Ah yes, Pi(e) Day. Though I've been celebrating for 5 consecutive years now, I still have those moments, in the midst of publicizing and wheeling a cart full of Whole Foods-donated butter down the street (no wait, that was awesome), coordinating and baking for three days straight, where I wonder why I'm doing it. But then the ol' 3.14 rolls around, and the homemade pies and bakers start to show up, the guests arrive, and we all gorge on pie, work it off in a pi(e) walk/dance, raise a bunch of money for a good cause, and it's all really inspiring and fun and totally worth it. That being said, the next day I did make a beeline to the woods of Virginia for an unplugged cabin weekend getaway with some gal pals. But I'm back and ready to write about it and even starting to think about making pie again...
This year's Pi(e) Day was a benefit for Common Good City Farm, a DC-based urban farm and sustainable agriculture non-profit that employees teens during the summer and coordinates other local food-based programming. Because we encourage local and seasonal produce in the pies we make for Pi(e) Day, I thought it would be nice to bring this connection full circle (with a circumference of 2piR). Elizabeth and Anita, employees at the farm, were wonderful to work with and contributed pies, loaned tables, and were a big help with press and recruiting volunteers.
As was the case last year too, we got some really wonderful press leading up to the event. It was posted on various pages of the Washington Post and the Express, was blurbed on The Huffington Post, Daily Candy, ScoutMob, BYT, and lots of local blogs. American Food Roots even did this sweet little piece in which I make a pie nerd cameo. After all of this came out and we had well over 100 attending on Facebook, I once again started to worry if we'd have enough pie.
But we did--at least for a good part of the evening. I actually lost count of how many, but I'm pretty sure it was well over 30, with some arriving slowly but surely for much-needed reinforcements when other plates had been cleaned. There was Chile Relleño Pie and Blueberry Ginger Pie, Bourbon Bacon Pecan Pie and Aztec Chocolate Chess Pie, Peanut Butter Honeycomb Pie and Vegan Spaghetti Pie and many more. I made 2 Hoosier Sugar Cream Pies, 2 Butterscotch Meringue Pies, Pimento Cheese-Tomato Pie, Pear & Cardamom Fig Pie, a Chocolate Mousse and Hazelnut Tart, a Peanut Butter Chess Pie, and Chocolate Ganache & Almond Tartlets. I'll post the recipes for just about all of them soon. Though I can't vouch for everything, all the pies I tried were delicious.
In addition to all those pies, the evening was set off by the ladies of The Runcible Spoon, who hawked their fancifully collaged food zines and led an AMAZING "What Time Is It? Pi(e) Time!" watch-making craft! I kept mine on for 2 days so it would always be 3:14. Other highlights were when Star, the managing director at The Dunes handed me a beer as soon as I'd finished setting up (she read my mind even before I knew what I was thinking!), the dance-worthy jams by DJ Dianamatic, Carrie Nation, and Bottle Rocket, and the end-of-the-night Pi(e) Walk led by the surprise emcee Grant Dickie! I tried to get people to soul-train for the jar of whipped cream, but to no avail. I don't know why, though, because that jar was beautiful.
All in all, it was a very fun celebration of community, local food, and homemade pie, all in the lofted and light-filled space of The Dunes (the bar helped too). We had about 140 people in attendance and raised almost $900 for Common Good City Farm! We were also part of a network of friends across the country hosting Pi(e) Day events, including Berenbaums in Durham, NC, Dale's Fried Pies in Knoxville, TN, more friends in Harrisonburg, VA, and my aunt Chantelle in South Bend, IN. They were all celebrating pie, math, and community for good causes, even if it was just getting together with a few friends. Though the Obamas didn't come (I invited them), I'd still call it quite a success.
I'd like to extend a very special thanks to our Pi(e) Day 2013 Baking Team of Amy, Anita, Bradley, Carolyn, Catherine, Claire, Elizabeth, Emily, Felicity (pictured above, top photo), Jared, Jenelle, Katy, Kara, Kari, Kiran, Liz, Miranda (pictured above, bottom photo), Samantha, Tamara, Teeny, and Yael. Special thanks also to DJs Dianamatic, Carrie Nation, and Bottlerocket, The Dunes, Whole Foods on P St. for donating ingredients, The Runcible Spoon, and Common Good City Farm for being such great partners. And thanks to everyone who came and ate, busted a move in the Pi(e) Walk, and supported local agriculture in our nation's capital. Only 359 days left 'til Pi(e) Day 2014!
But if you haven't had enough this year, make sure to check out the blogs of Pi(e) Day 2013 Baking Team members Catherine, Kari, and Teeny for more DC Pi(e) Day posts and recipes!