What does this bright shiny piece of glass (it's really an ashtray...but that's not PC) have to do with pie? A lot I tell you, but it might take me a while to tie it into my story.
This is one of my husband's prized possessions. It is a piece of his past. One of those familiar things that sits in your parent's house for years while you're growing up. Somehow when you find yourself all grown up, that's the one thing you want even though there is no seeming value to anyone. Actually his brother knew how much he loved it and gave it to him as a gift. It's is one of the things we hand carried and didn't trust to the moving truck.
My version of the crystal ash tray is this oblong green Haegar bowl. I got it years ago at "Hot Sam's" Antiques in Lakeville, MN who's motto is "Everything from the priceless, to the tasteless". To me it is priceless. I paid all of five dollars for it.
Naturally, any place we call home, would have to at least have these two keepsakes anchoring our home. Los Angeles is now our home and this bowl of juicy nectarines helped me to get one step closer to feeling part of the community.
When we left Minneapolis, my lovely food blogging friends threw me a wonderful party hosted by my friend Amanda of Healthy Life, Happy Cook aka @sweetnsnazzy. Picture a turn of the century brownstone with a storybook worthy back courtyard. Beautiful flowers and tables set up filled with watermelon mojitos, smoked pork tacos and every fixing imaginable, topped off by Key lime tarts, plum upside down cake and designer cupcakes. These women are some of the most creative and warm people I've ever met.
I swear, I'm getting to the pie part. If the party wasn't enough, the ladies gave me a cookbook, "Joy the Baker Cookbook - 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes" written by one of my all time favorite food bloggers Joy Wilson of Joy the Baker !! Here it comes...last week, I found out a local LA radio station KCRW sponsors a PIE contest and Joy was one of the judges! Bingo. This was a sign...a way for me to start to feel more at home here in LA, and maybe, just maybe I could meet Joy. I don't want this to sound creepy, I'm not a stalker! I listen toJoy and her best friend Tracy of Shutterbean.com on their podcast called "Homefries".every week. The podcast fills us in on their crazy antics and life philosophies. I love it. It reminds me to find the humor in life's day to day experiences, and not take things (or myself) so seriously. Reminding us all It's good for your health to giggle and enjoy the ride!
So, I entered on the very last day they were taking contestants. Now, what kind of pie to make? My family's favorite is this one, Fresh Blueberry Pie, but I couldn't find good blueberries at the market. These nectarines were juicy good, so I improvised and made the same recipe using nectarines, but added a little interest with some added basil (for fun).
It turned out pretty well. The only hitch was this pie is best when it's chilled and the contest is held outdoors of course, so that made for a sad, yet pretty pie.
The venue. The LA County Art Museum Super cool place for a pie contest don't you think? We gained free admission buy wearing aprons that day.
Turns out this is a really big deal. Lots of pie. Lots of happy people.
A couple of my favorite people showed up!
|Pies after the twelve celebrity judges had their fill.|
Last, but not least. I met her! Let me tell you Joy is the same delightful person (in person) as she is on her blog and podcast. I won the contest just by having the opportunity to meet her.
"Home is where the pie is"...or something like that.