And we’re off! Day one of the Quest and we find ourselves celebrating a peculiar little pie known as the Raspberry Cream. Most people I talked to said they had never heard of such a pie (I hadn’t either). But everyone seems to like raspberries and they like cream, so how can you go wrong?
I made two pies on Sunday. My schedule wouldn’t allow me to make them today, but I think that worked out to my advantage as the pies needed to set. I’d say it was pretty easy to make. I started with a handmade graham cracker crust which was pressed into a deep pie dish and then baked. Filled it up with a cream center (made from cream cheese, Cool Whip and sour cream). Topped that with some fresh raspberries that were cooked down into a kind of jam that covered the top of the pie. My only regret was that I didn’t decorate the top with some fancy whip cream florets. Still came out nice though.
Then it was time to celebrate and somehow due to schedules and time restraints, this was going to be our dinner. Lola and I sat at the kitchen table and sat the pie between us. I sliced in and it actually came out fairly easy looking like actual pie slices (that always seems to be a challenge, especially with cream pies). The raspberry topping was a brilliant red that made a neat contrast to the white of the cream filling. The taste was great, I must say. Sweet, slightly tart with a mesh of textures from the crust to the cream to the topping that all worked together. Lola also approved which is always the standard of approval – at least in this house.
Lola tends to hit things when she likes something she is tasting. It’s a true test of when you’ve really done something good in the kitchen. She’ll slap her leg, the table, the couch, me – whatever is close by. It’s a double-tap of approval usually accompanied by an “Oh My GOD!” It’s a great feeling of validation so I am glad she will be my critic and accomplice throughout this quest. I would say the Raspberry Cream Pie got a reserved Lola Slap approval, but that’s good enough for me.
We continued our RCP Day celebration at night by going to see author David Sedaris who was doing a reading at the Jane Pickens Theater in Newport. We bought the tickets months ago – well before the Quest was even a germ of an idea – but I found it significant that this event was falling on the very first day of the celebration tour. Naturally, we made a pie for David Sedaris as well. This would be the first time I had ever brought a baked good (or any present) when going to see a performance. I wrote him a little note that explained why I was giving him a pie and I packed the note inside a bag along with the pie, paper plates and forks. Then we waited in line.
My plan was just to give the bag to someone from the Jane Pickens and ask them to give it to Mr. Sedaris or one of his people. I felt if I got it into someone else’s hands, I could say I had at least tried. I knew that in all likelihood the pie would end up in the garbage. I was ok with that. It was never my life’s ambition to make a pie for David Sedaris. It just felt like something to do given the serendipity of the days events.
When we got inside there was a huge line for the concessions so Lola and I just walked past it all and went to find our seats. When we walked past the crowds in line, we came across a table that was set up for signing autographs and the such and low and behold, behind the table was David Sedaris. Right there in front of us with only two or three people in line. At first, I thought I was somewhere I was not supposed to be – like I stepped into a VIP area or jumped ahead of the line that was waiting for him. But I wasn’t. This was just the spot to meet him. So I clutched my pie bag (that sounds dirty, doesn’t it?) and stepped forward.
But not so fast – his assistant or manager stopped me before I could get closer. It seems David was wrapping it up for now so he could get ready for the show, but he said I could come back afterwards. Then because I didn’t feel like holding a bag for the whole night, I just asked if he could give him this pie. Admittedly, this was a peculiar request and I think it surprised him. But he took it. And while Lola and I were heading into the theater to find our seats, my Raspberry Cream Pie was making its way backstage alongside David Sedaris.
The lights dimmed, someone from RI Public Radio made the introduction and soon David Sedaris was in front of the excited crowd. He opened with a quick comment about his wardrobe (he was wearing his dress culottes) and then another quick blurb, but then he suddenly said he wanted to thank the person who had given him the Raspberry Cream Pie. He had never heard of such a pie. He and the crew backstage had dug in backstage and said it was delicious. Then he said he didn’t know it was National Raspberry Cream Pie Day.
Day one and things are happening. This is going to be a fun year.
Tomorrow: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day