Joyce GingerichLinda GingerichMy 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!


Free Pie for First Responders

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.

PiemakingThe 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.”

Beth-M-Howard_1_photo-credit-KathrynGamble-150x150The 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.

PitchforkCoupleI’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.

RV Free 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.

8 responses to The World Needs More Pie

  1. Theresa Tufts on January 29, 2013 at 4:01 PM Reply

    Hi Dennis, I just returned from a pie baking class with Beth Howard in Iowa! What an amazing person she is. You wrote that she thinks pie can change the world and boy were you right. She has such a passion and deep belief of this that she travels the world giving free pie to others and putting smiles on faces across the country. She even teaches others to bake pie so they can share in this cause and bake pie for others too. Glad to see such a positive article about her, she definitely deserves it. Her pie class (held inside the American Gothic House) was an amazing experience if you’re ever in Iowa it’s a must!
    Love your blog by the way. 🙂

    • Dennis Gingerich on January 29, 2013 at 6:59 PM Reply

      Thanks Theresa! That’s an amazing connection! I do plan to stop in the next time I get through Iowa. Dennis

  2. Linda Stowell on December 21, 2012 at 9:27 PM Reply

    I actually make pretty good blueberry pie myself. David and I go blueberry picking and we usually have the daughter, daughter-in-love (thanks Linda G.), and one of the four younger grandchildren with us. We bring the blueberries home and freeze them. I pull some out and put them in my oatmeal in the morning but most of them we transport to FL. Terry Jolicoeur is the biggest fan of my blueberry pie down here.

    • Ray Harris on December 24, 2012 at 9:13 AM Reply

      Linda I like pie

  3. Jen Tapp on December 20, 2012 at 2:01 PM Reply

    Philosophy of life is inspiring, and I love the gentility of her ministry. Favorite pie, homemade peach – from fresh peaches. Baked by my maternal grandmother. Haven’t had one in 25+ years, but I can still taste them in my memory. Miss her very much.

  4. Suzi Banks Baum on December 20, 2012 at 1:55 PM Reply

    Dear Dennis, Thank you for writing about pie and about Beth. I was able to be part of the first delivery of pie to Newtown and this experience was a gift. The Worlds Needs More Pie is a mission I can put my heart in to. I wrote about it on my blog linked here. My husband and I love pie. We didn’t have a wedding cake, just pies. That was by far the best pie I have ever eaten…a dark cherry pie. Beth has given us all an opportunity to share love with pies. I am grateful! xo Suzi

    • Dennis Gingerich on December 20, 2012 at 2:35 PM Reply

      Thank you so much for your comments Suzi! My niece got married in Lancaster, PA this summer and she had no cake, only had pies at her wedding!

  5. Ron on December 20, 2012 at 8:29 AM Reply

    Your blog makes me think of Ada. I was never a cake eater, so she always made me a cherry pie for my birthday. To this day, I have never eaten a better cherry pie.

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