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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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Posts from — January 2012

Celebrating National Pie Day in Southwest Washington

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.” – Jane Austen, 1815

Some holidays shouldn’t be skipped. I’m adding National Pie Day to the list. Why is January 23 THE pie day? “Because celebrating the goodness of pie is as easy as 1-2-3,” says the American Pie Council, which created the holiday. In the words of Bobby Hill from King of the Hill, “You had me at fruit pies.” Me, too, Bobby.

In celebration of National Pie Day, we planned a Saturday morning field trip to Sweetie Pies in downtown Vancouver. Entering the shop, the scent of hot cinnamon rolls bowls us over. Is there a National Cinnamon Roll Day? Note to self: Research that holiday, too. Actually, National Cinnamon Bun Day (Kanelbullens Dag) is October 4 in Sweden. Another note to self: Future road trip?

Sweetie Pies in downtown Vancouver

Back to our closer-to-home research, Linda Davis opened Sweetie Pies in November 2011 in a shared space with Swoon at 1006 Main Street in downtown Vancouver. The pie shop is complemented by Swoon’s collection of antiques, vintage, resale and hand made clothing, jewelry and art among other collectibles.

A baker of pies for 40 years, Linda knows her pastries. Under her mother’s tutelage, she baked her first pie at age 13 or 14 in New York State. A former owner of Antiques and Country Décor in Camas, this businesswoman is now a professional baker.

Today’s selections include rhubarb and mixed berry pies. They share the counter with cinnamon rolls, lemon bars and cookies. Three of Linda’s collection of 30 or so vintage rolling pins hang on the wall.

Pastries of the day

Linda serves up hot cinnamon rolls behind the counter displaying rhubarb and mixed berry pies

A perfect crust


Making a decent crust has always been the downfall of this blogger. Linda’s advice? Don’t overhandle the dough. Don’t use too much water. Use ice water and keep everything cold including utensils and bowls, which can be kept in the freezer until needed. “The colder the better,” she says. Keep the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes.

The perfect research project

Moment of pie-tasting truth

After tasting Linda’s pies, I make a silent pledge to permanently give up frozen, store-bought pie crusts. Sweetie Pies’ crusts are flaky and buttery. The fruit-fillings are perfectly sweetened and downright succulent. This being 10 a.m. and election season, I’m thinking that “Pie for breakfast” would make an excellent campaign slogan. Why not? “Pie is the food of the heroic. No pie eating nation can ever be vanquished,” the New York Times allegedly reported in 1902.

The very happy pie taster

Linda Davis, Piemaker

So let’s celebrate! The American Pie Council suggests making, eating and/or giving a pie on the day. Other days work, too, no doubt. Find their history of pies and pie making tips here.

Pie Recommendations for Southwest Washington
Here is a handy pie reference list, recommended by genuine pie eaters (thanks, Gian and Franji!) in Southwest Washington. Feel free to add your favorites by commenting.

VANCOUVER– Sweetie Pies – Try everything!
LONGVIEW Judy’s Restaurant and Catering – with high recommendations for Peanut Butter Pie, Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Pie and Marionberry Pie
CHEHALISMarket Street Bakery and Cafe – with accolades for the Marionberry Tart
CENTRALIAThe Good Lunch – Oatmeal Pie especially suggested
CENTRALIABerry Fields – all pies recommended
WHITE SALMONSweet Things Kitchen – also available in Stevenson at the A&J Select Market and Chuck’s Produce in Vancouver
OCEAN PARKFull Circle Café – Check out their daily menu

And if you want to watch a quirky, fun movie about pies while enjoying your dessert, check out Waitress with Keri Russell, Jeremy Sisto and Nathan Fillon. It will be impossible to NOT crave pie while watching this film.

Get out there and eat pie!

And remember: January 23, 2012 is also the first day of Chinese New Year (aka Lunar New Year) but that’s another story. For a 2010 ZEST post on this colorful holiday celebrated by billions, visit Gung Hay Fat Choy!

January 22, 2012   1 Comment

Happy New Year! January 2012 Calendar

The days are short and wet but there is plenty happening in Southwest Washington during January. No need to hunker down. Get out there and get involved!

January 2012 – It’s ALL happening at the 13 Fort Vancouver Regional Library District branches. Here is the FVRL January Schedule of Events.

Rusty Grape Vineyards

January 14 Battle Ground Wine Loop – Noon to 5 p.m. This wine tour includes Heisen House Vineyards, Olequa Cellars and Rusty Grape Vineyards, where live music will start at 7 p.m. This will be a regular event on the second Saturdays of the month.

SOLD OUT! January 14The 2nd Annual Martin Luther King Breakfast will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Red Lion at the Quay, 100 Columbia Street, in Vancouver. the event theme is The Collaborative Society. Featured speakers are Jaymes Winters, CEO Blue Leopard Capital; Sarah Mensah, SVP, Portland Trailblazers; and Dr. James Mason, Exec Director, Cultural Caregiving, Providence. There will also be musical performances by Deborah Kimbrough, Gail Thomas and Violinist Shania Watts. This year’s event promises to be as inspirational as the 2011 breakfast. The event is hosted by Mosaic Blueprint. To purchase a ticket, click here.

January 14-15 – Windless Kite Festival, Long Beach School Gymnasium, Washington and 4th St South. It doesn’t take a windy day to fly a kite. Demonstrations and competitions last two days.

Saturday January 14th
10 – 11:30 am Demonstration Show
2 – 3:30 pm Indoor Ballet Competition
3:30 – 5 pm Free Flying & Lessons for all ages

Sunday January 15th
11 – 12 am Indoor Hot Tricks
12 – 1:30 pm Demonstration Show
1:30 – 2:30 pm Grand Finale

The gym is open for participant practice, demonstrations, and indoor flying lessons Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 5pm except during Performance Times. Admission: Donation

The Blacksmith Shop at Fort Vancouver

January 21Fort Vancouver Lantern Tour – A lantern tour of the Fort gives you a true sense of what the long winter nights were like for John McLoughlin and his crew. Costumed interpreters are on site for this popular event. The cost is $10 for adults and $7 for children under 15 years of age. Reservations are required. To make a reservation, call the Fort Vancouver Visitor Center at 360-816-6230.

January 21-22
First Long Beach Peninsula Razor Clam Dig of the Year! – Dates are always tentative but the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced digs on evening tides at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. Licenses are required. No clamming is allowed before noon. Go here to read a past ZEST blog post on clamming. For details read the official WDFW announcement. Here are the rules and regulations.

January 21-22 Antique and Collectible Show, Clark County Events Center. Saturday 9-6, Sunday 10-5 Admission is $6 – Good for both days. More than 400 booths of collectibles!

January 22Legends of Mexico-Leyendas de Mexico at 2 p.m. Columbia Theatre in Longview offers a delightful Rainy Day Series, which is family-friendly entertainment in the beautifully restored theatre. Nuestro Canto shares legends from all over Mexico and has composed music especially for the legends narrated during their performances. Tickets are only $5 and available here.

January 26-28Clark College Jazz Festival – This is the 50th year of the Clark College Jazz Festival! The Festival hosts more than 60 middle school and high school vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles in a three-day celebration of jazz. Gaiser Hall will be THE most musical site in Clark County during this renowned festival!

January 29 2nd Annual National Unpublished Writers’ Day Workshop at the Clark County Historical Museum. noon – 5 pm.

National Unpublished Writers’ Day is an annual event held in partnership between the Clark County Historical Museum, the Writing Center at Washington State University Vancouver, the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver. The event highlights The Brautigan Library Collection at the Museum, Washington-born writer Richard Brautigan who conceived the idea for a library where anyone could contribute unpublished books, regardless of content or quality of writing, and all those folks who wish to create or communicate through writing.

The free event will feature a series of “creative stations” and workshops around the Museum, each offering different opportunities to learn or experience something associated with different aspects or kinds of writing.

Lion Dance from the FVRL 2010 Chinese New Year Celebration

January 29Chinese New Year Celebration – 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Vancouver Community Library – Gung Hay Fat Choy! The new downtown library will be the site of this year’s lively Chinese New Year celebration in Vancouver. This is a wonderfully colorful, all-ages festival that will include Chinese New Year customs and history. Performances include singing, dancing, martial arts demonstration, Gu Zheng (Chinese musical instrument) and lion dance, which will be performed by the Portland Lee’s Association Lion Dance Team. Craft activities are available on Level 3 after the program. ZEST visited the 2010 Chinese New Year Celebration and had a great time! For more information, call 699-8831.

January 28-29Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – Vancouver’s excellent symphony features offers acclaimed violinist Francisco Garcia-Fullana playing he Sibelius Violin Concerto. The symphony will also perform Eugen Onegin: Polonaise by Tchaikovsky and Symphony No. 3 by Tchaikovsky with the passionate Salvador Brotons conducting. The Saturday performance is at 2 p.m. and Sunday evening’s concert begins at 7 p.m. at the Skyview Concert Hall. Individual tickets are available here. Better yet, buy the new three concert package!

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January 6, 2012   No Comments