There are three quart jars of cherry pie filling setting on my kitchen counter. Father Paul Lippert was visiting recently and asked when I was going to be baking pies. “I don’t make pies,” I replied in a tone suggesting that he really should have known that about me.
“Then why the pie filling?” he asked. “I’m hoping to find other people to make pie and maybe share a piece or two with me,” was my hopeful and maybe selfish reply. “Well, you know,” he said, “it’s not that hard to bake a pie. Just get some pre-made crust at Trigs and do it.” I repeated, in case he hadn’t heard me the first time, “I don’t bake pies.” Which is not to say, I suppose, that I couldn’t at least give pie-baking a try. On one hand I don’t want to risk ruining the pie filling — this is delicious, cherry-packed, high-quality stuff, direct from Door County. On the other hand, Fr. Paul seemed to suggest that anyone with an oven and a timer could do it.
I don’t think it’s quite that simple — and I know that among those reading this column are some master pie-bakers who might cringe at the very thought of a frozen, grocery-store crust — but difficulty shouldn’t preclude the possibility of trying.
A lot of what Jesus urged upon his disciples — and us — was unfamiliar, difficult and sometimes seemingly impossible: forgiving 70 times 7 times, praying for our persecutors, loving our enemies. We ask people in the church to do things all the time that might be unfamiliar, uncomfortable or inconvenient, such as reading and serving at Mass, distributing communion, or assisting in the sacristy. With some guidance and patience, we learn the ropes of what we’re attempting, or at least the grace of persistence.
Do similar disciplines apply to baking? I’m not the one to answer, but with Fr. Paul’s encouragement maybe I’ll bring a cherry pie for the PCCW bake sale next week. TL