Saturday I bid farewell to Alabama, and flew on four different planes before arriving in Florida. No one said being a vagabond pie baker was going to be easy and the apparently the cheapest way to get from Birmingham to Ft. Lauderdale is to stop in Detroit, Baltimore, and Atlanta first. I think next time I fly I’m going to try and stick to one layover, max. The day I fly direct will be a dream!
My last few days in Alabama were terrific. I pulled away from the bunkhouse in current Birmingham resident and fellow friend in pie, Katie’s car and left the drama of the previous seventeen days (yes, I counted) behind. I think I’ll have a separate post about the goings on of the pie shop sometime this week (it’s quite the story, letmetellyou!)
I spent a few days with Katie, seeing lots of theatre, most of which Katie had painted stunning sets, props and drops for, eating good food, (though nothing quite compares with ‘birthday gas station barbecue) not sleeping restlessly because of an inordinate paranoia about cockroaches, and most importantly, making my first chess pie!
Peter, a local from the lab, gave me his mother’s recipe for chess pie, which Katie and I turned into a lemon chess with the addition of a little zest, extract, and juice. We donned adorable hand-sewn aprons from her grandmother and set to work. Katie rolled out the crust (her first! yay katie) and graciously let me zest the lemon after I nerdily announced just how happy it makes me. (you’re hands smell like lemon for hours after and you’re left with the prettiest pile of pale yellow, pungent shavings!!! what could be better…well.. creamed butter maybe…) We whipped it up in a jiff, watched Slings and Arrows while it baked, let it set overnight and then had it for breakfast! It was a lovely way to start the morning. A tart little slice, reminding me very much of a lemon bar in pie form, was just what I needed before my eleven hours of traveling.
So, here I am in Florida, staying with the most gracious of hosts Lisa and Doug. I’ve met the crew and key players of Bob Roth’s New River Groves (which is where they sell the famous key lime pie) and I start tomorrow. I have a feeling that they will teach me a lot, but that I’ll also get to give a little back… they really want to make a bourbon bacon pecan pie tomorrow, and who am I to say no to bourbon bacon and pecans…
My pie education continues and if the rain ever abates I may even get a tan during this leg of the trip!