Idol Chatter

pies.jpgI feel especially qualified to spread the news about the opening of “Pie Bakery & Cafe” in Newton Center, Mass by two women piemakers, Ellen Kaplansky and Paige Retus. Not only do I stay in Newton a few days a week during the semester (when I’m teaching at BU), which means that I’m about to become a frequent pie-eater once I start teaching again, but I might be the #1 fan of the 2007 film, “Waitress,” which featured Keri Russell as the goddess of all pies, and then can’t get enough of the quirky new television series “Pushing Daisies,” which stars Ned, pie shop owner and chief baker.
The thing about pies in both “Waitress” and “Pushing Daisies”: they’re not just any ol’ food you eat. Pie, in these stories, is the stuff of spiritual and gastronomical transformation. In “Waitress,” the unique flavors coming together in a pie can evoke childhood memories, a loved one lost, spark sexual desire. Russell’s character–when baking pies–is a goddess-like figure, pouring all of her creative powers into each pie shell, and then loving the members of her community via her fantastical creations. In “Pushing Daisies,” not only does Ned use his powers to raise rotten fruit from the dead (so to speak), but Chuck is secretly adding homeopathic feel-good droplets to pies she bakes especially for her forlorn aunties.

With all this soul-transformative piemaking on the big and small screens, why not in real life?
In “The Christian Science Monitor,” piemakers Kaplansky and Retus are proposing that everyday should be pie day:
“”Who doesn’t love pie? It evokes comfort and good memories. When you mention pie, you have to smile.” Kaplansky and Retus often celebrate Thanksgiving together, and one year, while savoring slices of homemade pumpkin pie, they mused about why pies are not enjoyed much during other times of year. Soon after, they got right to work, cobbling together a business plan, checking out the competition, and touring neighborhoods; their vision became reality just last week. In a time and season when people are gravitating toward simple, more old-fashioned comfort foods, they might be on to something.”
Will these two women entrepreneurs start transforming moods and feeding souls, one pie at a time? Remains to be seen…but I’ll certainly stop by to test the possibility.

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