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.


Can you believe it? It’s time for PIE!!!

The Nine Days Of Pie is a special holiday celebrating Shane’s Birthday and a love for pie. It is an open house of sorts too, our way to bring people together and as Shane says, “have great conversations and pie”.

As I look back to last year, I see that several recipes are still missing. I will work to resolve this as I locate a few cookbooks that appear to be hiding. This year I will make sure to be disciplined about posting the recipes right away, and even beforehand if I can.

As always we welcome and encourage satellite celebrations wherever you are – for one day or all of them – let us know. Let’s celebrate together from far away! Send or post pictures and I’ll share them.

This year we are planning a retrospective of favorites from the last FIVE years. Shane and I have gone through this entire blog all the way back to the very first post in 2010(?) and we each jotted down our favorites. Ironically, when I counted them up we both had Nine!!!

Also, as we’ve all begun to rot in our own special ways in this modern world, thanks to all of the pollution and toxins all around us, I will do my best to offer a raw, vegan, paleo, OR gluten free pie each day to accommodate special dietary requirements from guests. (Please RSVP the day(s) you are coming by if you have ANY dietary requirements. I want everyone to enjoy the celebration!)

I recall that during the very first year of the Nine Days Of Pie, all of the crusts were gluten free. In fact, I enjoyed trying the different flavored grains and nuts so much that I have incorporated some them into nearly all of my baking. This is a long study for me, and I have learned a lot about making pie from this annual celebration.

Shane and I are super excited about this year’s Nine Days of Pie, I have some exciting pies up my sleeve, and we can’t wait to see you!

  • RSVP Special Diets to me at:
  • If you are planning to stay the night in Astoria and plan to stay at a hotel, please check out this year’s FB Event Page for hotel info:

PRESS! For the Nine Days Of Pie?!?!?!

Our local paper saw fit to cover our homemade holiday:

A clip of the article, to read it all, just click the picture, or scroll below.

Nine Days of Pie

Astorian AMY BUGBEE has an unusual (and tasty) way of showing her love for her husband, SHANE BUGBEE, on his birthday every year: THE NINE DAYS OF PIE. Some pies and the couple, are pictured in photos courtesy of the Bugbees.

Even though she works full time, she make pies every day, for nine days — sometimes as many as four different kinds of pie in one day — and no recipe is repeated. Lucky friends stop over every evening to sample the day’s savory treats.

No recipe is too complicated or bizarre for Amy to tackle, and the recipes are from friends (who bring over their mothers’ and grandmothers’ recipes), or from ancient cookbooks Amy finds in thrift shops and at yard and rummage sales. She says some of the most interesting recipes are from cookbooks of family favorites compiled by church ladies.

The amount of butter and flour used over the nine days is Promethean, as yes, she makes all of the crusts from scratch each day. This year’s focus was on pies with vanilla as an ingredient, as she makes her own vanilla extract, TRIPLE XXX VANILLA ( Better yet, aspiring pie-makers, Amy shares her recipes, photos and observations each year on her website,

At Day 2 this year, “Shane just admitted he has eaten too much pie, and I am exhausted and I feel like I am melting,” Amy wrote. “But it is The Nine Days Of Pie, and that’s how it goes!”

And yes, they happily made it through the whole nine days, which ended Sunday, and now she’ll begin the process of collecting new recipes for next year’s fete. Anyone who has sampled her pies will be counting the days.

— Elleda Wilson

Day 9 of the Nine Days Of Pie – Happy Birthday Shane!!!

The Big Finish and Happy Birthday Shane!!!

Rats, just as I got my second wind and it’s over – Nine more days! Nine more days! - Another Nine Days Of Pie for the history books! And truly there could not have been a better end to this celebration.

First the pies:

Yes, FIVE pies! I know, how did it happen? Well, since I was able to re-add Bluebarb thanks to Cathy Nist aka The Rhubarb Fairy, and Shane had already requested the 1890 coconut and a cherry pie, so I had three sweet pies now planned. Then Shane, whose birthday it is, also said he wanted a redo the French Easter pie which he liked so much. Off to the store I went for more pork, and several other items.

The pies were rolling out in perfect procession, the cherry, the  bluebarb, then the savory sweet potato, then the French Easter Pie, and finally the coconut. All of the pies were out of the oven by 7pm which is a feat this year!

We had a splendid showing of guests as well. Shane’s Birthday Brother raymond joined us for a second night, also Rick from Astoria Coffee and Tea, the finest coffee and tea you’ll ever drink, and a surprise visit from Kathy Duffy my former co-worker at the Sou’Wester rounded out another perfect group of Pie and Shane celebrants! Even our neighbor Bill stopped by for more pie, this year attending three of our nights of pie.

Pies we ate and laughs we had, I think we all agreed the cherry was amazing, Shane gave it his Best in show stamp of approval and of course the coconut was perhaps the best it has ever been. The French Easter Pie was not as good as the first time, but I suppose I got cocky and made it too big so the meat was spread too thin. Oh well there is always next year. And next year will be year six, and time for a retrospective of favorites which will certainly include French Easter Pie.

Shane was so very pleased with the very interesting people that came by, he said it was the intelligentsia of the area and beyond. He reveled in the varied and riveting conversations, sharing information and swapping stories was great. And Dave Archer made sure to show everyone the beaver sac display Shane made for me, and we handed out our Beaver Riot papers for the vanilla company too. And everyone who came really came for pie and to be part of this celebration, which means so much!

Thank you to all of our wonderful guests and all of the great gifts offered forth to Shane. We don’t have family really, so this is a very special time for us. Shane received a great painting from Roger, a Nine Days Of Pie/Big Foot sketch and a Spike painted pumpkin from Jane, cool art making items from Dave and Brent, a jar of plastic and glass eyes from Raymond, a cool painted T-shirt from Reno Amy, a good book (and a journal for me!) from Heather and Tim,  a third of a bottle of vodka with aluminum foil as the cap from Dinah, Peerless pie tins from Rick, computer speakers, warm socks and slippers from me, and a stainless steel french press from Kniqui & Dianne who were with us in spirit.

We also received wonderful treats and libations from Jessamyn Grace, Cathy Nist, Kathy Duffy, Heather & Tim, Joanne Leech, Raymond, Dinah, and Dark Lady & DJ Kronos, Nik & Jesse, and Jake. Coffee & Tea provided by Rick and Astoria Coffee & Tea Co. Thank you all for being part of the Nine Days of Pie! If I missed anyone please forgive.

And, yes it’s true, I am still posting recipes. If there are any missing they will be up in the next few days. I will work on them as I come down from my pie high!

I think I have counted 34 pies this year. That’s a new record! Also, I used 10 pounds of butter, about 22 pounds of flour,  dozen eggs, 3 quarts of heavy cream, countless pounds of fruit, and a large array of spices.

If you like what we’re doing and want to help cover the time it take posting recipes or cost of butter, please consider becoming a patron:

Day 8 of the Nine Days of Pie

It was Saturday, Day 8 of the Nine Days of Pie, and I was staring at a giant pile of rhubarb left by the Rhubarb Fairy aka Cathy Nist, it was really a bounty! It occurred to me there was a rhubarb pie I had longed to make but never seemed to have enough rhubarb to do so.

The Nauvoo Rhubarb Pie, which has quite a history became a reality, a wonderful, delightful delicious reality, and all of those present agreed in community – just like the Icarians it commemorates! (Learn more about it on the recipe)

Tonight’s pies:

Jane Herrold came by today, and she is the only person outside of Shane and I to try the coveted Taos Chocolate Pie. We had to have one witness to its greatness! Hard to believe we took it down like that even with so many pies already in our bellies – a testament to it’s greatness! 

Another knock at the door brought us a great surprise Raymond Shane’s Birthday Brother! We met Raymond a few years back during the Nine Days Of Pie, he came along with Dark Lady and he and Shane soon realized they shared the same birthday – the exact same, year and all!  When we did not hear from him this year we were very concerned, but surprise there he was – and looking so different hair short, 50 pounds lighter, but with the weariness of someone dealing with a sick father. Of course he was at the right place, both Jane and I took care of our fathers, so there was a melancholy camaraderie in the kitchen.

Of course the Bacon and Goat Cheese Tarts made us forget all that for a while at least! They were amazing little disks of joy!

Jane headed out worn out from eating pie, but not long after, a knock at the door brought us Cathy Nist, now with a giant mushroom in hand – a King Bolete! Do I dare put that in a pie???? (We saved it for after the Nine Days of Pie). Cathy knew an impressive amount of Nauvoo history – Joseph Smith founder of the Mormon faith was murdered there! So it made our rhubarb pie that much more interesting!

Shortly after came another knock which brought us Gregg Skloff who does a great radio show on our community station, KMUN. His show is a soundscape of music and noise – And Otherness which is its apt name. We have long listened to his show, but I have never met him before so it was great to get to know him a bit.

Gregg and Raymond headed out after a while, and then the amazing Dinah came by. There we were, Cathy, Dinah, and I – Three Hipfishers together in one place all celebrating Shane’s Birthday and Pie! Crazy! …. One more day left!

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Day 7 of the Nine Days Of Pie

Pie list:

Day 6 was so great, it was a fitting end to Dave and Brent’s visit. I was sad to see them go but I understood, Brent had work awaiting his return and Dave awoke on Friday morning feeling very sick (I can’t imagine why?).

Of course we had to send them off in style, so I awoke at 6:30 am and put the Shaker Lemon Pie together. I wanted to make this for Dave’s final night since he loves lemon so much, but the recipe said the lemons had to sit in the sugar for 24 hours at least, so it became the bon voyage pie of Friday morning. I got it into the oven, and Shane contacted our friend Jane. She lives in Astoria and is a talented, multi-faceted artist, and a great local eccentric, we always felt Jane and Dave would really hit it off if their paths crossed, and boy did they!

As far as Dave’s Scruffy and Jane’s new pal Spike, that was a little slower going, with Scruffy demanding that Spike submit. But they finally relaxed and all was fine.

At first Dave said he was too ill for pie, but the lemon wafting through the house made his taste buds decide otherwise. Soon lively conversation, strong coffee and decadent lemon pie (those darn Shakers really know how to live!) eased Dave’s terrible heartburn and we were off to the races! Dave and Jane talked art and shared stories, I demanded he tell her the one legged lizards story which is a true story from Dave’s childhood but sounds like something Beverly Cleary & Stephen King collaborated on. Within a couple hours the two had a graphic novel planned!

Alas, too soon it was time for everyone to go, it is quite a trek to Roseburg and with daylight savings time, it is dark very early now. Dave, Brent and Scruffy departed, and Jane and Spike also had to go, and I headed off to work. Leaving Shane a mountain of dishes and some quiet time.

When evening came I got right to work on pie making. I was hitting my stride again. First I made the savory, a tart of corn masa with goat and ricotta cheese. I followed the instructions on baking the masa crust, but in the end it was not done enough, was too thick, and was like eating grain. Not so hot. I don’t blame the recipe so much as either my interpretation and perhaps the heart shaped tart pan was not large enough. Next came a Sweet potato and pecan pie from the same cookbook the Lemon Cornmeal came from, it wasn’t bad but there was something odd about about crunchy things in a sweet potato pie. The final pie of the evening made the previous two disappear in my memory banks, this pie – Taos Chocolate Pie made all other chocolate pies pale in comparison. Sure the chocolate almond of the night before was grand, but this one – the three bowl bonanza of chocolate was incredible. it was supposed to chill overnight, and I kept requiring tastes which mean less and less would find it’s way into the pie.

By the time the Taos Chocolate hit the fridge both of the others were out of the oven. Shane and I tried the tart, which I hated, then the yam and pecan, which was okay. I decided to take a short nap on the sofa, I figured I’d get a few winks in before any knocks on the door. When I awoke sun was creeping through the blinds! I’d slept all night!  Shane was asleep in the recliner across from me. The first thing I thought of was the chocolate pie! As I ran to the refrigerator and yanked the pie out – already missing several slices – my second thought was that no one came by on the 7th day of pie, at least not since the morning. I think there is a bible quote about resting on the seventh day, perhaps it’s author was talking about the Nine Days of Pie! 

I pondered the thought as I made coffee and ate chocolate pie like a ravenous beast!

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Day 6 of the Nine Days of Pie

What a day! Admittedly I was not looking forward to tonight, I was feeling pretty rough, so many pies, so many early days and late nights, coffee wasn’t helping, BUT THEN the pies began rolling out and guests arrived and I was reinvigorated!!!

The first pie of the night was a savory pie called French Easter Pie with ground pork and hard boiled eggs. The second pie was Chocolate and Almond. Both pies were gone in moments. The final pie was ginger peach, which some of our guests left before it was ready for eating, and then in a burst of mania I whipped up a crustless cranberry pie, which I have not yet tried but doesn’t look very good.

Our guests were varied and unique, this is Dave and Brent’s last night with us, so we wanted to make sure it was special and it was! The first knock brought us Nik & Jessie, our former neighbors and dear friends. They are a great young couple and we have known since before they were even dating, Shane married them more than a year ago. This year they came bearing a giant plate of Apple Pie Wontons with a Salted Caramel Drizzle on top. Amazing!!! They have the distinction of being the only people aside from Shane and I to attend all 5 years of the Nine Days of Pie!

Next came Roger Hayes and Cathy Nist.  Roger is a great artist who will probably not be properly appreciated until his death, Cathy Nist is a fellow Hipfish writer and she became the Rhubarb Fairy later in the night when I was lamenting having to remove blueberry rhubarb pie from my plans because I could not find rhubarb, she announced she was growing some in the community garden down the street and returned some minutes later with a basketful!

Not long after, Roger’s beautiful wife Sally arrived just in time for the last slice of French Easter Pie. Sally is also an amazing artist, if you have spent any time in Astoria you’ve likely seen her work.

Another knock on the door brought us the one and only Dave Densmore with his lady love Renee. They stayed only for a quick slice and to visit with Dave Archer.

It was a great night! Finally though my eyes began to glaze it it was time for sleep and dreams of pie…

Pies Today:


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Day 5 of the Nine Days of Pie

I know that I have totally slacked on the recipes, I am not sure what is going on with me, but I assure you I will catch up, hopefully today. Last night, was another perfect Nine Days of Pie evening. Shane, Dave, Brent and I welcomed Geno & Joanne Leech, two of the most interesting people around. Geno is a poet, an amazing poet we first encountered at the Fisher Poets Gathering and were completely riveted by. He was like the Jim Morrison of the event, Geno’s wife Joanne – Married 37 years!!! – is a restaurateur, an accordion player, an author of a children’s book, and so much more! They are also just the loveliest people. We got to spend some time with them a few months back  when Shane’s old pal Matt Dwyer was here in town and looking for local icons to interview for his podcast.

It was a perfect living room number of people – 6 including me. Though I was actually in the kitchen most of the time.

The pies tonight were Impossible Finnish Pie aka Pannukkaku, which was similar to a Dutch baby pancake, a cranberry, raspberry, strawberry pie which is still sitting on the table uncut, and most exciting of all Cracker Enchilada Pie, which is another recipe from Dave Archer’s childhood, which he said he hated as a kid because the crackers always turned black and it was gross. When I shopped for the ingredients, I began to understand why he was so disturbed by this pie – olives, creamed corn, soda crackers – he said he and his brother always wished their mother would make it with tortilla shells instead and so that is what I did. He told me all the things he hated about it and I tried to fix them – doubled meat & cheese, used tortilla shells, cut the excessive 1 cup olives in half, and the verdict???

It is gone, completely gone, and Dave said the recipe was redeemed. I will post both versions so pie makers can choose the original or the revised.

Pies Today:

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Day 4 of the Nine Days of Pie

In years past this is usually the time I begin to hit my stride. This year I feel like I started good but my stamina is just not there. I am concerned, but with a 9 day party party how much can one worry about things???? (Don’t ask).

Tonight I made the pie that we lured Dave Archer here with the Tourte a la Perigourdine (French Chicken Pot Pie), ironically the recipe comes from a book called “Great Meals In Minutes”. While I admit they are great meals, for this recipe at least, “minutes” mean triple digit! And, I promised to make two of these pies! The pie contains chicken, chicken livers, mushrooms, Madera wine, and a parsley crust. I really should have called it a night after this one, but I pressed on toward the first epic fail of the year.

Ah the epic fail, no Nine Days of Pie is complete with at least one epic fail pie. My frustration this year comes at the insane cost of the pie that I screwed up. Not only did I over roast the initial hazelnuts and pecans, and had to start over (no cheap error there) I then forgot the most important part of any nut pie – aside from the nuts – is the eggs. How could this happen? Too much going on I guess.

I also messed up the recipe for Scandi Apple Pie, but the pies turned out fine as a semi-standard apple pie. I will remake this one later, as I still have apples.

Now on to the guests and the evenings festivities! What an evening, of course we have the wonderful and amazing Dave Archer visiting with his protege Brent and Scruffy, and yesterday we had a stream of visitor none of whom crossed paths – It started with our landlord Charlie, one of the greatest men to walk the earth! Then, Jake Reier, we met Jake when he painted our house, and have remained friends ever since! Then the beautiful and brilliant Jessamyn Grace stopped in. I always appreciate guests who are willing to sit down and try a handful of pies, really taking in the purpose of the celebration, and she was all that and more!

What a wonderful array of human beings! Shane had a great time visiting with each of our guests, which is the point of the pie party in the first place.

Now to slip the pecan pie into the trash can before anyone notices it is missing….

Today’s Pies:

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Day 3 of the Nine Days of Pie

I have had so much pie today I can barely move my fingers across the keyboard to write this. I arrived home at 5:30 pm, and had pies in the oven by 6:15, but I was prepared with the Angel Cream Pie I made last night, which remained untouched until my return and there was a good portion of the Apple Pomegranate left too (and still is).

I was greeted at the door by a very excited Scruffy, barking and jumping, jumping and barking with joy! It was a delightful feeling I have not had in a long time. Our dearly departed Cheyenne absolutely LOVED the Nine Days of Pie, there is a photo of her using her pie plate at a pillow awaiting the next slice.

Scruffy is our great friend Dave Archer’s furson, and it is always a delight to see them both. Also with Dave is his protege Brent, a quiet young man who is gaining an education in art that degree holders would kill for. They drove up from Roseburg Oregon for the festivities, having attended once before in 2012.

Our other visitors today were Amy, Elleda and Bruce. Three of our favorite people! Elleda and Bruce live here in Astoria, and Amy is Elleda’s cousin who visits her every year all the way from Reno. We hit it off with the trio from the start and we can usually count on at least one visit from them during the Nine Days of Pie.

Amy joined us early in the afternoon for lunch too, which is where my pie making began today. I picked Amy up just after 1 pm, and then I made a pizza on a cool round pizza pan I have been wanting to use since we acquired it for a fella who passed away. So I rolled out an extra ball of crust I had and added Marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni from Applegate farms, one of those 4 cheese blends and some bonus mozzarella. Pretty straightforward, and after a short amount of time, a very good pizza.

Pizza pie. Gone-o. #ninedaysofpie #pizzapie #lunchtime

A photo posted by @amy_bugbee on

I bid Amy and Shane farewell and off I went until the aforementioned Scruffy greeting. We had a few random slices which Dave got to try, and then I pulled out the Angel Cream I made last night. In 15 minutes the entire pie was gone! Everyone said it was very good. Bruce, Elleda and Amy headed out and I continued with the pies, next came Dave Archer’s mother’s recipe for Pear & Coconut crisp, which Dave said brought back many memories. Then came a peculiar but delicious savory called Bacon and Cheese Puff Pie, and finally I whipped up 2 peach & blackberry pies. The blackberries are picked from the plants on our back deck, so I was excited to use them.


That is a lot of pie…. I will have to add the recipes in the morning, I am too beat to do it now, but I must leave this blog. Pictures will be added tomorrow too.

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Pies today:

Bonus Pie Story!

Today we received a “Pie story” from our dear friend Heart Warrior. I thought as a bonus I would share it. Thank you Heart Warrior!

Heart Warrior is one of the most amazing people on Earth today, she is an artist, an activist, and an author. She raised her son Sunrise in the middle of the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and ran for governor in that state. She is a widely respected and feared individual. She was the first Native American to graduate from Univ. of Minnesota, and the first to run for governor. It is an honor to call her a friend. 

Here is her website:

“OK I got a pie story….one Halloween in Mpls near the Indian center on Franklin ave. we had a fun time. Sunrise was about 3 and he was dressed as a vampire and I was a witch. I had a bon fire in the back and down in the basement we had a huge pot withapples floating in water. The kids had to bob for apples before they roasted weenies at the bonfire and they got a slice of home made pumpkin pie. Later that night after the kids left an Indian couple came down the alley. I enticed them to the bon fire with my witch cackles. They were hesitant but came. I fed them pie. I cackled and said I used sorghum as a sweetener and they said it tasted good…then I roared with laughter and said ‘Yeah , now you’ll get pie o rea!!!’ They were not sure if they should believe me or”

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Day 2 of The Nine Days of Pie

It’s after 9pm on Sunday Night, I have made 4 pies today. We had 4 fabulous guests, two at a time, and of course it is not 11 pm yet so there could still be a knock at the door. Shane just admitted he has eaten too much pie and I am exhausted and I feel like I am melting. But it is The Nine Days Of Pie, and that’s how it goes!

I realized I did not discuss the pies I made yesterday. All were good, but could use some work. The lemon filling was a little too done. I thought the Raspberry was too tart. The Kale pie was very good, but next time I would double the cheese and the triple the sausage. I’ll be sure to add notes to the recipes.

We have tried 3 of the 4 pies I made tonight. One needs to chill for tomorrow, it’s called Angel Pie, it’s from a cookbook I inherited from my father.  More on that one tomorrow.

Tonights pies were odd, I made ‘Savory Cottage Cheese pie’ it is one of Dave Archer’s mothers recipes, he let me go through her recipe box when we visited him  a couple months ago. I will post the photo of the recipe with the recipe. It was very good and we served it with a dollop of sour cream.

For sweet pies I made a strawberry balsamic, but it did not turn out it was very watery and yet the strawberries seemed very overcooked. Bummer.

Also I made and Apple Pomegranate pie with vanilla and toasted walnuts. I thought the walnuts would make the pomegranate seeds seem less weird in the texture.

Our guests tonight were Dark Lady & DJ Kronos all the way from Portland in the rain! They are getting married soon which is really cool since The Nine Day Of Pie was their first date two years back! We have known Dark Lady for some years now, she is well known in the Portland underground and always a great conversation. They headed out early to have a romantic evening at a beach resort.

Shortly after their departure Neighbor Bill came by with his wonderful daughter Emily who is always a treat to see, and she has gotten much braver in her willingness to try different pies!

Shane is asleep in his recliner, and I am glad to be sitting down relaxing, as I look to my said I have two cups of coffee and a glass of water next to me. There is a stack of dishes in the sink even though I tried to do them as I baked.

Tomorrow is another day, and I have some exciting plans…..

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Pies Today: