My wisdom for the evening: "The way to a man's stomach is through his mouth." (Those of you daunted by my long entries can take that as your gem and hit page down now if you'd like.)
In the cyclic year, I have several favorites. My favorite week is The Conference on World Affairs
when I ditch class to attend mahvelous panels. My favorite weekend is the Philosophy Majors' Retreat in late January/early February, when I get to spend the weekend in a cabin in the snow talking about philosophy constantly. And my favorite Saturday night falls in the teens in November -- pie night.
There are several other things I could have done this evening. I could have watched CU beat Iowa State to clinch the Big XII north. I could have gone down to Colorado Springs to be in the regional ACM contest
. I could have helped lead this month's full moon teaching circle. I didn't even know about it until I got home, but I could have gone to see Sigur Rós
at the Ogden with Harper and his posse. But instead I attended an event I've attended every year since I was one (which was coincidentally the first pie night).
The concept is simple. Everybody comes to a Grange Hall near the edge of Weld County. Everybody brings a pie. Couples bring two pies. The pies are laid out in the center of the tables, people sit at plates on the edges of the tables. A welcoming grace is said, then everyone takes their plate around in hunt of some fine pie. There's dinner pies there -- mince pies, chicken pot pies, sometimes a spaghetti pie, leek and cabbage pie, this year had a chili, italian sausage, and zucchini pie... There's lots desert pies there... fruit pies, pecan pies, pumpkin pies, we've lately brought a ginger pie, and some kid or another usually brings a way sugarry pie like a s'mores pie or a dirt pie. Having jockeyed for pie position and obtained some prime slices, everyone sits down with old friends to talk and eat pie. I always have a huge plate worth of as many pies as catch my eye, others have smaller portions -- it's easy for them to tell which slices are from which pies. I pop a few deal-with-dairy pills and get to work. Once everyone (but me, natch) is done eating, we clear away the tables and the musically inclined get up and play. Every year they play the same songs and they're always great. And they never practiced together until a couple years ago. It's an annual jam where everyone's hot. They do a great Midlight Moonlight, some Dead classics like Friend of the Devil, some gospel numbers like Jesus on the Main Line, the ever-present Stealin', and they broke into a two-mandolin lead Arkansas Traveller... all done great. (During Stealin', Dan's mic started feeding back and I sung to myself "Feedin'... feedin'... Feedin' back to my same old used to be...")
I didn't encounter any utterly outstanding pies, certainly nothing as amazing as the garlic pie from several years ago, for instance. But there was a very good mince pie and some pretty good fruit pies. I kept encountering the chili/sausage/zucchini slice by pleasant surprise. My apricot pie turned out pretty good, and it was pretty easy to make, even though I'm klueless in the kitchen. Lots of folks liked my frog hat and several people recalled fond memories of my childhood pie night appearances.
There's a good chance that this will be my last Colorado Pie Night -- my streak will end at 23. I plan to move somewhere else next year and as good as Pie Night is, it's not worth a special trip to Colorado for just one evening. And why do that? My 24th Pie Night shall see the establishment of a new chapter in the Π organization. You too can can start a Pie Night among your friends. It starts simply in someone's living room with a handfull of friends. And it has potential to grow without bound! The fifth rule of Pie Night is you talk about Pie Night!