Pi Day Squared

Today’s post is a re-post of a guest post from two years ago, when Sherrilee first discussed Pi Day.

I’m a geek. I admit it. I love trivia; I love learning things. I have three magazine subscriptions: MentalFloss, Scientific American and National Geographic. I love Star Trek and have seen every episode of The Big Bang Theory. So three years ago when I first read that there are people out there who celebrate Pi Day, I was intrigued.

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter and is expressed as – 3.1415926…. into infinity. It’s decimal representation goes on forever and never repeats. Since March 14 is 3/14, it has been adopted as the day to celebrate the mathematical constant of pi. There is even a website where you can send Pi Day email cards and see Pi Day videos.

Although I’m not a serious fan of math, Pi Day seemed like a perfect holiday for my inner geek.

Last year I convinced my boss that I should be able to use my floating holiday for Pi Day and then sent out a few invitations to my neighbors. I pulled out all my cookbooks that might possibly have pie recipes in them and poured through them. Over the weekend before Pi Day, I did all the shopping – had to hit three different stores to get everything. I even stopped at the local liquor store and let the sales people recommend three bottles of wine that would “go with pie”.

The weather on Pi Day was wonderful. I was able to open all the windows to get fresh air and the sun streamed into the kitchen while I worked. I made seven kinds of pie: Dutch Apple, Cherry Apricot with Almond Crumbles, Bannoffee (toffee with bananas and whipped cream), Pecan, Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chips on a Pretzel Crust, Blueberry and finally, Crack Pie (gooey butter on an oatmeal cookie crust). The refrigerator had to be completely re-organized and I had to press the fireplace mantel into service to keep the finished pies out of reachof the dogs.

Everything turned out like it should and tasted great. It was relaxing to spend the day in the kitchen and it was fun to have another holiday in March to celebrate.

What is your favorite Pi(e)?

53 thoughts on “Pi Day Squared”

  1. It would be a shorter list to name the types I don’t like. Actually, I don’t know of any… maybe steak and kidney, but I’ve never tried it and probably never will.

    I have to work over dinner tonight, but quiche is marvelous as you can make it ahead, keep it, rewarm it.

    We’ll be having that tonight.

    If any vegetarian Baboons have a good replacement for chicken pot pie, I would be very grateful. I’ve seen recipes that use beans in place of the chicken-we like beans fine, but not in our pot pie, at least not when what I want is chicken.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve posted the recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. A simple trick of that recipe is to make the pie, then cut up disks of Pillsbury biscuit dough and place them on the pie, just under the crust. They swell up and become delicious dumplings, and if you were to make the pie without any meat but with dumplings it would be memorably good.

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    1. Pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top taught me the first of countless harsh lessons in living well, Debbie. At a Thanksgiving celebration at my grandparents’ home I ate so much pumpkin pie I got sick. For years afterward I could start retching if I smelled pumpkin pie. The lesson was that it is foolish to have too much of a good thing, but (alas) that was a lesson I had to go on rediscovering over and over.

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        1. Turkey, stuffing, cranberries, even sweet potatoes all seemed to fly under the radar. Maybe because the pie was what i ate last? (Also, if stomach flu hits…it’s bad for that to happen in a movie theater…)

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        2. It is called taste aversion learning, and a researcher at NDSU tried to instill in coyotes a learned aversion to lamb by lacing lamb carcasses with something that made the coyotes sick but didn’t kill them. His research showed some positive outcomes in teaching coyotes that the last thing they ate (poisoned lamb) made them sick. I don’t think it was that successful in the real world.

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  2. We used to pretend our home was a b&b, and by the front door we had a fancy little sign calling our home Grooms Rooms. A few of our friends didn’t see that this was a private joke. And at Grooms Rooms we had a signature dish, something we served that was unique and memorable, a dish called Pheasant Dumpling Pie. It came to me from a remarkable man, a novelist who survived combat in the RAF before the US joined the war. Dan not only beat the odds by living but he married an English girl who taught him to cook this dish.

    It was a pot pie that featured chunks of pheasant swimming in a made-from-scratch white sauce. Below the pheasant layer was a layer of broccoli, onion and carrots. Above the pheasant was dumplings topped with a thick pie crust. When we had used up all our pheasant we made the same dish with chicken thigh meat.

    I’ll be teaching that dish to my daughter this weekend. Her book club is due to meet at her home, meaning she has to cook something spectacular for a dozen rich suburban women. We’ll feed those women this tasty meat pie, that and enough wine to make sure they leave happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hard to decide what I love most about this post-Grooms Rooms, “when we had used up all our pheasant”, or the fact you will be twaching this wonderful thing to Molly to feed to naive suburbanites who won’t know this dish could be completely home-sourced for free on the average Iowa homeplace when I was growing up.

      It’s almost like your biography in a delicious paragraph.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ll share the recipe with anyone who is interested. I can’t imagine it as a vegetarian dish. Oh, hell. Yes, I can. It would be good as a vegetable pot pie. The white sauce has a secret ingredient: black peppercorns cooked in cream. Do we still have a recipe file?

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        1. here it is:

          Pheasant (or Chicken) Dumpling Pie
          6-8 chicken thighs (or meat of 2 pheasants)
          4½ c water
          6 carrots, sliced
          4 onions, quartered
          6 peppercorns
          1 bay leaf
          water or chicken stock
          1 large sweet onion, chopped
          ½ c butter
          2 pods pimiento, chopped
          8 tbsp flour
          ½ c whipping cream
          1 pkg chopped frozen broccoli
          1 pkg Pillsbury biscuit dough
          packaged pie crust mix

          Put water in pot and add chicken pieces, carrots, 4 onions, peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to boil and then simmer, covered, until chicken is tender (about 20-30 minutes). Cool the chicken. Bone it and cut the meat in bite-size pieces. Strain the broth, reserving 4 c (add chicken stock if necessary). Remove bay leaf. Reserve pheasant and vegetables.

          Brown the single onion in butter. Add pimiento. Stir in the flour and reserved broth, plus cream. Stir this white sauce until it thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

          Oil a 3-quart casserole. Layer broccoli on bottom, adding chicken and vegetables over that. Pour in white sauce. Cut biscuit dough cylinders into quarters and spread them around on top. Make pie crust (double thick) and press that over the top. Slash for steam. Bake at 400F. for 40 minutes.

          (I run out of room with this recipe, so sometimes I leave out the dumplings)

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Your recipe for Shepherd Pie has become the very only meal l can cook for company. I only see my son’s family once a year, so l made this for them. When they were leaving, his wife said, “This was as good as it was LAST year”. It reminded me of an Xmas where l’d mail ordered what l thought would be a really novel gift for my then 3-year old grandson. When his mom opened it (elf on a shelf), she told me that he already had one.

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  3. I have an Impossible Coconut Pie recipe, sort of makes its own crust. But anything custardy will do – pumpkin, any of the pudding pies…
    I love sweet and savory, so quiche is right up there. I would try steak and kidney pie once, at least.

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    1. My erstwife and I traveled England, Scotland and Wales in the early 1970s. Back then the word was “don’t think of eating British food. I believe that has changed, and now many British restaurants serve interesting dishes. Oddly enough, we did well by eating British pub food such as shephard’s pie and Scottish eggs. And, yes, steak and kidney pie was good!

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  4. No one has mentioned savory pies. This week I made a l pie with a phyllo crust filled with chunks of lamb, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs, and feta cheese. I also made a pie filled with chard, pancetta, ricotta, parmesan and onions. The chard was from our garden and frozen last fall. I make this pie quite a lot and freeze the blanched chard in 2.5 lb packages since that is how much chard leaves the pie calls for. I too, love cherry pie, along with pecan and peach.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rhubarb pie is the one that comes to mind immeadiatly
    with strawberry, raspberry or all by it self.
    apple pie without the cheese is like the kiss without the squeeze
    i make potato based things every sunday, crust of onions and breadcrumbs have been replaced by different experimental things since an attempt at gluten free has entered.. it aint the same…
    quice with no crust is still good.
    my kids love pot pies and thanks giving christmas easter and mothers day always call for pies.
    my two middle kids have a birthday today and have always been pi day enthusiasts but seldom participants because birthday is family day.
    spencer 22 this year tara 26, kirby pucket would have been 55 this year and albert einstein would have been 136.
    http://www.biography.com/news/pi-day-albert-einstein-facts

    this pi day is especially special because it is not only 3.14….. it is 3.14 15. it will be another 100 years before that comes around again.
    what will pi day be in 2115? ill bet things will have changes a bit. what recipes will be passed on from grandma back in the year 2015? whht is this thing called fruit?

    happy pi day all.

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  6. The first time I read today’s post, I didn’t notice this was a guest post by VS and I had a nice image in my head of Dale taking the day off work and bustling around the kitchen making dozens of pies. Now I’m having trouble correcting that mental image.

    I’ve made a pie called Lemon Supreme Pie, which is yummy. It has a layer of lightly-lemon-flavored whipped creamy stuff then a layer of tart, very lemony lemon curd. The original recipe came from a magazine and I tweaked it – the creamy layer had whipped topping and cream cheese in it and I swapped real whipped cream for the cool whip (cool whip = ick). The original lemon layer was very sweet and had more water in it than lemon juice. So I swapped in homemade lemon curd, which I make quite tart and very lemony. It’s a good pie to make in late winter-early spring before rhubarb and other good spring things are in season. But there’s enough steps in it, with lots of chilling, that I won’t be making it today.

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    1. Lemon Supreme sounds wonderful, jailbird. Here’s how to correct that mistaken image in your head – I can’t bustle around the kitchen. I alternate between lumbering and thrashing. Very dangerous in such a knife-rich environment!

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I wrested an old family recipe from wasband’s grandmother: French Silk Chocolate pie. For many years, that was my contribution to every family gathering. It was better than the Lincoln Del’s (if any of you remember that restaurant?) l’m not possessive so if any of you want it, just ask

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      1. Here you go: 1 cup margarine; 1.5 cup sugar; 2tsp vanilla; 4 eggs; 4 packets of liquid chocolate. Mix all together EXCEPT the eggs. Add each egg separately and whip on high speed 3 minutes per egg
        until mixture is super creamy and silky (at least 5 minutes).

        Either buy a crust or make your own (baked and cooled, of course), then pour mixture into it. Spread whipped cream to top it off. Take hard chocolate and shave rolls of it with a carrot peeler to decorate the top of the pie. Chill for at least and hour.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I like many kinds of pie. Pecan pie is at or near the top of the list for me. It haven’t had mince meat pie for many years. It isn’t my top favorite. It is a special treat and I would like to have more it frequently.

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  9. Really, my answer is just “yes.” Tops on the list: lemon meringue, key lime, strawberry rhubarb, pumpkin…pecan is not really on my list, but that is about the only sweet one I’m not enamored of. If it has fruit and is cradled in a pie crust, I’ll eat it. Gladly.

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  10. Morning all! Fun to see an old post of mine. I didn’t realize it was up (as I spent all yesterday in the kitchen, baking….. wait for it…. pies), until some mentioned it to me. The big hits last night were the Key Lime Meringue, the Blueberry with Almond Crumbles, the Banofee and the Crack pies.

    Everybody have a great day!

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    1. Looked online to see if there was a recipe for the Banoffee pie. Had not heard of it before. One site, Saveur, says “A traditional British dessert, banoffee pie has its share of fanatics on this side of the pond, too.” The BBC food site says “Homemade pastry topped with toffee, cream, banana and grated chocolate is impossible to resist in this classic American recipe.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I discovered Banofee on the Food Network several years ago. I do an easy recipe – I make the toffee by boiling sweetened condensed milk while it’s still in the can. Easy peasy.

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  11. Easy Banofee Pie

    Graham cracker crust
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    3 bananas
    Whipped cream

    Take paper off the can of milk, put the can (unopened) in a pan, cover with water and boil for 4 hours. You’ll have to watch and top off the water occasionally.
    After the can has cooled off, open and spread the contents (now toffee, or dulce de leche) onto the graham cracker crust.
    Slice bananas onto the toffee.
    Slather with whipped cream.
    Top with chocolate shavings if you have time.
    Serve. Eat.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. This is my favorite pie (fight). See, just one guard rail could have prevented all of this entertainment. Take that BSOR!

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