The planets aligned this weekend.
Three crazy busy families were able to share probably the most beautiful weekend of the summer together.
At my house.
In my garden.
Into my life.
And I am refreshed and encouraged and grounded by two lovely young women; one I gave birth to, the other I 'adopted' into my heart. Both of them came toting the younger of their children. A special treat for all involved. While the absence of the elder children was felt, it was also a good, good thing to get some one on one with the youngers. It was also good to see how dependent the youngers are on their older sibs for modeling and companionship. Did our hearts good to see them miss their brother and sister in their own ways.
If I had just one reason for learning to sew, it would have been to be able to meet my beloved Pretend Daughter, Kris.
Because of her keen styling sense, she approached my daughter in their Bradley Classes in regard to the bags that my daughter carried, made by my hand. The normally subdued, somewhat shy PDK, asked my daughter about the bags that she carried and thus began our adoption process. PDK and I are kindred in many areas and 'get' each other. PDK's mama left this earth far too soon and as my relationship with PDK develops, I find that her mama and I would probably had been very good friends. It is with great pleasure that I care for this young woman in a minimal, long distance kinda way that I believe her own mama would have been pleased with.
I just love this child bearing, droll humoring, garden hugging, book reading, crafting, husband loving, organically influenced, gourmet chef, pie baking young friend of mine.
Did I mention pie?
I have no skill for pie.
I am too scared to make it work. I overwork and over heat to make it any good.
I have to make up new names for the mess that it ends up being just to justify the effort.
When I found out that PDK puts together a pie at the drop of a hat, I swooned. I do so admire pie bakers.
I had her attend my first mama's collection retreat to instruct us other not so nimble bakers, all her skills. I took notes and watched and then later experimented. And it got more comfortable. I could even say that perhaps I can now say, with the right recipe, courtesy of Cook's Illustrated and freezing cold vodka, I can now make an acceptable pie.
When PDK noted on Facebook that she had collected buckets of blueberries recently, my little taste buds suddenly wokied up with dreams of fresh, blueberry pie.
The confluence of events came together when a mid summer visit was planned with Eldest/Admin and PDK and the Two Youngers.
After a bit of suggesting and begging, I was assured that berries were coming my way.
I did have to build up quite the gumption to bake a pie for my Pie Idol. But because of her acceptance of me and all my flaws, I pursued on to Pie Nirvana.
Yes. In my very kitchen. And with the resounding approval of the one that I would like most to impress.
The ladies came into the kitchen as I was putting the Epic together and I listened to the story by PDK about the day that she picked the bountiful blueberries. Her two children accompanied her to the berry ranch. She told of their childlike stamina and of the fun that such a jaunt provides. She told of the chance meeting of others in her family at the same blueberry ranch. While she spoke, my mind started unfolding the passion and love that this humble pie was beginning to represent.
Here I was, on this most temperate day, listening to the young ladies resting in my vintage lawn chairs as their children slept and they kept watchful ears to the monitors turned to their precious babes. I listened as they shared their lives and hopes and thoughts. I mixed and rolled and cooked, doing the very thing that I love most in the world - making my lovelies comfortable and comforted.
I thought about the love the berries represented. How PDK gathered and picked and carried three hours in ice to get to me fresh and bake worthy. I thought of the love of my E/A and her willingness to share her mama with this wonderful friend. I thought of the tutelage of many a pie from my ever watchful Hubby. I thought of the loving, detailed God that I serve, allowing this kismetian weekend to occur, custom made for me.
We oohed and ahhed while the perfume of this masterpiece permeated the air. We patiently waited for it to cool properly by walking the dogs and babies. We tested and guessed and proclaimed it Ready.
Hubby had hustled off the store to get just the right vanilla ice cream to accompany this gastronomic event.
I cut into it.
It did not run.
It did not stick.
It was golden in just the right places.
The steam from it was just the right temperature.
The ice cream melted just the right amount.
And I presented PDK the first piece, the silence of reflection and our anticipation was palpable.
And then it happened.
It was pronounced the Best Pie Ever.
I'm sure it was because she was in my presence and I had just fed her the Ultimate Summer Supper that encouraged her enthusiastic statement, but it melted my heart as easily as the ice cream on that very warm pie.
Even her three year old son appreciated the yumminess of the event. Leaving barely a morsel and essentially nothing on his face and clothes and looking for more on his mama's plate, made this eager to please Mimi, euphoric.
We sat for awhile extolling the virtues of pie. I pronounced it an act of love. I pronounced pie making a gift, beyond just a dessert. I pronounced it a wonderful way to end an amazing day.
Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of friends who arrive bearing more gifts than they are even aware of.....)