Weekend Meditation: The Extraordinary Power of Pie

2009_09_27-piepolice.jpg“Stress cannot exist in the presence of pie.”
— David Mamet

Once again, pie has inspired my weekend meditation! A few weeks ago, Omnivore Books on Food in San Francisco hosted a pie contest. People were invited to either bring a pie or pay a $5 fee at the door to taste the pies and help with the judging. At the end of the day, the winner splits the door money with the shop and everyone would have eaten some delicious homemade pie.

Read on for what happened…

The event was a big success! People overflowed out of the tiny shop and onto the sidewalk, clutching plates piled high with 48 different kinds of pie. Over 130 people showed up, including two policemen. When someone asked the police if they were here for crowd control, one of the policemen answered, “No ma’am. I made the sweet potato pie.”

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A true example of a peacekeeping moment! I always feel a ping of hope and happiness when the law shows up not to enforce but to participate. I’m not so naive to think that this could happen everywhere, all the time, but it sure makes me happy when it does. And it proves that pie just might have the power to change the world.

What a powerful medium food is for bringing people together. Especially pie. It’s hard to imagine a room full of people eating pie and getting angry at each other. (Perhaps we should arrange for a daily dispatch to the Senate floor?) And while there was a winner in Omnivore Books’ contest (Hannah Berman, pictured left, for her Banana Cream Pie) I imagine everyone left the event a little fuller in the heart and belly.

Omnivore Books on Food is well worth a visit, even without a pie contest.

For photos (and Mamet quote) thanks goes to Patricia Kline, a pie maker in her own right. She’s invented and produces the delicious ipie, an individually portioned pie which is just about the size of a muffin. You can find her and the ipie the Palo Alto, CA Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.