Day 9 of the Nine Days of Pie!!!
Hurray for Shane’s Birthday!
Hip Hip Hoorray!
Three Cheers for Shane!
What a great day, from beginning to end! We were awakened with a call from the beautiful Alanna Quinn, who had come from Portland the night before for pie with her beau Mike. They were taking Shane up on his invitation to make breakfast for them after a trip to the beach to pay homage to the Peter Iredale shipwreck.
Shane procured a great rendition of “Dave’s Famous Eggs”, a pile of bacon, and I made some buttermilk french toast from a hard as a rock baguette I picked up a few days back and never got to use. After a wonderful night of conversation, we had a fantastic morning/afternoon of riveting conversation. They finally had to hit the road at about 4 pm, but not long after their departure Shane announced our neighbors the Greeley’s were stopping by, I panicked because I had not yet begun any pie.
I raced to make some crust, but the Greeley’s were soon over – Jeffrey, Allison and the three mini-Greeleys, and they were such fun! Shane and I are not used to being around children, let alone in multiple numbers. Soon noisemakers were blowing, part hats were adorned, peanuts were flying, and balloons were volleyballed. So sweet and completely unexpected were the three handmade birthday cards for Shane from the kids and a nice bottle of beer from Jeff and Allison.
After a most exciting and exhausting period of time the Greeley’s headed back to the front house, Shane and I felt exhausted – how do parents do it??? I turned on the radio to find it was not even 6 o’clock yet – it seemed like it must have been 10pm!
I got back to pie production – Coconut pie from a recipe from 1890, the only repeat from last year, per Shane’s request. Strawberry and Blueberry Pie and Russian Apple Brown Betty, which I had never before made and used rye bread fried in butter and spices and cooked in a casserole dish.
As the Brown Betty went into the oven, the coconut pie was cooling and the fruit pie nearly done, and no one had arrived! I set the timer for the brown betty and sat down with Shane as he began to wood burn some wood, I began to write this blog and we happily settled in for what might be just us when a knock came upon the door and our neighbor around the block Nancy Montgomery came in with her son Jacob bearing fresh garden veggies and a bottle of coffee stout. We have met Nancy briefly a few times since moving to Astoria, first at the benefit for Larkin Stenz’s Green Angel Garden at the Fort George. We really seemed to hit it off but have never seen her for more than a few minutes here and there, so it was exciting to sit down for pie with the two of them and have a relaxed conversation.
Soon after we settled into the really too hot to cut berry pie another knock came upon the door and the rapacious Bill Honl entered to join us for pie, he and his delightful daughter Emily had stopped over between the Greelys visit and Nancy, but no pie was yet ready as my day had been a bit of a whirlwind.
Another knock brought local radio hero Slab Slabinski, who had earlier dropped off homemade corned beef and cabbage for Shane earlier in the day as a fine birthday gift, with him was his lovely wife and renown author Dina James. Moments after came additional local radio hero and pop cultural reference guru William Ham!
Our little kitchen was suddenly packed as everyone helped themselves to pie and coffee and Jim Beam Rye whiskey. Conversation got lively and went on into the wee hours of the morning, with Shane and I finally falling into sleep sometime around 5:30 this morning!
Wow, what a holiday! What a wonderful, joyous, loving and delicious holiday! Only a few slices of pie and some Russian Apple Brown Betty remain on this Day 10. After I post this blog, you can be certain a nap is next on the agenda!
I will say, this year we went through 12 pounds of butter, 20 pounds of four kinds of flour, a 5 pound bag of peanuts in the shell, 5 dozen eggs, 3 pounds of coffee, 3.5 bottles of whiskey, 1 gallon of heavy whipping cream, and a whole lot of fruit, nuts and other pie filling materials! With food prices going up, up, up it was a big investment for us, much more than I’d anticipated, but Shane is forever worth such extravagance and fuss, and our guests are too.
I would like to thank all of the wonderful, vital, and brilliant people who came to enjoy pie with us over these Nine Days of Pie, thank you for all of the lovely gifts brought for Shane, Thank you especially to all of the people who travelled far and wide to join us such as Dave Archer, Brent and James Durand, Theresa “Darklady” Reed, Raymond Hankins, DJ Kronos, Alanna Quinn and Mike Hamilton, Corina and Joe, Amy Mae Pratt, everyone from the Long Beach Peninsula, Brownsmead, and everyone in Astoria who made a point to stop by. Also thanks to all of the online pie makers across the country and the world who participated in the Nine Days of Pie by making or consuming pie during these Nine amazing Days of Pie!
Recipes to follow after a much needed nap and some laxative.
I am almost excited about next year already….