Once upon a time, I could not make a pie to save my life. That experience is detailed here. But then, in early July, my dear friend Becky invited me to her house for a pie lesson. I’d been in Boston with my mother for a wedding, and for a mere two hour’s drive, we were rewarded with a dip in the clear blue lake, a porch to sleep on that overlooked the water (ACTUALLY CALLED A “SLEEPING PORCH”. TWO FAVORITE THINGS COMBINED.) And, of course, Becky.
Becky who drives a white convertible through the hills. Becky who tells us stories about her dashing son Solar, who is a pilot, and her rock-and-roll boyfriend, who makes her mix CDs. Becky who plays us these grit-bluesy mixes while we drive with her son in the white convertible, the cool New England wind battering us — hard as the beats but tasting of free-free-free.
Becky pulled me aside in her kitchen as we unpacked the groceries and bottles of Vinho Verde. “This is my pie nook,” she said. It was beautiful. A sunny corner with a low counter, canisters of ingredients and spoons and measuring cups all lined up. (You watch cooking shows and wonder how chefs make things so fast. It’s because the ingredients aren’t in twenty-five different places.)
She showed me how to make a pie an easier way, with just a few measurements. Soon it was ON: my hair tied back with a rubber band, floured up past my wrists. She rolled some dough. I tried rolling. Repeat. I learned to feel it; to feel the mixture’s textures and act confidently, the way the convertible took its curves.
I woke on Becky’s sleeping porch to a blood-orange sunrise — blueberry pie and fresh coffee for breakfast. It seemed simple, the way pie should be. Closer to how the first pie pilgrims must have operated. Maybe even cave people made pies, for all I know. Everyone needs to eat.