Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pie, Pie, Pie!!!!!Pie Time!!!!!

I may have mentioned a cooking fest during my recent visit to Oregon.  Well, we were so busy eating and cooking I forgot to mention the pumpkin pie I made using brother's CSA local organic pumpkin!
Pumpkin, plus maple syrup, cream, eggs, spice, flour, butter. YUM!
Neighbor Dolores receiving squash soup--pie tomorrow if we don't eat it all!
 Poor Dolores, she was offered pie after she praised the soup I made.  It was gone before I could say "fresh whipped cream!". And as you might imagine, LF, I raced back home to take care of business. Back and forth, we go! What an age of travel, really?  A gal might wear herself down, unless she's eating lots of great food! And eat she does!

My return to Oak Park was enhanced by the knowledge that I was carrying fresh picked huckleberries from the Oregon Coast.  It's not easy to gather enough of these little suckers to cook anything more than huckleberry pancakes, but I gave harvest time a good ninety minutes or so and with delightful results.  I was complaining, while picking, that our little community has been over-pruned to the extent that available berries are disappearing each season. But I wandered around our neighborhood, and sauntered onto the main road.  Berries were found. The tiny little things are about an eighth of the size of a medium blueberry, but if you're serious about your berries, you will not be disappointed, boy oh boy!!!!
The huckleberry pie--disappeared quickly.
The day after I returned home I was pretty wiped out.  Faced with difficult news about Dad, saying goodbye, the whole affair can really deplete a soul. So it was to bed for the better part of a day, "Bring me my coffee, please?!"  And so it went, until the family danced off for soccer match or the like and I was left to my own devices in the kitchen.  What time is it? Yes! It's Pie Time!
LF, you might wonder what the point is of baking a berry pie without opening it for photos, but holy moly, by the time we cut into the thing and broke out the camera, the baby was gone!
Yum. Yum. Yum.

But there's More!  Our share here in OP had delivered us a truckload of Yams. So, know it!
Sweet Potato Pie!!! This time we were so deep in the thralls of other-world-drama that we completely forgot the camera and just ate ate ate.  Pure pleasure. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.  Now it's Wednesday, and there's no pie to be found (except for the delightful quiche that a friend delivered last night).


So the pie fortified us through a week of work, school, activities, and finally, acceptance of the news that after a few days of hospice Dad finally let go.  We're so relieved that he went as peacefully as possible.  And now, naturally, we prepare to go to Oregon again.  I took a few minutes at work to remember Dad to my students.  I shared a historic photo from his childhood, and a favorite book that we read together, Watty Piper's The Little Engine That Could.This was a delightful day at work.  Reading a book with such a simple message ("I think I can") over and over, well, I couldn't think of anything better to do to celebrate my Dad.
"I'm not very big," said the Little Blue Engine...

Dad's the one with the ears and the height

And there I go again!  Off on another trip, but not a minute too soon to catch about a million hugs, which are awesome.  More hugs! More hugs!!!

Fortified by extra hugs, smiles and sunshine readily available!!!
You probably wonder what the Unencumbered Woman does next. How can I top this?  Oh, shucks, I don't know. But tomorrow I drag my teenager and my pipsqueak cutie pie to jump onto a plane and do it all.  Celebrate? Commemorate? Breathe? Rest? Reunion? Drown in a heap of anxiety & sadness?
 It's all in the works, and there may even be a few huckleberries left on the roadside.  If so, we'll have to elbow a few black bears aside, with a wink and a nod...Dontcha remember the guy who used to pick berries on this bush?  He was about so-tall, and he had grey hair and glasses, and he'd come out and only pick the ripe ones...the ones that would be perfect for a jam that his wife would make or some pancakes his daughter would make, or just to throw some on vanilla ice cream. Remember? They're wild here, and there the best, richest, wildest tasting berries you'll find.

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