I discovered this postcard last fall in a quirky secondhand shop in Athens, Ohio while visiting our daughter. Though the postcard made me laugh out loud, I certainly related to the horror the poor cat clearly feels at the prospect of "no pie." So, I bought the postcard, and it now resides on our fridge.
Of course, the postcard is a whimsical play on the familiar nursery rhyme:
Three little kittens they lost their mittens, And they began to cry,
Oh, mother dear, we sadly fear
Our mittens we have lost.
What! lost your mittens, you naughty kittens! Then you shall have no pie.
Mee-ow, mee-ow, mee-ow.
No, you shall have no pie.
No wonder that poor kitten looks so horrified. Forget the mittens. Where's the pie?!?
Of course, as with all nursery rhymes, this one has quite the history and deeper meaning. This Wikipedia entry gives a nice overview.
So, why do I love pie so much? Besides the fact a well-made pie is tasty? Here are just a few reasons why I love to make (and share, and eat) pie... why, indeed, I think pie is magical:
2. Once a novel is complete, at least another year passes before it reaches readers, and that's assuming the novel finds a publisher. And if it finds a publisher, then critics and readers pass judgment on the novel... sometimes positively, sometimes not-so-positively. But... no one has ever rejected my offering of a pie.
3. I love the magic of combining ordinary, humble ingredients... flour, shortening, bit of salt and water for the crust, then filling with simple fruits or custards... to create something that, with all the ingredients combined in the right way, is extraordinary. (Come to think of it, creating a story is like that. Ordinary, humble words; simple situations/set ups... but combined in the right way, extraordinary magic can happen.)
4. I love hearing from readers that something I've written has touched them in some way... made them laugh, or weep, or think about the world anew, or moved them. But often much time passes between completing a novel and getting that very affirming feedback. On the other hand, I love the joy I see in the expressions of people to whom I've given pie. A few days ago, I took a Shaker sugar pie to a gathering, and a man there, whom I'd never met before, became very animated when he learned a Shaker sugar pie was now on the carry-in table. Turns out, he hadn't had Shaker sugar pie since his youth. He took a bite, closed his eyes, and savored. I could tell the fellow was transported back to youth, and in a good way. He opened his eyes, looked at me, and said, "Better than memory!" And then he shared stories from his youth triggered by the taste and memory of sugar pie.
5. Pies are pretty. I am not a very good visual artist. OK, I'm a terrible visual artist. But pies are, by definition, pretty. So pie-making fulfills my wish to create something, now and again, that's just pleasing to look at.
6. I also am not a fan of making crafts. I appreciate OTHER people's crafts, such as skilled knitting. But the notion of me personally wishing to ever make something involving, say, yarn or hot glue guns or both is downright hilarious. No thanks. I'd rather run a marathon. And I have no skills or desire to run a marathon. Making a pie is as close to crafting as I'll ever come.
7. I'm fascinated by the chemistry of pie crust dough. Lots to learn on this front.
8. I'm also fascinated by the history of pie. Again, much to learn. And I have a feeling that learning the history of pie will open up insights into other aspects of history.
9. And finally, pie just tastes good. It's satisfying and comforting.
So... now you know why I call myself a "pie enthusiast," and why, every now and then, I'll share my favorite pie tips, techniques, recipes on this blog.