I sit pretty, on delicate bone china cutlery, surrounded by my companions that include delectable savouries like shepherd’s pie, mushroom quiches, chicken pie, corned beef pie, pot pie, Cornish pasty. Then there are my brethren: sweet, mouth-watering wonders like pear pie, banoffee pie, lemon meringue pie, pumpkin pie, rhubarb pie, blueberry pie and the likes. I am the quintessential apple pie. We all have made a grand comeback at the Claremont Pie Festival.
It’s a bright, sunny Saturday morning. The crowds are converging at the venue to experience this gala affair, which happens once every year. We compete neck to neck, one against the other; the sweet and savoury divided into two different categories. In the sweet category, I’m the much-loved, yet the most clichéd pie. Everyone loves an apple pie, but with so many other unique pies vying for attention, I get relegated to the background. I wish I’d also hold a place among the coveted blueberry pie, rhubarb pie or the lemon meringue pie. But my chef Lisa feels I’m the best and I have a special place in her heart and her family’s.
The pie tasting is underway. Lisa has toiled hard to create me with her delicate and deft hands. I’m a double crust apple pie. The upper crust with the pastry lattice woven of cross wise strips looks not just appealing, but a true labour of love. It’s Lisa’s first time at The Claremont Pie Festival and she has put her best foot forward.
When the judges are done tasting the rhubarb pie, I’m next in line. Lisa is jittery and has her fingers and toes crossed. As the judges use the knife to cut me into three small pieces, out pops a big fat fly. The judges are aghast. Lisa is horrified and wishes at that very instant that the ground beneath her would open up and swallow her. Some of the onlookers snigger, some just give Lisa the sorry look. Even I have no clue which ill-fated moment the fly fell into my ingredients, dashing my hopes and that of Lisa’s.
I have no other choice, but to eat humble pie and accept defeat. So does Lisa. Life is unpredictable. Hard work does not translate to success each time. But then there is a next time. Such is the Life of Pie and of every human.