One of the biggest surprises we had while we were working on the cookbook was regarding pie crust---and how hard the making of it can be to explain. Fact: There are lots of ways to make pie crust, many of…
Hey guys, this is a quick dispatch from Austin, Texas, where Tim and I are holed up for the week. We flew here on my birthday Monday and picked up groceries from one of the five Whole Foods Markets in…
You say that you can’t cook; I say, Give it time. I know it looks like people are born with fresh muffins coming out of their ovens, but it’s not true. Everybody starts somewhere. And the first time you try to cook, especially if that first time is when you’re no longer a kid and there’s nobody around to tell you what to do, it’s scary because you don’t know what will happen. Everybody knows this. Most people forget this, but everybody knows this. We all have different motivations for trying something in the kitchen at the beginning: adventure, curiosity, boredom, hunger, need. Whatever yours is, I probably felt it at one point or another. I grew up in a cooking household, the kind where my mom made dinner every night and my grandma’s life centered around what was simmering on the stove. I don’t remember learning from them to love to eat; I think I absorbed it naturally, the way I absorbed language or liking to laugh. Learning to cook was something different, though. Learning to cook took time—takes time—I mean, because, in a lot of ways, learning to cook is something I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.
Is it too slight a thing
To have lived long in September,
To have caught the golden light,
To later have these days, “Remember?”;
(Could we hold so much in
Our grasp, yet reckon things askew,
Because the things we hold are
Moving, moving, like things do?)
I bake a pie on Friday,
I bake a pie today.
Is it too slight a thing to get to
(That’s our way).
At night, I miss the golden hour,
In life, I’ll miss these days—
When we were happy, simple, full,
Working from bed,
Baking our pies,
Laughing at night—
I say this now to know,
Everybody wants a piece of the pie, everybody wants a “How high you fly!”
We’re all looking for something, something to say that we count.
We meet and we’re asked, “What’s your something?”
We meet and we’re asked, “Who are you?”
“I’m my family,” “my beauty,” “my job skills,”
“My companion,” “my food blog,” “my work.”
But deep down, there’s somewhere a gnawing,
Deep down, there’s somewhere an ache.
We can mask it and hide it and hope that
Our efforts to cover will work.
“I’ve got it!” “I’ve won it!” “I’ve made it!”
“Look at me!” “Now, at last, I’m complete!”
But deep down, there’s still somewhere a gnawing,
Deep down, unmasked, still that ache.
When we know this, when we see this, when we are this,
Why don’t we respond to the root?
Instead of ever reaching and striving,
Instead of just joining the race,
Why don’t we step back, slow, and realize
What’s driving our envy, snubbing and spite:
We’re, all of us, everywhere, hungry,
Hungry for wholeness, hungry for life.
All our pushing, for small fame and fortune,
For approval and high-fives and praise,
Is, all of it, every time, grasping,
For something much greater than that.
There’s a secret, locked up in there, hidden,
A secret you learn at the top—Solomon, that rich man, once said it:
These things we want won’t fill us up.
“All is vanity,” so says the preacher. “All is empty,” he finally concludes.
We think we want Big Brand to see us. We think we want That Guy to stop.
But that pushing, that fighting, that clawing,
Is such a fast, black waste of time.
They won’t fill you up! They are empty!
What you want is the water that lasts!
So why not open-hand it and drop what
Was never yours, in fact, at all:
Everybody wants a piece of your pie—Let ’em have it.
There’s much more to fill empty palms.
Tim and I made these red fruit hand pies a few weeks ago, but I’ve been going back and forth about whether to tell you about them.
I can be kind of a perfectionist.
Note I did not write, I can be kind of perfect. Perfect people wouldn’t be perfectionists. They wouldn’t have to waste their time frustrating themselves and those around them with the pursuit of the unattainable. They’d be the unattainable. Of course, they also would be imaginary because perfect people don’t exist. Chasing perfection is a losing battle. Chasing perfection is a battle I want to stop. So I’m starting right now. With rustic red fruit hand pies. Here I am, Shanna Mallon, 30 years old, maker of mismatched hand pies, nice to meet you, hello, how are you, let’s talk.
It’s no surprise to say that I love words—especially written words. Maybe all writers feel this way. I communicate better with what I write that what I say, and, usually, I understand better what I read than what I hear. So when I read Tim’s post below, that’s what I thought: I love reading his perspective, in black and white. I also, in this case, love being reminded of the same arguments I (and he) have to rehearse regularly, to keep creating, to keep learning, to enjoy the process. The bonus is the killer chocolate blueberry pie—a sophisticated take on the classic.
I’m not a baker, but I baked a pretty darn good blueberry chocolate pie. One of the lessons I have been learning in life is that while I might not know how to do something, or maybe I have some interest in doing something but am not very good at it, most of the time, it is still worth doing. Sure, we could discuss how many things there are that people are interested in doing that are not worthwhile or illegal or something. That’s not what I am talking about here. I am talking about the stuff that stretches your mind and perspective. In fact this is the type of thing I have always enjoyed, but Shanna has really helped me see it even better.
Creating things because we are designed to be like our Creator and because it connects with us in deep ways is reason enough to try many new things, regardless of the praise or lack thereof we receive for creating. Trying new things could make us boastful because of everything we have tried, but actually it should make us humble, if we are really being honest with ourselves, because sooner or later we see our lack of ability or weakness. As humans, we are finite. We cannot do everything. We are all fitted to some things better than others, and learning that is actually good. Stay with me.