Pi(e) Day wasn’t a bona fide holiday until March 14, 1988 when physicist Larry Shaw decided to celebrate a day on the calendar in conjunction with an irrational and transcendental number. History claims Larry ordered pie for his staff at the San Francisco Exploratorium, kicking off a holiday that we never knew was missing. Master/Master and Blondilocks would agree that a holiday commemorating the irrational has my name written all over it.
National Pie Day falls on January 23rd and is an unofficial holiday, created by the National Pie Council to encourage the baking and enjoyment of pie. It is believed that National Pie Day began in 1986, coinciding with the 75th Anniversary of Crisco. Vegetable shortening in the stalwart blue-labeled can has its devout followers, but has been sidestepped by a new breed of pie baker. I’m fairly certain and fearful that it’s just a matter of time before March 14th gets squeezed out by a date on the calendar honoring National Gluten-free Leaf Lard Day.
Pie bakers are passionate, eager to debate butter vs. shortening, flour vs. cornstarch vs. minute tapioca. I am instinctively drawn to pie peeps, and yesterday I was sorely missing some of my favorite pie enthusiasts, the ladies of Longhouse. Scattered across the map, we were unable to share forkfuls seated around the same big table.
In the sugar rush that is Pi(e) Day, I find joy in the opportunity to congregate, to share, to pie it forward. On March 14th one year ago, a group of pie fanciers gathered in Boston to be social, swapping pie and ideas. This year, our love of triangular slices was shared with a group of tireless artists, a cast and crew of 80 who are revolutionizing theatre and the art of story telling. Through words and music, their mark on history will be as infinite as Pi.