Editor’s note: This month we begin a new monthly blog series, On Your Mark. The series highlights the lives of Racers — their personalities and their passions and their principles. Some posts — like this first one — we anticipate you’ll find whimsical. Others we hope will encourage you to think deeper about what matters to Racers, such as how diversity makes teams stronger and smarter. We are eager for you to join us on the starting line as our Racers take their mark. Please don’t hesitate to let us know what you think.
In my career as a Racer, I’ve been recognized for a few things:
- My positive attitude even when there are three clients waiting on hold, an analyst who wants a quote ASAP, and a pile of creative briefs that need to get done.
- My willingness to always participate in a good group chat — even when that “chat” is online.
- My love of food.
Yes, food! While my love of food doesn’t necessarily guide my abilities as a PR professional, it is one of my strongest passions. Of course, I love to eat. That’s number one. But there’s so much more to food than just eating it. I’m captivated by the world of food: how it’s made, where it comes from, and how we talk about it.
I could go on about my love of food, but for today, this blog has a point: January 23rd was National Pie Day! Yes, before you ask — I also assumed the day landed on March 14 — but that’s the math-related Pi Day, i.e., 3.14. So, we’re going to talk about what I consider real pie — a wonderful food whether served savory or sweet.
The fundamentals of pie
At its most basic, pie is comprised of two elements: crust and filling. It’s what’s done with those two elements that makes a pie truly special — and delicious.
The crust: sustainable and scrumptious
For the crust, I’m partial to an all-butter dough. When it comes to an ingredient list – simple is best. Flour, butter, salt, and iced water. But when I really dig into it, these ingredients are anything but simple when I think about their journey to my pantry.
The flour, all-purpose from King Arthur Baking Company is my go-to, was cultivated on a farm that likely used farming equipment and technology that makes farming more precise and sustainable. The butter, European-style lends to a flakier crust, comes from cows that might’ve been tracked via wireless sensors to monitor their location and overall health. And then, the entire supply chain that these ingredients travel through to get to my grocery store — it’s all very complex.
The filling: local, of course
While the ingredients for the crust can be sourced locally — flour from a local mill and butter from a nearby dairy farm — the reliability of store-bought wins for an average pie making session. For the filling however, I like to go local whenever I can.
In the summertime when fresh produce is at its best in the Northeast, I head to my farmer’s market to grab whatever fruit looks the brightest, juiciest, and most appetizing. Sometimes it’s overflowing cartons of berries, or crates of bright orange, yellow, and red peaches and nectarines.
Putting it all together — or not
Once your crust is made and your filling is mixed — fresh fruit, squeeze of lemon juice, sprinkle of granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt — you’re halfway to pie time. Putting the pie together requires a vision and creativity — just like anything that we do in work or life.
Do you lattice the top crust? Crimp or scallop the edges? If you’re like me, you nix the pie pan all together and make a free-formed galette on a rimmed baking sheet. This lends itself to something very rustic-looking. In my opinion, it also yields a better crust to filling ratio. Now, if only I’d realized there was a National Galette Day.
Bake it, let cool, and dig in. What are you waiting for? Seriously, go bake some pie. You won’t regret it — because as far as I’m concerned, every day should be National Pie Day.