It could be argued that there is an element of
entertainment in every pie,
as every pie is inherently a surprise by virtue of its crust.
―Janet Clarkson, Pie: A Global History
Happy Pi (Pie) Day!
Some random thoughts about pie…
I don’t actually care for most pies, and the ones I do like don’t have a top crust (pumpkin, coconut custard). Since I don’t like normal pies, I don’t eat them, and therefore I have no real concept of what makes a good & tasty pie. This upsets my pie-loving husband to no end, and in recent years he’s given up on me and gone ahead and made his own pies.
Pictured here is a pie of his own making. It’s stuffed with a variety of apples picked from the local orchard, and he was particularly proud of his little nest & leaves accenting the piebird.
…and thoughts about pi
I really like the symbol for pi, but feel the number itself is ugly.
I have not read The Life of Pi, and never will, simply because too many people have told me I should read it. They said that about The Kite Runner too and I’m still pissed.
Did anyone else see Pi the movie? It came out in the late 90s, was shot in a really stark black & white and was mostly about obsession and trying to find patterns where there are none, trying to solve the mysteries of the universe using logic and math. It was something I really wanted to like based on the themes and it was really excellent in parts, but what I really recall is squirming through the trephination scenes (the main character suffered blinding migraines, presumably because of the pressure of all this profound knowledge he was unraveling, and he would drill holes in his skull to relieve the pressure). Maybe it’s partly because I can understand how you might get to that point as a migraine sufferer myself, but those images stuck with me in a baaaad way. Pi is one of those movies that could do with repeated viewings to really “get” what’s going on, so I am doomed to never quite understand it. Because you couldn’t pay me to see those scenes again.
What’s a piebird?
To Jeff’s eternal chagrin, I love little single-purpose kitchen gadgets and collectibles and doohickies. I picked up this piebird forever ago (thinking maybe it would inspire me to bake pies. Nope).
Piebirds were preceded by funnel-shaped steam vent crust supporters, going back to Victorian times. The piebird vents steam during baking so the juices don’t seep out or boil over, like they are wont to do with a top crust with slits cut in. Redirecting excess moisture also keeps the bottom crust from getting soggy. So in theory, you’ll wind up with flaky crusts, a top crust that won’t fall, and a spill-free oven.
You lay down your bottom crust, then your piebird on top. Fill in around the bird. Cut a slit into the top crust, then place over the piebird (threading it through the slit) so that the crust is supported. Crimp around edges and around piebird. Bake as directed.
I’m pretty sure that when I bought this, I thought the bird would sing while venting steam, like a tea kettle. Maybe some do but I haven’t seen any evidence to support that, and mine didn’t.
Did it make the crust more flaky or the pie more tasty? Honestly, I don’t recall, sorry. I’ll take better notes next time. But it makes for a pretty presentation and it makes me smile to see it perched on a kitchen shelf… that counts for something, right?
Thoughts on pie? Or pi?
What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?