Thursday, August 18, 2005

Brooklyn Pie Socialists, Unite!

If you've hung around my kitchen for any length of time, you've probably heard about the mad fun that was last year's Brooklyn Pie Social. Well, now you too can be a Pie Socialist, feeding the multitudes, garnering kudos, and baking for a good cause! Last year's social raised four grand for the lovely Brooklyn Bridge Park (home of mulberry trees, double-bridge views, and outdoor movies) and the nice folks at Bubby's and the B-B Park Conservancy have high hopes of hauling in even more dough this time around.

Personally, I love the chance to check out how other people bake pies. My pies will always look like me; they're as easy for me to pick out in a crowd as my own shoes. But how do you make your pies? It's like finding out how a stranger kisses.

And little did I know until today that I am, indeed, the BROOKLYN PIE SOCIAL POSTER GIRL! Must have been the gingham can check out what I did for the Pie Effort here.

Here's how it works: You bake a pie (or two). You put on a cute outfit and a big smile and bring your pies down to the cobblestone streets in front of the park (Main and Plymouth Sts). Then you stand there for a couple of hours and hand out slices of your pie to the hungry hordes. In return, you get a handful of tickets enabling you to wander round and taste the pies of your friends and neighbors. No restaurant or bakery pies--this is strictly a home-kitchen operation, which makes it really sweet and bizarrely down-home for the big city. There will be live music, balloons and face-painting for the kiddies, coffee and lemonade, gorgeous views, and LOTS OF PIE!!!

Just want to EAT PIE? Then come on down that afternoon (earlier is better, before the good pies all get eaten) and buy your pie-eating tickets--one ticket, one slice.

Here's all the info, courtesy of Bubby's:

Date: September 17, 2005

Your entry fee and homemade pie entitle you to 5 free tasting tickets (you can share them) and a big blue ribbon.

Entry fees: One pie, $10; two pies, $5 (if you register by 9/10--after that, the fees go up)

Bakers report at 10:30 for check-in and free coffee. We recommend bringing pies that do not need refrigeration (no cream, ice cream, or custard pies, since they're likely to melt and/or spoil sitting out in the sun for several hours).

We are encouraging savory pies as a good counterpoint to all of the dessert pies. We are also encouraging a strong turnout from our youngest bakers.

To get an application for the 2005 pie social stop by Bubby's in dumbo or tribeca, or go to bubby's website or the brooklyn bridge park conservancy's website.

Of course, as the Pie Queen, I will be there, tiara, big blue ribbon and gingham apron at the ready (and, of course, last year's nifty "Pie Socialists" red T-shirt...) Learning from last year, I'm going to make something bright and shiny with visible (and summery) fruit, like an open-faced tart. (Faced with much competition, people do not want a beige dessert. I had to hustle hard to sell off my apple pie last year. Here in NYC, people want glamour, baby. If you could eat glitter, it would sell.) And then perhaps something NOT sweet, since people get a little sugar crazy and start licking their own arms for salt about an hour into the deal. Suggestions? Bring the kids and hope to see you there! Bake pies!

And while we're talking about baking, a big shout-out to Chestnut on Smith St again, this time for their so-fab chocolate-chunk scones and plump popovers. We were the first ones in the door at 11am for Sunday brunch, so we won the pastry prize--a free plate of Matt's hot-from-the-oven goodies, including those scones, those popovers, and two bite-sized little biscuits. And the heirloom-tomato frittata was big as a plate and enough for brunch and lunch the next day. They'll be closed for a couple of weeks of vacation starting soon, so be sure to call before you go, or just wait til Sept.

Best things, Sunday night:
Getting caught--twice!--in the warm rain without an umbrella, listening to the thunder and taking cover under the awnings of all the Italian restaurants on Bleeker Street after a 6pm showing of Junebug at the Angelika, swiping a chocolate-chip cookie from the thank-you plate by the door of Home restaurant on Cornelia St, waiting for a bubbling-hot slice from Joe's Pizza, and getting caught in a torrential downpour yet again, just outside my house.

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