are all part of the Portland underground, but that’s what the Nine Days Of Pie is for! Our final guest to arrive was our favorite local radio news reporter Karri who came by last night also. It was a packed house!

How fun! Except, for the first time in the history of the Nine Days Of Pie there was one among us who was not reveling in the fun and silliness of this holiday.

Let me first say, I am no pie expert. I have learned a lot from making pies over these years, but I am not an expert, and I do not sell myself as such. I am as proud of the failures as the successes because it all helps me learn and get better. In fact, I am seldom 100% pleased with any of the pies I make, to the point, I am told, of being ridiculous. I am not looking for praise or adoration for the pie, this holiday is about praising and adoring my husband Shane, it’s about celebrating life and friendship, and having interesting conversations, and bringing diverse people together, and sure it’s about pie, it’s called the Nine Days Of Pie, but at the same time it is not at all about pie.

On this night, a woman sat in the kitchen, and at first asked questions I was glad to answer, I don’t mind sharing my baking “secrets”, but as the kitchen warmed up everyone else headed into the cooler and more comfortable living room, her questions turned from basic baking questions to questions of my judgment, and then to blatant criticism. This was not “jewish grandmother” help, I was being heckled!

Normally, I would have politely suggested she join the others in the next room, but I’d reached a point where any word from my mouth would have shown my anger. That sounds lame, I know, but this is a small town, and anyone could have a bad day, I know I was now having one, and I prefer to control my emotions in such situations. But worse than my feelings, this was fucking up my pies! I was making mistakes, stupid ones, and I was running further and further behind. My Shepherds Pie looked lousy, the gluten-free lemon was questionable, everything was unraveling, and this woman kept smiling at me while her eyes appeared to be scowling. Granted, I was having cramps from hell, and had worked a full day at the j.o.b., but this was more than me being sensitive.

I chose to make Shepherd’s pie since it was gluten free – from lack of a crust and the fact that I never use flour to thicken, so it would be fine for Kate to eat,  and Sean would probably like it too. Then, as I cut Kate a slice of the gluten-free lemon custard – the only other pie this lovely girl who came all the way from Portland while not feeling well, just to be at the Nine Days of Pie could eat, the heckler demanded that she wanted a slice, which then caused others to demand they wanted a piece, luckily by this time Shane had come into the kitchen and beat back the crowd from the Gluten Free pie saying it was ONLY for those who needed it.

Finally, and with absolutely no joy left in my heart, the final pie made it out of the oven. By this time most of our guests had left, and everyone seemed to be pretty full of pie. I sat down to enjoy some conversation with our remaining guests in the living room, Shane and I began to discuss the pies, he mentioned the Shepherd’s pie top was not browned as he was used to, and I explained I normally added an egg white and whipped them up a but and then brushed the top with the yolk, but I was out of sorts and forgot. Then the heckler piped up and said the reason the pie was no good was because I had not piped the potatoes from a pastry bag. While that is a fine way for some, I loathe pretty much everything about pastry bags, so I just smiled politely.

Shane asked about the final pie, the berry one, and I said it was fresh from the oven and would need a few hours to set up properly, or it would likely be soup. He suggested we just save it for the next day.  At this point it was just Shane and I, our overnight guest Helen, and the heckler. Not 20 minutes after the exchange about the berry pie the heckler announced she would not be leaving until she had a slice of it. For me this was the final straw, it was late, I did not feel well, I was tired, I had to work in the morning. Without hesitation I went to the kitchen, cut into the pie, put a slice on a plate and handed it to her. She left shortly after.

As far as odds go, having ELEVEN guests at once inevitably leads to someone having a bad time. Normally, I would never so much as mention this less than pleasant experience in writing, I would have glossed over the entire thing, and I would never name names, but a whole drama played out a few days later, full of small town phone ranting apparently, and people questioning us about “what happened?”. To my surprise it was no secret, not by our hand of course, but because of all that I thought it needed addressing.

Day 1 Report: Sunday, 11-1-15 – A fine start!

Day 1 Pies:

Day One was exciting and hectic! My plan was to have all sure things on Day one, to ease some of the stress, but I got crazy, changing things up at the last minute, risking it all, and failing big in the way of a so-called “Sweet Potato Pie” that was certainly not anything like a sweet potato pie. Of course, the failure may have been with me, which is more than possible, but in my defense the cook book from which the recipe came, something called The Attic Cookbook, boasts an entire section devoted to “Invalid Cookery”!

This was caught later during further cookbook inspection from our first guest of the evening, Cathy Nist who came with her furry friend Frida. I saw the recipe in the book and noticed it was crust free, therefore gluten free. I imagined it being a beautiful golden brown layering of sliced and alternating potato, yam, and apple slices, browned and bubbling, but that was not what I got. It looked the same cooked as raw.

It was a night of neighbors as we welcomed up front neighbor Bill and his lovely daughter Emily, as well as newer neighbors who relocated from PDX Sean and Shannon. Shannon is gluten free, and so she was the loan sampler of the nightmarish sweet potato pie and said that it tasted about equal to how it looked. Luckily, the Chicken Pot Pie was also gluten free, and it turned out pretty well.

Unhappy with my results, I decided to make a late night pecan pie. It turned out okay but not great, probably should not have combined recipes. Nut pies have offered me many a downfall, and it seems even slight deviations from a good recipe will make for mediocre or worse results.

As our guests left and Shane and I sighed a breath that it was only around 9 pm, but then another knock came upon the door, and then another bringing forth Isa and Karri, so more pie was had, and more great conversation that went past midnight.


Sweet Potato Pie

*This is not sweet potato pie, I assure you, but that is what the recipe in “The Attic Cookbook called it. The Attic Cookbook: A treasury of rare old recipes – the kind that might be found in your great-grandmother’s attic”

6 sweet potatoes

6 tart baking apples

1 c. white wine

1/4 c. sugar

1/4 c. melted butter


Cook, peel and slice the potatoes. Peel and slice the apples. Butter bottom and side of casserole. Arrange sliced sweet potatoes and apples in alternate layers in casserole. Mix wine, sugar and melted butter together. Pour over mixture. Sprinkle top with a little grated nutmeg. Bake in covered casserole as is, or if desired, cover with a rich pastry crust. Bake until apples are tender, about 45 minutes.

*NOTE: I did half this recipe and put it in a pie pan, so I guess I really failed on the recipe, perhaps in a casserole pan it might have worked, but I still have my doubts.