Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pies are the new...

In the same way violet is the new pink and blueberries are the new pomegranites, pies (or piemakers) are going through a bit of renaissance, surfacing in a combination of popular and indie culture.

Its yet another snowy afternoon in Maine (we've had storms every few days in the last two weeks, totally 18 inches on the ground -- a record for December). Scott, Willa, and I are nestled in with hot cocoa and tea. We just finished Waitress, a two and a half/three star indie film, about (go figure) a Waitress who's special place in life is creating pies. Savory pies. Sweet pies. Creative pies. Non-sensical but delicious pies (e.g. a marshmallow mermaid pie or Joe's Horny Past Pie).

The movie came out this summer, shortly before Pushing Daisies priemiered on ABC during the 8 PM primetime Wednesday spot. Pushing Daisies is one of the few TV shows that I'll make time for this season, primarily because I love fast paced dialogue, and well, its got a quirky unformulaic plot. Most of the show is based at the "Pie Hole," owned and operated by Ned, our hero, more often than not referred to as "the Pie Maker" by the show's narrator.

Which brings be back to my original conundrum which is whether or not pies or piemakers are experiencing the renaissance. I think its the latter, as I don't actually see any real pie creativity making its way into modern cuisine (and I should know, I live in Portland home to the creative economy and fabulous restaurants :) There is something however common about the piemaking characters. They are certainly all quirky. While not quite social outcasts, they seem to spend more time in their own heads than is generally accepted as normal. However, this lends itself to an independent persona than a character flaw. They are sympathetic, to the extent of being forlone, and they are sad. This doesn't quite mesh with the character of the pie -- which I generally characterize as down home comfort food, made by all around happy people (mostly women), with their trademark perma-grin.

So if indeed the pies and their piemakers are reemerging in life -- what/who are they replacing? I'm not sure there is a desert or occupation that currently holds that place in pop or indie culture...

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