Ah, for the first week of March 2020. When the borders were open and you could have visits from international friends. When it was totally cool to kick around Downtown Los Angeles, when all our favorite little shops and historic buildings and beloved restaurants were open for business. When we really had no idea what the next month would bring.
I know we miss it.
That being said, I really don’t want to express anything but deep gratitude for what we do have, now. All the most precious gifts remain, the greatest of which is love (hope is a pretty close second). Another gift we have been enjoying lately is a wealth of amazing memories, and time to actually relive them. I’ve printed some photos lately, which I NEVER seem to manage in normal-paced times.
Before “Safer At Home”/”Quarantine”/Whatever You’re Calling It began, the Gelineau house guest room had been occupied by a succession of friends for several weeks straight (maybe one night or two empty). Soooo that was pretty amazing timing for us. I’m talking literally the day our last February/March guest left (our friend Amy from Ontario, Canada) was March 10th which is when things really started getting weird in Southern California. On Monday we were questioning why Amy’s boss would want her to work from home for a few days upon her return. By Saturday, life as we know it was canceled, canceled, canceled.
We had some really beautiful adventures that first week of March, including a short glamping trip to Morro Bay, In Which We Learned That Pippa Is Much Too Excited To Fall Asleep At Night In the “Big Car”. She liked breakfasting though.
And picking ice plants on the beach. (Wait, is this blog about pie, or Pippa?)
And visiting the town of Harmony, Population 18. Side note someone please get married in this chapel and invite me.
On the last day of Amy’s visit, we took it easy. Watched Levi play softball, baked a pie, read books in the sunny backyard. See, you knew there would be pie eventually.
Sometimes Pippa wears both a seasonally-inappropriate apron AND rain boots when she assistant bakes. So, that’s really good news.
Dense Cherry-Almond Coffeecake Pie was our pie of the moment; Amy had named cherries as one of her preferred pie ingredients. As fresh cherries wouldn’t have been available, we used thawed dark pitted sweet cherries to fill a pre-baked crust, then poured in a liquid filling made from ground almonds, eggs, sour cream, and almond extract (in addition to the usual suspects such as butter, sugar, vanilla, flour, salt).
I am always quite pleased when I get to have the honor of being the first person someone has ever made a pie with. Everyone, it’s official. Amy Hill can bake pies now. I taught her everything I know. You’re welcome.
The verdict? It’s delicious. Eat it with a little vanilla ice cream (or with a cup of coffee if you’re into the whole breakfast pie situation, which, who isn’t) but for goodness sake pay attention to the fact that this pie has the word DENSE in its title and cut reasonably sized pieces. (I’m talking to myself here in case you didn’t pick up on that.)
No joke, you can’t eat as large of a piece as you think you can. A slice of this pie is practically a meal replacement, thanks to the mighty almond.
Amy, in retrospect, this Coffeecake pie really was the perfect choice, out of the 140-odd recipes we could have picked; it reminds me of all the times you ordered some kind of coffee ice cream and I ordered some kind of berry/cherry ice cream. I know coffee wasn’t an actual ingredient, but there’s some great symbolism in having the words “coffee” and “cherry” in the name of your first pie. Love it. ❤
P.S. To everyone else, yes, I really do mean “all the times”. We ate a lot of ice cream. She was here for a full week okay?
Can’t wait for it to be time for some good old-fashioned in-person game nights again. Until then, I wish you all lots of virtual chats, socially distanced walks, hangouts, House Parties or whatever the cool kids are doing these days, as well as delicious things to eat in the comfort of your homes. Message me if you need anything at all. Lots of love. x
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