Pies # 20-24: "What will your verse be?"

Pie #20: Jeff Davis or Chess Pie
Pie #21: Tucker's Birthday Apple Pie
Pies #22-23: Two Strawberry Cream Pies
Pie # 24: Mary Kay's Blueberry Star Pie

I challenged myself back in June to bake 21 pies for family and friends and then write a blog entry for each endeavor. It is now the end of August, and I have accomplished that goal and more! As of today, I have baked 24 pies. This blog post will be a medley of all five of those pies.

The 20th pie was for one of my cute, young school friends who is almost eight months pregnant with her first child. She told me her favorite was a Jeff Davis pie. Wow. I had to Google that. This concoction was foreign to me, but I wanted to bake it for mama! After surfing the internet I discovered a myriad of different recipes. Then I opened my Pies and Tarts cookbook and found Chess Pie, which is basically the same as Jeff Davis. It involves blind baking a crust, and then mixing together sugar, flour, salt, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract for the filling. I attempted to one and a half the recipe (mistake) because I wanted to make a small pie for Rock and me so we could taste it since neither of us had ever even heard of it. Well....this pie was an epic fail. The taste was bland and flat. The only surprising discovery was the bourbon whipped cream! I was discouraged and almost tossed the big pie, but decided against it. Sarah did agree with me, though. Not enough sugar. I will attempt it again since I am determined to conquer this classic vintage recipe.

The 21st pie was for my nephew Tucker who just started his sophomore year at the local university here in town. Apple is a fan favorite of all of my nieces and nephews and Tuck is no exception. After sister delivered it to his new apartment, I received the cutest Facebook message: "Thank you so much and the pie was amazing!! Next time don't make it so good so my roommates don't steal it." You are welcome, my sweet boy.

The 22nd and 23rd pies were for my girlfriend Sally whose father passed away last week. She requested my strawberry cream pie; therefore, I made her two so all of the family members congregating at her home could enjoy them. This cool, refreshing pie is perfect because it is ungodly hot in Central Illinois right now! The only challenge was getting them to her home before they melted. My husband suggested that I put them in a cooler for transport. Perfect!

I just took the 24th pie out of the oven. Another dear friend of mine lost her mother this week, and I wanted to make her a comfort pie. Mary Kay first requested blueberry at the beginning of the summer; this is what I wanted to give her again today. I rose early to bake before the heat began to rise. I must admit that the traditional pies are my favorite to make. After putting some classical music on Spotify, I rolled out the dough, mixed together the blueberry filling, and carefully cut out stars for the top crust. It is a very meditative and calming process. It requires concentration yet my mind can wander and muse. This warm pie will be delivered within the hour with love and hugs.

I will continue this pie journey throughout this school year. It is my joy. It is my passion. It is my art. It is my poetry. It is my verse.

"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the power play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in Dead Poets Society.