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On the afternoon of the Summer Solstice, Grandmother was taking her well-earned daily nap, Aunt Sarah and cousin Matt were swimming off the dock, and Levi and Uncle Joe were shopping til they dropped at Gander Mountain. Granddad and I worked on a puzzle and made this pie. He has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t remember much of anything these days, but I think baking is a relatively familiar territory for the following reasons.

1.       He has eaten possibly hundreds of my Grandmother’s delicious pies (blueberry and apple are the best kinds.)

2.       “Grandfather bread” is a term used in my family to refer to the amazing bread he used to make every week in his bread machine. Grandmother has since taken over the breadmaking (Zante currant is the best kind.)

3.       He used to be a research chemist, and what is baking, really, other than edible chemistry? (Post-Its and Scratch and Sniff were some of the best projects he worked on.)

IMG_0941I told Granddad that we were going to make an “Experiment Pie,” meaning that I had no recipe to follow. He laughed and stirred the filling: rhubarb, an apple, a pear, a little bit of pomegranate-lime juice, a squeeze of lemon juice, lemon zest, orange zest, powdered ginger, and nutmeg.

IMG_0939Butter pats go on top, because more butter is more better.


IMG_0944IMG_0955That evening–the sun didn’t set until ten–there was a Summer Solstice feast of epic proportions at the cabin.

There was a strawberry jicama salad from neighbor-friend Jackie.IMG_0951IMG_0952There was a pile of crispy walleye and bass straight from the St. Croix.

IMG_0953IMG_0954And to top it all off, we enjoyed a trio of pies (Experiment Pie, the Nectarine-Lime Pie of yesterday’s post, and a Grandmother Marie Apple Pie).