Montana, Sweet Montana and the Power of Pie

This week has been a long one. I am filling-in for a friend who is at a conference which means that I basically go to work, come home, put my jammies on and go back to work again. Yesterday was Wednesday and it was cool and rainy…a perfect day for jeans and a sweatshirt, naps, reading and firing up the oven for some baking. But I was at work, so I couldn’t do any of those things. Instead I asked my Facebook friends for suggestions on what kind of pie to bake and what movie to watch when I can actually do so. The responses were really good and got me to thinking…

Montana, sweet Montana…. How I love you so.

Also, it would appear that fruit pies are very popular in Central Wisconsin followed by banana and coconut cream and lemon meringue. Throw in some rhubarb and it’s all covered. Plus, I have a new source for a killer pecan pie recipe. As you know, I am an optometrist not a real baker or cook so I cheat a lot. I have a killer ho-made recipe from Rhee Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman that works every time. (I have a bad joke where I say this pie crust is Ho-made and I am the Ho that made it! It gets a laugh every time.) I buy my pie filling from Wienke’s Market in Door County, Wisconsin. I think they ship to pretty much everywhere. I like the Door County Cherry Pie Filling and usually have a jar in the cupboard and have “sources” who get it for me. That is the pie I am going to make tomorrow. I would like to try to make lemon meringue but it is raining and I think that I read/heard/watched somewhere that your meringue will “fall” if it is raining. Is that true? I have no idea, but that is my story and I am sticking to it.

On to the movies… I got a bunch of really good suggestions. I got to thinking about Legends of the Fall and Out of Africa. I love both of those movies. Both are also books. This is where I get to Montana. If you get a chance, check out Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Montana’ episode of No Reservations. You will get to meet an interesting group of people including Jim Harrison, author of Legends of the Fall and artist Russell Chatham who is a great artist, fisherman and person.

After I saw that episode I contacted Russell Chatham to purchase a print of a fly fisherman for my Mom. We played phone tag and left messages on each other’s message machine. I ended up purchasing two of the prints, one for me and one for my Mom. Russell signed both of them and sent me another print, “just for the hell of it.” I love them both and have one in my house and one in my office which I look at every day. We did the whole deal over the phone machine, he sent me the prints without me paying anything, it was all packed and shipped super carefully- like a piece of art, with a paper invoice. I sent back a check and a note saying if I had the nerve I would sell everything and start driving West. It was a fun experience. I love that guy… I don’t know him, but I love him.

Years ago I was driving by myself from Wisconsin to Oregon where I was going to school. Just outside of Missoula, Montana I was driving through the 4th of July Pass. It was there that I saw both ends of the rainbow at the same time, and actually drove through the rainbow…. It was a magical experience. I haven’t seen both ends of the rainbow at the same time since. That area is a dramatic mix of rugged terrain and I think a person either loves it or hates it. It is where the desert meets the mountain and only the strong survive. It is a place where a person can get lost or get found depending on your point of view.

Ok, darlings I have to go to work now…. Shoot! I didn’t get to Out of Africa! Next time! Have a great day and I hope you get to eat some pie and watch a good flick this weekend. Or chuck it all and start driving! Man, I wish I was with you! Peace.GGJ

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