My mother is one of the best pie-makers in the world! Not that she has ever competed in a contest to prove it, but you know, moms are the best—well almost. My wife has given mom some photo-finish, split-jury close competition over the years. In fact, my mom taught my wife the fine art of baking a pie. Spending the summer months of each of our first five years of marriage living near my parents in Oregon, created a splendid environment for pie making. With Oregon-fresh strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries, marionberries, blueberries, peaches, cherries, rhubarb and apples all surrounding our farm, pie-making was a weekly event. I’m convinced, the world needs more pie!
The point is—everyone can make a difference—especially pie-bakers! Beth Howard, author, pie baker and TV producer, had a thought while she watched the earth-rattling, gut-wrenching grief that rippled across our nation from its epicenter in Newtown, Connecticut last week. Beth Howard drove her RV from Iowa to Connecticut loaded with supplies to bake hundreds of pies to hand out slices to first responders and residents and to gift pies to funeral receptions and grieving families.
The world needs more pies! Even pies can ease the grief of a devastated community. Beth’s actions unleashed an avalanche of generosity. A simple post on Facebook about her idea generated $2,000 in donations for gas and supplies within a two hour period. By the time she made the 1,100 mile trip, sixty volunteers had gathered in the New York area to help “the pie lady” make pies. Over 235 were made. One family made 60 pies in one day. Beth says, “Pie is meant to be shared. Pie connects people.”
The reality is, Beth knows about grief. Her husband of only six years, died three years ago at the age of 43 from a ruptured aorta. She poured her grief into baking pies. She wrote a book, “Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie.” She has a website – The World Needs More Pie. She is developing a TV show, “This American Pie.” In the summer time, she runs the Pitchfork Pie Stand at the American Gothic home where the artist Grant Wood got his inspiration for his most famous painting—the farmer couple with a pitchfork.
I’ve never tasted Beth Howard’s pies. My mom and my wife might both be able to beat her in a pie-baking competition. But I love her philosophy of life. She believes that pie can change the world. And she is proving it in Newtown, one slice at a time. The world needs more pie.
QUESTION: What is the best kind of pie you’ve ever eaten? And where did you eat it? Share it in the comment section below.