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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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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!

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1 comment

1 Monika Spykerman { 01.23.12 at 10:49 am }

National Pie Day! Forget Christmas, New Year’s, Hannukah, and Fourth of July, Thanksgiving (which is practically National Pie Day, except you’re forced to eat a bunch of turkey and stuffing before you can get to the good stuff) – this is EVEN BETTER!

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