Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Greetings from Art of the Pie Camp 2016



MommyDoc posts tend to focus on healthcare anecdotes about trying to survive and thrive being both a mom and doctor.  Today, I wanted to talk about another slice of my life (pun intended.) After all, there is an art and science to making pie, just as there is to practicing medicine.  

“Mommy, lets make pie!” My daughter and I have a few special activities we enjoy doing together.  Pie making is one of them.  Last May, I spent 5 days learning everything you never knew you needed to know about making crust, filling, and baking the perfect pie under the expert instruction of Kate McDermott.  

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  So imagine my excitement when I was invited back this year to help instruct a new group of pie makers from around the country for Pie Camp 2016.  I jumped at the chance to return and refresh my skills. 

Practicing medicine and baking pies take patience, practice, and the end results are truly a labor of love.  After returning from camp, my daughter and I began making fruit pies together. She loves mixing fruit filling, pouring it into the pie pan, and covering the top with lattice strips. Her specialty is brushing on the egg white wash and lightly dusting the top with sugar before it goes in the oven. 

 My boys even get in on the action when they see me put gingersnaps into a plastic bag and bring out the rolling pin to make another favorite:  Buttermilk Pie (popular during the Great Depression) with a gingersnap crust. That means it is time to beat gingersnaps into fine crumbs.  Oh how they love to hit things repeatedly until they are broken into tiny little pieces. 

 After the pie goes into the oven, they all wait patiently to watch it come out of the oven and see the fruits of their labor.  However, as our year became busier with school and activities, pie-making was pushed to the back burner (pun intended again.)  Driving up north Wednesday, I was looking forward to spending time with my hands immersed in dough made from scratch and working with fruit of “pie worthy” quality.  However, doubt creeped in as I contemplated if my skills were adequate to assist Kate teaching others the art of making pie?  

Throughout medical training we are told the best way to acquire a new skill is to “see one, do one, and then teach one.”  I spent time seeing pies made, doing it myself, and then teaching my children some of the steps in the process.  Passing on this knowledge by teaching was the logical next step in my journey.  

This week has reminded me the science and art of making pies, like medicine, can sometimes be unpredictable but the time spent teaching others a skill they can share with their loved ones is priceless and the stuff of which beautiful memories are made.

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