For many years, I worked in a bakery tucked behind a Bucks County farm owned and operated by an engineer. Roger’s vernacular was peppered with grams and ounces, I spoke in teaspoons and cups. Under his tutelage, it wasn’t long before I could casually remark, “Oh, an ounce? You mean 28.3 grams?” In my eight year stint at the farm, I witnessed the engineering of baking. Pie dough was mixed in 60 quart mixers, shells rolled and crimped by a pie press. Hundreds, yes hundreds! of pies baked in a wall of deck ovens. Despite my new respect for math, I decided it was best not to tell Roger about my sordid high school geometry past. Suffice to say that an extra credit project allowed me to pass the class. It was based on concentric circles that were baked in three 9” cake pans, frosted in chocolate and yielded a checkerboard cake. And yes, part of the project involved pie charts.
In anticipation of 3.1415 Day, I will spend Friday the 13th toiling over bakery math problems and pie shells.. On Saturday, I’m Boston-bound, hoping to squeeze in a bit of Pies-About-Towning and Pie Socializing. Happy Pie Day to all!