Five things I thought about during my morning run:

1.The whole lack of Tamiflu really annoys me. We've been hearing about this flu for a LONG time and yet—Tamiflu is so scarce that they won't give it to a child with the flu because they need to save it for the kids who get that have other health problems. What have these drug makers been doing all this time? Oh yeah, holding press conferences…paying huge salaries..and fighting battles on Capitol Hill.
2. Tess is so sad and weepy. She's missing a field trip, and most likely singing at the Schola Breakfast tomorrow and a birthday party.
3. Getting my eyes checked finally. Today. It's cheaper to go to Wal-Mart and pay out of pocket than to go to an eye doctor and use the insurance. The dr. at Wal-Mart in Staunton comes highly recommended, too.
4. The cvillepiefest.
5. Clarity.

Pie Drunk Days

This past
Saturday as a fateful event for me—it was the first time I have ever reached my
fill of my much-loved dessert of choice.

Cvillepiefest ( took place on Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Mudhouse in Crozet, Va.
The “piebrainchild” of 

Steve Whitaker, Brian
Geiger, and Marijean Jaggers,

Cvillepiefest, the
grassroots fundraising event was a great success, with well over 100 people
attending and countless pie
competitors. The count was more than any of us expected—there
were many, many last minute entrants.

I lost trck of
the number of cream pies I tasted. There were three categories: fruit, cream,
and nut and other. I volunteered with six other pie lovers to judge the cream
pies. The pies I tasted were pretty good—even the one that I think sent
me over the edge, which was the Turkish Mocha Delight. Any other time, I could
sit alone with that pie and really get to know it intimately. But it was
probably pie number 10 for me and one of the richest, deepest-flavored pies
I’ve ever eaten. I think it had coffee in it—as well as
plenty of cardamom and dark chocolate. 
About 10 minutes after eating it, I was peeling off my sweater and holding on to the table because the
room was spinning. Someone said I looked green. For the rest of the day, I was completely, well, pie drunk.

But, as all good
pie people must, I kept going. Eventually, I had to break away to sign some
books. I understand that I missed the last eight pies. Did you read that? The
last EIGHT pies. I am grateful for it. I don’t think I could have eaten another
bite. Thank goodness for my book signing duties.

most important part of the event was that we raised money for PACEM, which is
an interfaith, community-based, grassroots organization that helps to house the
homeless in Charlottesville. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to chat with
them, but what an awesome, inspiring group.

also didn’t get a chance to chat with many of my pie comrades who organized the
event. It really was jam-packed and difficult to have meaningful conversations.
I really have to mention three of them here. Brian Geiger, (aka The Food Geek)

who was the previous Charlottesville pie champ, stepped up and assumed the role
of head judge. He wrote a beautiful piece on what to look for in a pie when
you’re judging it. (His wife Melanie graciously accepted the role of money-taker and organizer.) Elizabeth McCullough (another judge and pie-loving writer) helped him out on his
tallying duties. Marijean Jaggers, to me, represents the spirit behind the
whole piefest.

She probably baked more pies than anyone for the charity and is
an incredible pie baker. (I am still wanting that butterscotch pecan pie recipe
of hers.) She and Brian were the original pie competitors that got the ball
rolling. And then there’s Steve Whitaker

—an endearing, personable young man who
organized the event, taking care of countless details, and of course, getting
his share of pie.

We all love our pie.

few words about the winning pie—a lemon chiffon that was like a fresh breeze in
my mouth. Simple in it’s elegance. It says a lot that the pie that won out of A
LOT of other pies was this basic. Yet, to make a lemon chiffon is easy, but to
master it? Hmm. Well, that’s another matter. The graham cracker crust was
perfect in texture and flavor against the smooth, silky lemon chiffon. As the
pie cutter, I noted how it sliced easily and came out of the plate perfectly.
The baker also placed raspberries around the edges. I was lucky enough to get one
bite of it all—raspberry, lemon chiffon, and graham cracker.

were some other notable pies for me. If I had to pick the winner myself, it
would have been the coconut cream, which to my taste, surpassed the lemon
chiffon. I also really loved one of the pumpkin pies—I’m sure it was made with
fresh pumpkin and wow, what a difference it makes. The other pie that stands
out, of course, it Marijean’s butterscotch pecan. I didn’t judge the nut pie
category, but I did get a bite of this incredible pie. The butterscotch added a
really deep flavor. The drunken nut pie that won that category must have been
fabulous. The fruit pie winner was “roadhouse” apple, which I didn’t get a
chance to sample.

think it’s worth noting that the winning pies were not pies with countless complicated
flavors and ingredients. Mike DiGrassie, owner of Mrs. Rowe’s often tells me
that, that the best Southern cooking is always kept simple—and that holds true
for pies, Southern or not.

Five things I thought about during my morning run:

1. If it's true what they say about dreams and the astral plane, I had
an interesting visit with my friends in NYC last night—Lily, Paula, and
oh yes, John was there, too.
2. I'm not sure how much changing the world is part of our "mission"
here. But I think more love is called for–it doesn't hurt, it doesn't
take away from anything. All good change comes from love–or so it
seems to me.
3. Sometimes it feels like I am running through jello. Why am I doing this again?
4. Full moon washed over me this morning. "Bella Luna," Tess whispered to me at the window.
5. Talking pie with my neighbor who asked how the piefest went. I hope
to write up some thoughts about it today. But Emma is home with a
stomach virus. AND I am expecting this handyman dude to come this
morning. So we will see how it goes today.

Five things…

1. Oktoberfest at the museum. Sorry I'll miss it this year. It's always a fun time, except when you tear a rotator cuff on the barrel rolling race like I did a few years ago. (But Emma and I won, beating a snarky little boy and his mother.) I hope I destroyed all those pictures…
2. Rumor has it that John Grisham and Sissy Spacek are coming to the CvillePieFest tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised–the both live near by and PACEM is a great cause. It's an interfaith community organization that is a shelter for Charlottesville's homeless. I imagine they are in great need this year.
3. U2. Bet they were fab.
4. Borrowing dresses from Kristi. I was prancing around in that purple dress last night. Eric said "Who would have thought you and Kristi could share clothes?"  It does seem odd, but it works. She is tall and, well, I am not. 😉
5. Hearing from my agent late last night. She is on "the cusp" of getting back to me on the memoir proposal. I'm eager for it. One of the things I really love about Angela is her editing savvy. She worked for years as an editor before becoming an agent. She always gives me interesting feedback that I can actually use.

Five things I thought about during my morning run:

1. I think Tink just laughed at that little white dog that has a sweater on this morning.
2. The Belly of Paris is a really good book that has left me in awe of
Zola. Two pages of cheese description. Is it just me or can you not get
any better than that?
3. My bathroom project. Here's what I've come down to. I don't need a
contractor. I need a handyman. All I need him to do is install a vent.
Yes. There is no vent in the bathroom. And I have a few other projects
like that. Okay. Eric could do them, he has the skills (I don't), but
he doesn't have the time and I'm tired of waiting. Marriage rescued. At
least for today. 😉
4. My thighs ache this morning.
5. I am coming close to the end of of my two weeks without bread,
pasta, rice. And I'm going to celebrate on Saturday by eating pie. I'll
be signing books after the competition. There will be live music, too.
Coffee. Brian (the Food Geek), Marijean, Elizabeth, and Steve–that
funny guy I keep telling you all to follow. And oh yeah–PLENTY OF PIE.

Five things I thought about during my morning run:

1. My lack of motivation this morning. I just want to stay
in bed and read.

2. Interesting email from a friend in Florida. Made me smile
for the whole run. Grinning and running at the same time.

3. Big gray-white clouds moving around the tops of those mountains.

4. So glad I appear to be over my little hangover yesterday.
Three glasses of wine and I am a goner. I'll be paying for my late night for
days–but it was SO worth it.

5.  I'm helping
to judge this pie competition in a few weeks "Cville Pie Fest."
Should be fun–I'm thinking one or two bites per slice–it looks like they have
a lot of entries.  Should probably
start dieting NOW.