When I was kid and my birthday happened, mom would ask what kind of cake I wanted. "Cherry pie," was always my answer. Tart filling with feather-weight crust and sugar sprinkled on top. Candles fit fine even though the crust cracked and heaved like the new ice shelf on a winterized lake. When I grew up, I made cherry pies at Bread & Water. Ordered bucket after bucket of fresh frozen cherries. Dipped scoops of the red cherry fruit into a pan, thickened the juice with velvet cornstarch, added just a splash of organic, pure almond extract and filled each home made crust.
When I returned from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the restaurant had been closed for the year of my treatment. The empty and abandoned refrigerated pie case had been moved from the front door at Bread & Water to an out-of-the-way wall. A few weeks ago, when I shut down the large freezer, I found a full thirty pound pail of cherries. I have not taken time to sort through the paperwork nor receipts from the lodging and kayak tour business that continued in my absence. I don't know yet if we made money or lost. Yesterday, with sun shining through golden leaves, I made my way into grandma's pantry. The space was cluttered and not ready for pie making but that didn't stop me. Disorganized yet intent, I followed the steps of what has been missing for more than a year. I made three pies. Tart center, feather-weight crust with sugar sprinkled on top. Absolutely sacramental.
5 months ago