March 14th, also known as Pi(e) Day, is an opportunity to commemorate the mathematical constant and acknowledge Albert Einstein’s birthday. Math geeks will sharpen their No. 2 pencils, enjoy number games, and perhaps nibble on squares of sheet cake celebrating Einstein. For lovers of lattice and triangular slices, Pi(e) Day is an excuse to bake and consume pie. Generally, Pi(e) Day is as welcome as the first crocus peeking up through the last remnants of winter. This year, however, Pi(e) Day is yet another casualty of the Coronavirus.
In the commercial world of butter, sugar, and flour, Pi(e) Day provides a bump in sales following a wintry January and February. Those dedicated to the craft of pie baking look forward to a holiday that encourages creativity and celebrates spring. No longer tethered to flavors dictated by cool temps, (I’m looking at you, Thanksgiving), Pi(e) Day tends to spark joy. Unfortunately, everything changed in March of 2020, and not in a good way.
With colleges extending spring breaks, workers hunkering down at home in the comfort of their pajamas, and the closing of schools, the life we normally enjoy has screeched to a halt. We are guilty of binge-buying toilet paper and dried pasta, emptying the shelves at Trader Joe’s, and have replaced handshakes and hugs with elbow bumps. Supplies of hand sanitizer have been exhausted, face masks and latex gloves have been greedily snapped up from health care professionals. Fun times? Hardly.
According to my pie peeps across the country, pre-ordered pie sales are facing cancellation. Office workers who traditionally celebrate March 14th en masse are now working off site. Those who traditionally dedicate the second week of March to filling pie shells at a (no pun intended) feverish rate, are forced to scale back. Small businesses are struggling in the throes of the pandemic. Unlike pie dough that knows the importance of relaxing, (it helps inhibit the formation of gluten) we can’t help ourselves. Swept up in the frenzy, we are all-Corona, all day, seven-days-a-week. It's frightening and exhausting.
In an attempt to maintain proper social distancing, we are abandoning athletic and cultural extracurricular activities. Air travel and dinner reservations are to be avoided like the plague. Never before have we washed our hands with such fervor and repetition. A virus that is going viral is not a good thing. To quote Ella Fitzgerald, “Spring will be a little late this year.” Pie won’t solve this crisis, but a slice or two couldn’t hurt. Just make sure to wash your hands first.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm