Posted in Pie!, Teacher Life

7 Months From Today…

Today is August 14th…which means 7 months from today will be one of the most memorable dates of our lifetime: 3.14.15 AKA the Most Epic Pi Day until next century. Now if you don’t know what Pi Day is, then clearly a) you do not know me well at all…at least not for the past 6 years and B) you must have completed school prior to the year 2009 when the U.S. House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. The first time I heard of this landmark occasion was March 14, 2005. I was a freshman at Villanova and I waltzed (and by that I mean sprinted since I had 10 minutes to make it from the business building across campus to the science building) into my Calc III class where I was greeted with stickers, pie, and smiling faces. Now I’ll be honest: there always seemed to be a shift from my experience spent in my morning business classes and my afternoon with the math/science majors (and no I’ll never describe one as better or worse, just completely different) but this took it to a whole new level. We laughed, we ate pie, and then of course we worked on some limit and integral puzzle worksheets which conveniently resulted in mostly Pi/Einstein-related answers. It was my first taste of this underappreciated holiday…and I was hooked.

Flashback to 2008: “Our Enthusiasm for Pie- The Early Years”

Just when I thought Pi Day couldn’t be a more exciting holiday, I became a teacher. I mean, yes, even as a 2nd grade teacher in DC, my little 7-year-olds arrived on 3/13 (Pi Day was on the weekend both years) to find a subtract and then connect the differences in order to sketch a giant pi symbol, which they then colored. Granted they had no understanding of this significant concept…but still I couldn’t let the day go by unnoticed. Then I moved to Baltimore, became a Middle School Math teacher, and found two co-teachers whose enthusiasm for Pi Day surpassed even my own. (I know, I didn’t think it was possible either!). We’ve had a great 4 years of celebration…but nothing will compare to the date which is now 7 months out of our grasp. Why you may ask?? Well, think about it. For those who need a slight math refresher, pi is an irrational number, a non-terminating/non-repeating decimal, or in simple terms: a number which goes on and on and on without end. However, pi has been approximated to some absurd number of digits but the first several are 3.1415926… Hence this year (3.14.15) is the kind of Pi Day which math enthusiasts like myself can only dream about.

Yay Math!!

It was almost 2 years ago (so Pi Day 2013) when our math department realized something even better: Pi Day 2015 lands on a Saturday…and hence, the Pi Day wedding dream was born. The perfect day for a math enthusiast’s wedding ceremony. Make it at 9:26 and you’re golden. And since I was the only unmarried member of the math team, clearly the dream fell to me. I made the mistake of mentioning it in front of the kids once and they never forgot. Granted,I have since abandoned this dream…since, well it’s 7 short months away. I’ve reached out to most everyone who dutifully penciled in the date with a question mark on their calendar…if you’re one of the few who hasn’t, get out that perfect pink eraser and go to town. And please don’t worry if you’re thinking you should be sad about this. I’m certainly not…for more than one reason. First, as fantastic as the dream was (I mean “Pi=Love, Both are forever” (and I’d add “are irrational!;-))” rehearsal dinner t-shirts!?!?!) the reality is that I’m one of the seemingly dwindling number of people in this world who believes the sacrament of marriage is more important than a wedding day, no matter how epic, and thus it will come when the time is right. Second, as great as it sounds in theory to share an anniversary with what is already one of my favorite days, I’m almost certain reality would fail to live up to the expectation. For example, it’s like having a birthday on Christmas. Suddenly you only get 1 day of the year that shares 2 special occasions. I already have March 14th as a holiday in my life…why have an anniversary share the occasion? Third, there are plenty of people planning 3.14.15 weddings. I may or may not have found some of them on Pinterest. I swear I’m not crazy. Well, most of the time 🙂

I really will miss teaching Middle School…
To my fellow 20-somethings who get asked about weddings
way too frequently, here is your new response 🙂

So what will I be doing 7 months from today when 3.14.15 arrives?? Well, I don’t know yet. What I do know is that there will be pie. And the same should be true for you. SO if you haven’t yet perfected a you-safe pie recipe, you have 7 months to get it together. Pie is no simple task so take my advice: start test batches now. I don’t want to brag but I’ve reached a point where I’m brave enough to make pies for other non-allergenic people…which is pretty much my way of saying I actually think this is good. Granted, you should know that all things gluten-free, including pie, don’t necessarily keep well. So don’t make it too far in advance. Or inadvertently eat cheese in your salad the day you plan to enjoy the pie…spoken from my own unfortunate experience.

So now to get you a jump-start on your pie-perfecting adventure, here is my favorite Katie-safe pie recipe:

Katie-Safe Pie Crust
3 cups “Katie-safe” flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose flour)
1 1/4 cups cane sugar
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup Earth Balance soy-free spread
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbsp. milled flaxseed mixed with 6 Tbsp. water (or 2 eggs if you’re lucky enough!)

1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Add the butter and mix until grainy.
3. Mix the wet ingredients in a small bowl then add to the large butter mixture.
4. Grease the bottom of your pie dish with Earth Balance spread before adding mix.
5. Shape the pie mix into the base of the pie dish.
6. Add the filling of your choice!
7. Use the remaining dough to create a lattice design OR crumble to make a crumble pie!
8. DON’T FORGET: Cover the outside circumference (see what I did there…yay MATH!!)  with foil before baking to maintain a crunchy crust.
9. Bake for about 50 minutes at 375 degrees.
As you can probably surmise, I used cherry as my filling of choice for this particular pie. Of course, I accidentally threw away the paper where I wrote down the final amounts of everything I used as I taste tested the cherry filling on the stove (it got covered in a sticky, cherry mess…and since I’ve had cockroaches, sweet, sticky things don’t last long). Here are the ingredients:
fresh cherries (pitted)
cane sugar
tapioca starch
almond extract
salt 
water
I promise I’ll get back to you with the measurements…but it really is more fun with trial and error anyway 🙂
From this…
…to this!
Do yourself a favor: buy a cherry pitter!
Now get out there, start baking your test batches…and start getting excited!! 7 months will fly by before you know it and the most epic Pi Day of your lifetime will be simply a memory. 
Make it one worth remembering 🙂
Courtesy of Etsy

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