This nectarine pie was an ode to my friend Chris - a celebration of the garden he launched at the hospital where he works. I decided to pause, to give Chris the accolades he deserved, and lately, my celebrations and sentiments come in the form of pie.
This cake was from one year ago. It's a belated post because I was busy living, busy saying yes to adventures that pushed me beyond my comfort levels. Belated because I chose to rest. Belated because I didn't quite have the right words yet, but everything comes at its due time. The due time for sharing this cake was one year later: a chocolate-hazelnut bookend. Revisiting these cake memories has been my way of reminiscing and celebrating Ben's special day until we can celebrate together.
I've been inspired by pie, by combining my love of drawing and baking in freeform pie crusts. I've found freedom in the fraisage method of folding butter into whole grains. I've found mindfulness in carving pie crust into delicate, fleeting flowers. And of course, there's no reward quite like flaky pie crust, warm summer berries, and a scoop of ice cream.
As June came to a close, Dylan and I swayed in a hammock atop a tree-lined hill. The pups circled their leashes around our support trees while we schemed and dreamed how to fill the summer with intention. What would we do to embrace the heat? Where would we go to find quiet? What activities would we remember years from now? The Summer 2021 Bucket List emerged on the page. More poolside hangs? More berry crisps? More scoops of ice cream? Yes, please!
By the weekend, I sounded like a caricature of a chain-smoking granny. My voice was shot. Probably a white flag of surrender from my body amidst a whirlwind two months. There was a trip to Florida. A trip to Nola. A beach photoshoot. A decision on a puppy... and more!
It takes a LOT of coffee to fuel big dreams, and my cookbook was no exception. Fun fact: I put the finishing touches on my manuscript while caffeinating at the Commonplace Coffee in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, which is why I’m excited to partner with them on a giveaway.