Welcome to 2014 – it’s great to see you back here at The Pie Academy!
I know it’s been a little quiet on my end for the last few weeks, but it’s my habit to loosen the schedule just a bit as the year is winding down and take some time to recharge.
Recharging, I’ve discovered, pays handsome dividends: I get some of my best ideas and inspirations when I downshift.
It’s an opportunity to reflect on the passing year – where I’ve done well and where I’ve fallen short. It’s a time to brainstorm, sketch out plans, reconnect with family and friends, and to bake and cook for the pure pleasure of it all.
Downshifting doesn’t necessarily mean idle, at least Pie Academy-wise.
Indeed, I’ve spent the last few weeks working on some fabulous new recipes and videos for you, like this Creamy Herb Chicken Pot Pie…
and an out-of-this-world Heath Bar Crunch Pecan Pie…
both of which you’ll find here before long.
I’ve also been mapping out an exciting lineup of new videos that’ll be featured here in the new year – videos about everything from pie making tools like kitchen scales and rolling pins, to whole grain crusts and slab fruit pies.
I’ll even take a fresh look at disposable aluminum pie pans and reconsider how and when they might might make good sense for home bakers.
And that’s barely scratching the surface of The Pie Academy 2014. You won’t want to miss any of it.
Do You Have a Heartwarming Pie Story You’d Like to Share?
One of the most exciting new additions to The Pie Academy site is something I’ve been thinking about for a while and want to get started on right away, but I need your help.
I’m calling it Heartwarming Pie Stories.
Quite a few of you have shared your favorite pie stories and memories with me since I stared The Pie Academy, and I’ve been touched by these little treasures and the fond recollections you’ve sent.
You’ve written to me about grandmothers, aunts, and big sisters whose patient instruction launched your love of pie making.
You’ve told me how pie making has been the therapy you count on to get you through a difficult time, and how your pies have helped cheer others.
Clearly, pie – for so many of us – is much more than just another dessert. It’s a treasure trove of rich memories and vivid emotions, a link to our past and a legacy worth passing on.
It seems a shame to not share your stories with the entire Pie Academy community – to leave these buried treasures uncovered – so I’ve decided to start selectively publishing some of them. But – like I said – I need to hear from you. (Watch the video above to hear about the nice incentive you have to send me your story sooner than later.)
How to Submit a Heartwarming Pie Story
-There’s no hard and fast rule for what makes a good Heartwarming Pie Story. Surprise us. You probably already know if you have one to tell. If you’re not sure, send it anyway. Just write from the heart and tell us a good story.
-Don’t worry if you’re “not a writer.” I’ll tidy it up, if necessary. Anyone who submits a story should know that I reserve the right to do a little judicious editing for the sake of brevity, clarity, or whatever-other-ity is necessary.
-Details bring a story to life and help us see things in technicolor rather than plain black and white. Tell us the details – the sounds, textures, utterances, and smells – so we can immerse ourselves in your story.
-How long? Short and sweet is probably best, but – if you must – a little longer is okay too.
-Photos are bonus, so long as they help illustrate your story. In other words, no cute photos of your dog (unless, of course, you’re writing about your Golden Retriever who makes the world’s flakiest pie crust. It that’s the case, I’ll be right over with a film crew.)
-I’ll acknowledge every story I receive by return email. If I select your story, I’ll be in touch before I publish it. Alas, I can’t offer any payment in exchange for your story, but you will be entitled to all the fame and glory that comes with being a published writer.
-Send your story (and photos) to email@example.com. I’ll keep an eye out.
Thanks in advance for being part of this new community feature of The Pie Academy. I won’t be able to make this happen without your contributions, so I look forward to hearing from you.
PIE RESOURCES You Should Know About
PIE BOXES – We started selling these right before the holidays, and – geesh! – you kept us busy filling orders. Have a look and you’ll see why they’ve been such a hit.
MY BOOKS – Including my pie opus, PIE…not to mention SOUP MAKES THE MEAL, a collection of soup, bread, and salad meals that are perfect for days like these.
THE OLD FARMER’S ALMANAC EVERYDAY BAKING – My most recent cookbook – 118 of my favorite pie, cookie, cake, breakfast bread, and other recipes from my personal favorites list.
LE CREUSET STONEWARE – I own a ton of this durable and fetching stuff because I love the way it bakes and fully expect to pass it along to future generations of family bakers. Here’s our current inventory.