PIe, Squared

by Stefani on 13-October-2008

Maybe you thought I'd forgotten about my pie promise

Nope. I've just been waiting for inspiration. 

I found it at Goodwill. 

I've been so wanting a big ol' pastry board. Something about a big chunk of wood on which to do my rolling and cutting and kneading, a piece of something solid and heavy that will absorb all those memories, something that will grow smooth and worn with the passing of time, just as the hands that knead will… well it just speaks to me – a little kitchen poetry.

Then again, there's nothing poetic about spending a big wad of money on a new board, and so I waited. 

It seemed like it would never come to pass, but low and behold the day finally came when I found her. There she was, near hidden under a pile of woven baskets and a broken paper towel holder. 

At last, I had found my pastry board!

Apple Pie

Don't think I didn't run right home and make a chicken pot pie and an apple pie too (after a good wash and then an oh so loving mineral oil rub down, of course). 

This was a two pie occasion, friends!

Pie, Squared

Oh have I reveled in my board. There's been some biscuit cutting, some bread kneading, and a whole lot of grinning and just running my hands over her smooth, already broken in surface. 

I'm sure one of these days I'll bring myself to put her away in the cabinet, but for now, she stays out on the counter where we can all gaze upon her lovliness. 

You can see that food means a great deal to me, but I wouldn't go so far as to consider myself a foodie. 

I'm just a girl who sees the importance of knowing intimately and even honoring the stuff that she feeds her family. 


I think it's important for a kid to know what's on his plate and how it got there. 

I think it's slowing, filling, precious to work, side by side with loved ones, to put food on your table and in your pantry, whether by growing it, preserving it or cooking it. 

I think it can be a form of real connection to the past and also to the future to know that you are doing those things in a way that they have always been done, and that you will teach your children, and they will teach theirs. 


I think it's sustaining and enriching to the soul, as much as to the body, to care deeply about your food. 

And I also think that a real food revival could work wonders on so many levels for our nation. 

It's a long one, but I would really encourage you to read about the far-reaching effects of our nation's food dilemmas and some really insightful, and thought-provoking ideas about how to solve them, in this past weekend's NY Times article, "Farmer In Chief"

In our current climate of political divisiveness, it sure seems like food just might be the thing that could bring us all to the table. 

P.S. The apple pie that I made was a delicious recipe from my newest favorite cookbook (the one in the photo above), "Baking" by Dorie Greenspan. 

It is a hefty, gorgeous, downright delicious book that would be worth every penny, had I not been the happy winner of my copy (as well as an astonishing host of other wonderful prizes) from Lisa over at the Cutting Edge of Ordinary

This is the kind of cookbook that you sit down with and actually read cover to cover before proceeding to muck up the pages with frequent and loving use. 
Aileen October 13, 2008 at 8:03 pm

I love that last shot. Just precious.

Congrats on your great find. Isn’t it fun to imagine all the love and food prep done there before you acquired it?

Linn October 13, 2008 at 9:55 pm

I’m sorry to tell you, but you definitely are a foodie, and that’s a good thing. Really good. Looks like the pie was, too.

brit October 13, 2008 at 10:09 pm

I agree, there is a certain harmony in making your own bread even if people insist on driving their trains through the rising dough, in making scones every morning even if they are too chewy with handling or cookies that are misshapen by little hands.

My favorite though is hearing my boys asking me. Who made this?? Did you make this? Who then?

The idea that things didn’t just apparate on the shelves…is a lesson in itself

molly October 13, 2008 at 10:28 pm

hear hear. i’m no foodie either, though i could wax poetic about food any day. right now the smell of fresh bread is driving me crazy. and i’m proud to say i made it myself, start to finish, and i hope that my kids grow up both knowing how to make their own bread and being proud of such a skill. let’s just hope they don’t get type 2 diabetes from all the sugary treats i bake for them 🙂

love your new board. don’t you just love it when the very thing your heart desires shows up at the thrift store?

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary October 14, 2008 at 3:23 am

I’m so glad you love the cookbook! It is really one of the best that I own. That photo of your son with the pie is precious! Can’t wait to see what else you make!

Our Green Nest October 14, 2008 at 4:10 am

Yep, need a pastry board – it’s on my list! Great find! Too bad Antique Wknd is only twice a year! Love your shots (as always)…

Jennifer October 14, 2008 at 5:12 am

I love my huge chopping board but it does not have that fancy ruler built into it like yours!

Thanks for the link to the article. Interesting stuff. I was shocked in the King Corn film when the former head of the Dept. of Agriculture stated that they had to keep Americans food budget at a certain percentage. I never considered that the government would be manipulating things (including the quality of food) to keep it that way. Naive I know 🙂

Shawn October 14, 2008 at 6:45 am

Oooooo. That is a nice cookbook! I am enjoying my copy of King Arthur Four’s Whole Grain Baking. It’s really good, too. Nice board, too.

Julie Armstrong October 14, 2008 at 7:36 am

Oh yes. I so agree. It sounds hokey, but when I am in the kitchen baking, cooking, or even doing the dishes I feel a deep connection to those women who have come before me, to those women who have provided so well for their families. Food is love.

Lori October 14, 2008 at 8:19 am

stef, i agree with you – and hilariously, i was just digging for the michael pollan link to send to you. great minds!

Kathleen October 14, 2008 at 8:44 am

Those pies look so good! Another great book is Full Moon Feast- food and the hunger for connection, by Jessica Prentice. Lots of wisdom there.
PS. I blog tagged you today. Check out http://www.kathleen-coy.blogspot.com if you want to play. 🙂

elissa Finger October 14, 2008 at 9:57 am

gorgeous photos…. you are even making ME want to bake 😉

sherrieg October 14, 2008 at 10:31 am

What a find! I’m so happy when people find thrifted things that they’ve been looking for. Nicely done. 🙂

emily October 14, 2008 at 10:38 am

i’ve been wanting a pastry board too. lucky you! (and your lucky pie eaters.)

Mama Urchin October 14, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Having children really made me aware of what we put into our bodies. I really believe there is power in the food we eat to create change in our world.

emily ruth October 14, 2008 at 1:26 pm

you make me want to be a better mom & wife…

Caroline October 14, 2008 at 4:10 pm

I have wanted to get a large wooden cutting board for a while too. Patiently waiting for my cutting board, and my wooden rocker, to make their debut in my life when the time is right!

Paula October 14, 2008 at 4:19 pm

I hear ya, sister. Check out this post from my blog:



I too have a lovely pastry board that was left behind by the old owners of this house, so it was right here waiting for me.

Cassandra October 14, 2008 at 5:06 pm

What a lovely board! My mama has one that gets pulled out every time she makes a pie, noodles, cookies, you name it. I totally understand the desire for the perfect one. Yours is a definite score.

Jennifer October 14, 2008 at 7:12 pm

Thanks for the wonderful reminder of why I oblige when my two year old demands “Up! Up! Up-ee! Up-ee!” while I am cooking or baking. It’s much harder to cook with an extra 25 pounds wrapped around your hip, but it’s more rewarding too!

Stephanie B October 15, 2008 at 8:56 am

You board looks wonderful, a perfect addition to your kitchen. I like the ruler included!

Grace October 16, 2008 at 8:26 am

gorgeous pie — and gorgeous thoughts.

hanna October 19, 2008 at 7:28 pm

oh wondeful, isn’t there something just so nice about old things. Preloved, softened and with a story to tell.

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