(Google Image) This is a post which will find its way to PIE. So let’s cut to it.
Utah has a unique holiday in Pioneer Day which originated as a kind of Genesis to the state’s modern theocracy and food culture. July 24th is marked by the arrival of Mormon pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. It recognizes human suffering and the overcoming of faithful as the trek is both humbly remembered and proudly celebrated. Those early Saints who fled persecution in search of safe haven and religious freedom traveled Westward from Nauvoo, Illinois to the Great Salt Lake Valley. Their experiences have become canonized in stories around the camp fire, and sermons from the pulpit.
On the lighter side, the Utah Pioneers are celebrated through a host of community and family activities over a weekend. Families picnic and Cook out. Floats roll and bands march and play the length of parade routes as bystanders cheer and kids dive for scattering candy. Children dress in mock authentic trek clothing and ride in red rider wagon handcarts, or on bicycles with streamers spinning on spoked wheels and flying from banana seats. Rip roaring rodeos are held. Fireworks are set off. Pancake breakfasts are served up hot with syrup, bacon and eggs at the church park. 5k races take flight in the cool morning hours. And pies are baked and auctioned.
Some Utahans have even adopted an alternative name for Pioneer Day and call it Pie & Beer Day. I think the word play is amusing in spite of being alcoholically disrespectful. It doesn’t bother me though because I think it is healthy for people to be able to joke about their culture. To my not-Mormon friends, the church/state holiday is a blessed day off to relax with family and friends and for socializing with alcoholic beverages and sweets. As for me, I am in the middle these days with regard to observance. My family continues to participate in our small congregational activities, while non-member friends whom I exercise with down in the city go home after a sweat drench to shower and entertain with adult beverages. I continue to drive around a lot toward home.
The reason I say I am in the middle these days is I don’t believe in eating a heavy breakfast any day, and my lips don’t touch alcohol any hour, happy or not. So, I think it only fitting that I have created a new name for the holiday which works for me. See, I am done celebrating pioneers, I could care less about beer, and I honestly don’t eat much pie. This is what I have renamed the holiday:
Pie in the Ear Day
Don’t get me wrong. I love pie. When I used to celebrate birthdays with sweets, I chose pie rather than cake. We’d have rhubarb pie, or very berry, or apple pie with ice cream, or chocolate cream, or lemon merengue (my father’s favorite), or Coconut Cream (my husband’s favorite). It’s pie for me over most any cake….excepting strawberry shortcake. YUM.
Truth is, my eating and sweeting habits have changed. For the last two years I have been on a kickboxing kick. Exercise has changed the way I think about food and my choices in consumption. Any more, I don’t have to think once, or twice. I just don’t crave sweets much unless it is fruit in season, such as a sweet ripe locally grown apricot or an organic Gala apple.
So, my make and model of mockery in naming a State religious holiday is this:
Pie in Ear Day!! Yes! That’s right! You heard me correctly! Pie in Ear Day!!
Pie anywhere on the body is STICKY, yes, but I am thinking a pie in ear is less pie in the mouth. So, if for some reason the party were to get out of hand and a pie were thrown in my face (EAR), I would probably be okay, taste it, and joyfully retaliate. Ha ha. This is not going to happen though, cuz DEVON is not home. I have no resident pie maker anymore. She is in Vancouver for another year and she is the number one baker girl in the family. Some days I sorely miss my girl baking up chocolate chip cookie storms and holding the dough for ransom. I miss her getting angry at me for sneaking bites with my double dipping teaspoon. I just miss her.
Delanie doesn’t bake often like her sister did, but occasionally an event necessitates action. For instance, we found out late last night that she needed a pie to donate to a youth group Pie Auction. We were not prepared for this and I shut production down with certainty. “Ain’t nobody turning on the oven in this house in the heat of the Summer with temps climbing in the nineties, AND with NO AC!!! NO WAY!” Her brother Jason suggested she build an adobe oven outside. I wondered if we could make a pie in the grill or dutch oven. And then I offered my girl a couple of solutions:
1. Go to grandma’s vacant house next door and bake a peach pie, or
2. Drive to Park City, buy a frozen Marie Calendar Cream Pie, thaw it, and pass it off as one of your own. Hassle free! Right?!
Needless to say, my daughter did not like my suggestions. She went to the party anyway, pasty and pie-less, with no entry, and somewhat humiliated. The good news is there were MORE than enough pies auctioned and money raised for next year’s Girls Camp. Still, I’m kinda sad she wasn’t able to contribute a pie. Maybe I will buy a pie and serve it to the family as a Sunday peace offering. I wish LuLu’s Pie Shop were down the street. I like thinking about pie and pie shops…. as I wonder whether FAT thoughts make for FAT calories. Nahhhhh.