Today is Pi Day–the day when math teachers everywhere get their geek on, sport their favorite pi t-shirt, and a big math party all day long. For those of you unschooled, it is 3.14..something something something…I don’t know. I’m a music teacher by trade. All I know is that the number pi is non-repeating and super important to lots of math (especially as it involves circles, I’m told.)
I think math teachers have got the right idea–not only is it a big excuse to have a party in the middle of March (3-14, get it? Get it?) when everyone is starting to climb the walls ahead of spring break, it goes right along that someone thought it would be a good idea to eat pie.
Whenever I think of pie (the yummy kind, not the numbers kind) I always think of my grandmother. Thanksgiving and Christmas as my Mema’s house would not be complete without about a million pies. I think she does the math, and it comes out to like 1.5 pies a person, (pies mind, not pieces of pie. Not Scotch, is my grandmother) which is insane as most of us are only in town for three or so days…
When I was little, I remember helping her make pie after pie after pie coming up tot he holidays. She’d get the whole operation going and had an assembly line approach to the whole thing. I liked rolling out dough with the rolling pin. I didn’t like sifting flour with the old sifter that you had to squeeze because it hurt my little girl hands. (I have one that has a turning wheel now, as an adult.) I loved helping with pies. I think it was more because I liked being with my grandmother, and any excuse was good enough–especially one that led to dessert at the end.
Pies also make me think of my father. My dad loves cherry pie–we come from good Northern stock, and you will see nary a chess or sweet potato pie in the lot; fruit pies are the thing. Anyway, my father lives for cherry pie–I once brought a 5 pound tub of frozen tart cherries home from a vacation just for him. My dad is mad for cherry pie. Unfortunately for him, all of his six children feel similarly.
In my family, if somebody cuts the cherry pie, you had best eat a piece immediately. It doesn’t matter if you think you may explode. It is eat or miss your chance, because that pie will be gone in approximately twenty minutes…maybe…if half the family doesn’t realize someone brought the cherry pie in.
I love pie, but I don’t have it very often. Getting the crust flaking and light is tricky and also makes a mess. Usually, I go in for something quicker and less involved, like brownies or cake, if I have a dessert to make. But pie is something special. To me, it symbolizes memories and families and important occasions. It makes me think of Christmas and standing around rehashing bygone days. It is about fighting for the last piece of cherry. Lamenting that nobody made apple. It is about sharing the history.
Happy Pi(e) Day.