Happy New Year! It’s June (not October)

No, it’s not October, but unbelievably it is mid-June! A little testing hiccup recently re-sent subscribers a posting from October. Thanks to those of you who noticed! Incentive enough for me to write my Happy New Year message!

What?? But it’s June!

And I say Wabi Sabi.

I have Sheri Salata and Nancy Hala of the This is Fifty podcast to thank for my introduction to wabi sabi through their interview last fall of Arielle Ford, author of Wabi Sabi Love

Wabi sabi is a Japanese aesthetic, a world view, if you will, of the acceptance of imperfection; the Japanese art of appreciating the beauty in the naturally imperfect world. To live a wabi sabi life is to honor the cracks and the broken bits and the beauty in the imperfect.  Nothing is perfect. Celebrate beauty in what’s natural, flaws and all. Even ourselves.

Arielle Ford says “in the cracks is where the magic is.”

I like this lens of a wabi sabi life and have been thinking about my experiences over the past year.

In October 2017, I had the enormous good fortune to visit Kate McDermott, author of Art of the Pie(c) at her home, Pie Cottage. I was nervous. REALLY nervous. I have gained some confidence in my poetry over the past year, but pie?  And I was going to visit the queen of the kingdom of pie. What if she saw through my pie bravado?  NO worries there because I confessed immediately. Kate doesn’t see herself or pie that way.

What I think I learned was wabi sabi pie.

Brene Brown may have taught us all about the gifts of imperfection. Kate McDermott teaches us to embrace the imperfection of pie!

If you follow pie at all these days, you have noticed that pie has made a resurgence and there are bakers that are pushing the artistic boundaries and making pies almost to pretty to eat! Kate guides her students to dive in with inexperienced hands and feel the dough and to put love and good intentions into the process while you are at it.  A crack rolling out the crust? No worries! Fold and roll. In the cracks is where the magic is !

More poignantly, I have a friend who is battling cancer and in that profound way that people facing a health crisis can say, has reminded me that ‘life is precious. Don’t waste a drop.’


And like Anne Lamott would say, Don’t let stupid things like the jiggly bits keep you from jumping in the pool!

In the cracks is where the magic is-embrace it all. I hope you’ll join me in appreciating this wabi sabi view of life.

Happy New Year.

Happy Father’s Day- or a little Pieppreciation

I’ve been thinking lately about family legacy, memories and pie. My friend Carole Murko with Heirloom Meals celebrates treasured family recipes and the memories that accompany them. For many people, pie memories relate to a mother or a grandmother’s passed down recipes.  Like Chrissy Kinsman who I met on Martha’s Vineyard recently, who holds vivid memories of her Grandmother Helen baking, especially biscuits. Chrissy still has her Grandma Helen’s rolling pin. I also had a grandmother who was something of a pie maker, but she was a bit of a mystery baker. One never knew exactly what was in Grandma Ludwig’s Thanksgiving mincemeat pie. It was definitely meat, but one year urban legend had it from an animal you didn’t want to eat. I shiver.  She got points for creativity.

For me- pie is a memory connected with my father. And I am doubly blessed to still have my father today to talk over some of these old times. My father was a restauranteur. A Midwest family style restaurant chain, L-K Restaurants, was started by my grandfather and expanded by my dad and his brother.  When I was a little girl, my dad started as the manager of one restaurant in Mansfield, Ohio and I remember he went in very early to start the day. A day that included pie.

Spending time with my dad a few weeks ago led me to the discovery of his worn three ring binder with yellowed pages of all the original restaurant recipes- including a pie bonanza!  Fruit pies, cream pies, his crust recipes. Interesting to me were separate recipes for Hot House Rhubarb Pie and Home Grown Rhubarb Pie. There are cream and meringue and fluff pies. Oddly enough, the one pie L-K became famous for in the 1960’s and 1970’s – fresh strawberry pie- is missing from the notebook!  My family-including my grandfather and cousins- all loved that strawberry pie!  I think my next project will be to bake the pies from these recipes one by one, hopefully with my dad at my side!  The L-K vegetable soup was also a fan favorite. I have the recipe!

In the summers, we spent time in Georgian Bay, Ontario where the wild blueberries are plentiful, unless the bears get them first. It was there that my father made me my first birthday blueberry pie. I have wanted a blueberry pie for my birthday every year since. Cherished memories.

The very first page in my father’s three ring binder of recipes is a recipe for Family Pie.

Family Pie

One handful of forgiveness,

One heaping cupful of love,

A pound of unselfishness,

Mixed together smoothly,

With complete faith in God.

Add two tablespoons of wisdom,

One teaspoon of good nature for flavoring

And sprinkle generously with thoughtfulness.

This makes a wonderful family pie.

One complete pie will serve any size family.


Wishing you a heaping helping of family pie and cherished memories of your own this Father’s Day.

Happy Father’s Day Dad! With pieppreciation.

If I could just make pie! – Chrissy Kinsman, Pie Chicks

Last week I had a poetry & pie stop on Martha’s Vineyard which led me to Chrissy Kinsman, the Pie Chick! Wouldn’t you know that Chrissy was also an Ohio native (Avon Lake) and a graduate of The Ohio State University?

Chrissy not only provided wonderful pies for Poetry & Pie, she bakes upwards of 500-700 pies a week in season for the hungry pie eaters on Martha’s Vineyard. After graduating from OSU with a finance degree, she tried the expected route with office –based work. Maybe her Grandma Helen had infused her with pie dreams, because out of dissatisfaction with work as a bookkeeper and business manager and in non-profit development, she hoped for work to feed her soul and one day said to her husband, “If I could only make pie!!”

And so she did! What? Like the often quoted “change requires a leap of faith” or Julia Cameron’s “Leap and the net will appear.” She started making pies and selling at a farm stand and within 4 months was a full time pie chick!

Chrissy didn’t just leap into the kitchen- a family legacy of baking existed and she had dreamed and doodled her logo. And she believed in the joy pie brings, the anticipation that something good is coming. Doesn’t everyone look first at the pie before eating Thanksgiving dinner? And, by the way, pumpkin is her favorite.

She teaches her kitchen team to think of the joy of those who will receive and eat the pie and encourages her bakers to put that joy in the baking, to give –because the generosity of spirit bounces back to you.

“You love to make pie or love the person you are making it for. There is magic in pie”

There is magic in believing in sharing your gifts and talents in the world. You can’t help but be glad Chrissy is sharing hers.  She inspires others to reach.  And the cherry blackberry?  Wow- a mouthful of summer.

Spent my weekend with a pie chick! Delish Martha’s Vineyard pie kitchen.
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