By Rebekah K. Bohannon Beeler
National Pie Day is a day to celebrate the art and deliciousness of all things pie. National Pie Day was founded by the American Pie Council (APC), an organization dedicated to the preservation of America’s pie heritage and its love of pie, every Jan. 23.
Pies have come a long way from its origins. The early Romans made some of the first pies, perhaps after having learned of them from the Greeks, in reeds which would hold the filling but not be consumed. Early pies were primarily filled with meat or seafood. Rome then taught Europe throughout its conquests about pies. Pies were commonplace on English tables as early as the 1100s. The word pie, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was a popular word in the 1400s. The crust of the pie was referred to as coffyn and served the purpose of holding the filling as it baked. It is speculated that the first tarts, or fruit pies, were made in the 1500s. English history credits the first cherry pie being made by Queen Victoria I. By In the late 1600s, when the Pilgrims made their voyage to the New World, they brought with them English recipes for pies calling for beef, duck, pigeon, and lamb meat for the filling. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that pie recipes took an official turn for the dessert table. By the 1940s, pie had become a symbol of the classic, all-American dessert.
National Pie Day has become a valued annual family tradition. Every year, on Jan. 23, my home becomes “Mama’s Pie Hole Café” and I create a menu strictly made of pies. My staple pie menu includes shepherd’s pie and pizza pie for dinner and fried apple pies, peanut butter pies and chocolate pie for dessert. Sometimes we incorporate chicken pot pie as an added dinner item and pecan or pumpkin pie on the dessert menu.
National Pie Day has enlightened me. I am a better pie maker because of it, I have an extra special excuse to spend precious time with my family and it opened my eyes to a revelation about celebration. No matter what the reason, it’s always a good reason to celebrate. Reach for those high apple pie in the sky hopes.