Monday, May 29, 2017

The Life of Pie (in Stehekin)

Beryl Courtney was famous for her pies...good ones and lots of 'em
 Pie. It has a history around here.  There have been and still are some extraordinary pie bakers over the years in Stehekin.  Beryl Courtney was known for her pies served at the cafe at the landing in the 50's and 60's.  Locals say she made 80 in a day at times during the busy season.

There are pie stories, too. Some nice, some not so nice.  Pie hikes, pies at potlucks, birthday pies, sweaty pies.    

Pie construction

 I once went on a surprise birthday party hike around this time of year.  The planner brought the birthday girl up to a nice lookout with a pie in her backpack ( I don't know how she did that!), and the rest of us were to hike up and surprise the two of them.  None of us had been to this particular look out, so we were looking for a marker in the trail.  We looked at a LOT of suspicious looking sticks, but ruled them out too wimpy to be an arrow.  After what seemed like too great of a distance for a "short jaunt", a couple of us had to turn around due the time so we never did find the birthday girl and her pie carrying companion.  We wrote a note in the dust on her windshield "We tried but couldn't find you".  Bummer.

Pie birthday party
Pie can be romantic, too, you know.  My own first experience with pie in Stehekin was in June of 1985.  Just graduated from high school and arrived on the boat to work for the summer at the landing.  A local boy invited me that day to the Ranch for pie.  I really wasn't a pie-eating sort of gal.  More like vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, but I would soon be converted.   Up the road we drove in the '69 Chevy to the Stehekin Valley Ranch and had Raspberry Apple Pie.  Married that local boy.
Sour Cream Apple.  Favorite of local boy.

Speaking of marriage, here's one for you from Stehekin's past.  Legend has it that a wife made her husband a pie one day, and he unwisely commented that it was good, but not as good as so-and-so's pies.  That offended pie went sailing out the back door and the pan remained in the yard like a monument for years to come. Oops.

Pie lesson

Stehekin Pastry Company and Stehekin Valley Ranch still serve a mean piece of pie. Some of our favorites are Lemon Surprise, Sour Cream Apple, Washington Nut (walnut), Blackberry, Apple and Lemon Meringue.

Circumference is directly related to pi(e). (That for you Math fans)  

Lemon Meringue
 A story of a lemon meringue: A recent birthday of a dear friend and neighbor inspired the making of a lemon meringue in our household.  It only takes about 29 pieces of kitchen equipment to make the silly thing. The time came to leave for an evening meeting and we still had not delivered the birthday pie, so, as I walked to the meeting, I placed it in the seat of the beloved neighbor's pick up. The meeting went pretty late, and as we were driving away, noticing the pie recipient visiting and not getting in his truck I commented "I hope the dome light in his truck works".  

 Next morning, I see an e-mail from him: : "Well, it was practically dark when I finished talking and went to get in the car. Opened the door, waved to my friend who was leaving and sat down in the front seat. "What the heck is that I'm sitting on?" I wondered as I felt something soft and yielding beneath me. Rising quickly, sort of jumping out the still not closed door, I put my hand back to find I'd just sat in a lemon meringue pie that now looked like a brawl had taken place on it. Licking my fingers I was rewarded with a delicious taste sensation. Nice way to end the night although I had some cleanup to do and had to sit on some cardboard to keep from messing up the seat. Other than the laundry I'll being doing and the loss of what must have been a fantastic pie - actually, I still have some in the frig. - all went well. I want to thank you for the effort to deliver what was a wonderful birthday treat. Of course, everything above this sentence is a fabrication......"