Saturday, July 6, 2013

Unexpected Surprise

It was my good fortune at the library discovering the book mentioned in yesterday's blog "Making Piece a memoir of love, loss and pie." A rainy Saturday was perfect for delving into Beth Howard's memoir. It is a story about finding courage to live and move on with life.
The story covers Howard's 19 months following her husband Marcus's unexpected death at 43. Her story is compelling and told quite frankly. As a reader I often winced at her honesty, display of raw emotions and pain. But I also silently cheered when she began to emerge from her sorrow to take on a new journey. It became a pie filled adventure as she takes her RV aka known as "The Beast" on the open road and ultimately ending up in Eldon, Iowa living in the famous American Gothic House, running Pitchfork Pie Stand and teaching pie baking classes. 
Howard begins and ends her book with pie. The beginning,"I blame pie. If it wasn't for banana cream pie, I would have never been born."  Her story ending takes the reader full circle. "If not for pie, I never would have made peace with myself. I'm glad my mom made my dad that banana cream pie, I love pie."  
But what hooked me on the book was in the prologue. "You will find my story is a lot like pie, a strawberry-rhubarb pie. It's bitter. It's messy. It's got some sweetness, too. Sometimes the ingredients get added in the wrong order, but it has substance, it will warm your insides and, even though it isn't perfect, it still turns out okay in the end"
And she sums it up for all of us who have lost people we love. "It still turns out okay in the end."
Everything happens for a reason...
sometimes good things fall apart
so better things can come together.
Marilyn Monroe
Well, after reading this book for several hours I was more than motivated to bake some mini-cherry pies (original recipe posted July 5).
Mini Cherry Pies
Cook's notes and photos to go with the original recipe 

The filling needs to be thick so be sure it is refrigerated several hours
As an option I added 1 TB. cherry preserves to cherry juice mixture

I found the rim of a margarita glass was the perfect size for making dough circles. Its a little over 4 inches. Instead of sprinkling coarse sugar over the top of the lightly egg washed mini pies, I mixed cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkled it.
Baking time will vary depending how big the dough circle is and how much filling is used. Start checking at 19 minutes I found 20 minutes perfect for my oven.   To reheat the next day place on a cookie sheet at 400 2-3 minutes.
Final Note: I really think this recipe has so many possibilities using different fillings and with prepared crusts adds to the ease of putting it together.

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