Poor Pi(e) Day, you never had a chance. When Stella blew into town on Tuesday, dreams of double-crusts and woven lattice were tossed to the curb beneath a wintry mix of snow and pelting ice. I waved farewell to Mr. Sweet As Pie who braved the wrath of Stella in search of NJ Transit’s Midtown Direct train. You have to admire the tenacity of a man hell bent on saving both literally and figuratively, The Great White Way. From an ice-spattered window I watched the L.L. Bean Nor’easter Commuter Coat with Gore-Tex disappear in an angry squall of snow. Professor Marvel’s words to Dorothy rang in my ears- “Poor kid, hope (s)he gets home alright.” He didn’t, until Wednesday.
The bakery was shuttered for the day, leaving me to settle in. Comfortably attired in piejamas (yes, the fabric is adorned with pie slices), I grabbed a fresh filter for the Chemex, filling it with a special blend from the Ballard coffee roasters of Seattle. (Thank you, Master Master.) At 5:30 pm I emerged from my sanctuary to shovel the walkway from front door to sidewalk and just enough driveway to street, allowing access to the car. Two hours later I returned, combing the refrigerator for liquid libation that would ease both popsicle fingers and toes. By the time my back started to complain, I was mentally moving cross-country to southern California.
With Pi(e) Day a no-show and an uneventful Ides of March, St. Patrick’s Day is next on the holiday docket. The onslaught of shamrock cookies and cupcakes swirled in green and orange buttercreams will be as pervasive as a company of Riverdance. I will however, admit a fondness for the dark chocolate Guinness cake, save for buttering and cocoa-ing the Bundt pans. Popping the lids on cans of dark stout at morning o’clock in the workplace seems somewhat incongruous. The recipe calls for heating both molasses and Guinness, providing a most welcome change to the tangle of butter, sugar and coffee that generally permeates the bakery air.
From my pie perch, I can contribute little to the St. Patrick’s Day menu. Thankfully, true Key Lime pie is more pale yellow than screaming green. From what I’ve witnessed over too many years in the sugar trenches, it seems folks tend to make a beeline toward anything sprinkled, shamrocked or Irish-sodaed.
I can vouch however, for the assemblage of Granny Smith apples, Jameson whiskey and brown sugar coated pretzels and nuts in a pie shell. It offers just enough holiday spirit without crossing over to the dark side of Irish potato candy. More so than the wearing of and drinking of the green, it is the Irish potato confection that prevents me from boarding the shillelagh shuttle. As luck would have it, in just a few short weeks the next holiday rolls into town and that one has my name written all over it. We call it Passover.
Professional Pie-isms & Seasonal Sarcasm