Cam Bakes a Pie

I am famous for my pies, especially my peach pie. They are legendary in the family.

Did you notice, that I said I was famous for my peach pie, singular? I did not say peach “pies” because, well, up until last weekend there’s only been the one. But it had taken on mythical proportions.

There was a time back in the early 80’s, when Michelle was attending university and I was selling radio advertising, that I started baking pies. Many young men on their own for the first time drink, carouse, go to questionable entertainment establishments, and drink some more. I never developed a taste for alcohol so bars were never my thing. But eating pies was something I enjoyed and well, if you want a good pie, you need to make it yourself.

I tended to make apple pies but one time on a trip to visit Michelle’s family I took a peach pie that I had made. Michelle’s mom made awesome pies. It was worth spending time with my in-laws just for the desserts. She liked my peach pie. In fact, she started to talk about it a lot, to the point where it truly took on mythical proportions. Years later it was “Remember that peach pie Cam made” or “Cam is an excellent peach pie maker.” But there really had only been the one peach pie.

Our daughters, who were both born long after the now epic peach pie, heard about this mythical peach pie that their father had made one time and so they decided to carry on the tradition of reminiscing about it.

This past Labour Day weekend both of our daughters came home with our son-in-law and our soon-to-be other son-in-law. The Ontario peaches are great this year, so I bought some extras with the intention of baking another pie. I have to admit; I was getting kind of the tired of the relentless mocking my family was putting me through. And rightly so. Michelle is a superb chef and outstanding baker. She is a wizard with pastry. Or just about anything else she makes. So as a feminist I get kind of the tired of the attention being on me and my one alleged pie, versus the hundreds Michelle has made since. I am contemplating the title for my next book with will be “Eating the All Pie Diet and How it Helped Me Lose Weight.” This is actually mostly truthful (obviously I don’t eat an “all pie diet”) but the key is that you have to run a CSA in the heat and humidity of an Ontario summer for the diet to actually work.

Michelle coached me on the piecrust because surprisingly, not having made a pie since 1982, I seem to have forgotten the technique. Here’s an interesting point. The Crisco vegetable shortening recipe from the back of the box called for ¾ cup of shortening, and their brick of shortening comes with a handy dandy measuring device on it, but nowhere is it conveniently divided up for ¾ cup. Crisco, are you listening? And yes, vegetable shortening is not good for you, but neither is Dr. Pepper and that hasn’t stopped me yet. I was going to make a peach crisp but by the time you get through putting all that butter and sugar on top so that it will make a crispy top, you might as well just make a pie.

 my world is pastry

To verify that I had in fact made the pie I asked Michelle to photograph the process numerous times, and being a man, I put my initials on top of the pie. Michelle has made hundreds of pies and never put her name on any of them. That’s what men do. I am not proud to be a man.

 peach pie repair work

There also was some repair work required on the top crust but I was able to hide that reasonably well, and I added some pastry peaches as well, just to put it over the top!

finished peach pie

My older daughter’s future in-laws came for brunch on Sunday they took a photo of me and my pie. I was wearing my “This is what a feminist looks like” t-shirt, not because of the pie but because of an earlier discussion of the relative merits of white water rafting with men vs. women. But I guess it was appropriate for the whole pie-baking episode.

Camandpie

I have now made two peach pies in my life, about 30 years apart. It will be interesting to see how long I can get my family to keep talking about this one!

5 Responses to “Cam Bakes a Pie”

  • Gerrit:

    Marvellous achievement Cam!

  • I remember that farmhouse that you lived in Murial, and it did seem like the kind of place that should have pies cooling on the windowsill! And yes, Cam is definitely a pie lover but at least he knows how much goes into each and every one now! ~Michelle~

  • Hi John! I only had one piece but it was delicious! And everyone else seemed to enjoy it too! Next pie will be a blueberry one made with your wonderful berries! 🙂 ~Michelle~

  • I have a memory of you coming up to my open kitchen window, when we living in Guelph, and commenting there should be pies cooling on the window sill. I should have known that you are a pie lover!

  • Denice:

    Cam,Cam, Cam, Great blog, great photos but was it a great pie!!!! Come on, give me a break. What are you trying to do, write cliffhanger blogs. What did everybody say,especially the future in laws….HOW GREAT WAS IT??? And if it truly was as great as it looks…. how about the recipe? Thanks lots, John.

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Cam Mather and his wife Michelle live independently off the electricity grid using the sun and wind to power their home and their CSA. Cam is working towards the goal of making his home “zero-carbon” and with his extensive garden he aims to grow as much of his own food as possible. He is available to speak at conferences and other events and has motivated many people to integrate renewable energy into their lives, reduce their footprint on the planet and get started on the path to personal food, fuel and financial independence.
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