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I had a great weekend, full of dancing and writing and pie. Today I wanted to tell you about the pie, because it was part of what made the weekend special. Pie is special by its very nature, a tasty mélange of fruit and goodness which is hardly ever pretentious. I love it, but I don’t make it very often. This weekend I made pie with about thirty other people, and it was some of the best fun I’ve had all year.

My friend and her partner have a pie making party every fall. I’ve heard that the party started because they were trying to use up some of the fruit on the very productive trees from their back yard. This year the trees didn’t produce much, but the cooks did. The hosts provided the pie shells, the pastry tops, and the mixture of sugar, flour and spices. They also had snacks and drinks. The guests brought fruit and aprons, and we took turns sitting at the table, eight or so at a time, chopping fruit into our pie shells.

It’s really fun to socialize with people while cooking, which is probably one of the reasons that people tend to gravitate towards the kitchen at most gatherings. Everyone was putting different combinations of fruit in the pies. I ended up with apples, pears, plums and craisins with a small shake of five spice powder that someone had brought. The licorice in the spice gave the pie an interesting twist.

Another couple brought a brimming bucket of blackberries that they’d picked in their own yard that morning. Blackberries grow very well in Seattle, and most of the people who have them are overrun. Everyone brought too much fruit, so we were all urged to bring some home. I’ve got a container of blackberries in my fridge, waiting for my decision on what to cook with them.

At the end of the night, we took our pies home to bake. I threw mine in the oven the next morning, and had warm fruit pie for breakfast. What could be better?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

175. Have a cooking party at your house. My brother gets together with his friends every year to make tamales, my family makes pierogis, and my friend has everyone over to create pies. What could you make?

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