Author: death and the penguin
The Beginning of the Pieatus
Lads, I’m a fraud. I haven’t eaten pie in over three months. I’m gonna take a break from blogging to go into therapy for pastry withdrawal; hopefully I’ll be seeing all of you in the not-too-distant future.
Which pie are you?
It’s been brought to my attention that surveys are pretty popular in the blogging world. People love being told what kind of this or that best fits their personality based on an easily manipulated test. Since my friend referred to this blog as “painfully niche”, I’ve been trying to court a wider audience, so here goes.
What kind of pie are you?
1 – How do you normally spend your Sunday mornings?
A) Strolling briskly over hill and dale; campaigning for Corbyn.
B) Heading over to a farmer’s market you heard about on Twitter.
C) Sleeping til eleven; then playing the Sims.
D) Slapping pork pies out of childrens’ hands.
2 – What’s your ideal holiday?
A) British beach holiday involving long cliff walks and fish and chips.
B) Anywhere with palm trees.
C) A staycation so you can catch up on odd jobs and help your mate move like you promised.
D) Thinking about undermining everything good people hold sacred.
3 – What’s your dream job?
A) Anything that lets you gaze into the distance with a stoic look on your face.
B) Head of PR at a multinational corporation.
C) Anything that lets you knock off early on Fridays.
D) Designing those self-checkout tills that constantly warble about unexpected items in the bagging area.
4 – What’s in your fridge right now?
A) Henderson’s relish – nothing else needed.
B) Tofu. Vegan cheese. Organic veg.
C) Leftover chili you’re pretty sure has gone past its best.
5 – Which of these superpowers would you pick?
A) The power to set the price of beer at £3 a pint.
B) The power to cook trendy vegan food and have it taste halfway decent.
C) The power to read minds. You probably wouldn’t use it, but it’d be cool to have the option.
D) The ability to turn eggs, a gift from heaven, into something that makes me retch.
6 – How do you normally spend your Pie Days?
A) In a pub on a moor with a pint of strong ale.
B) Surrounded by friends in a well-lit up-and-coming cafe.
C) Anywhere where there’s pies, pints, and mates.
D) Alone, in a tower, muttering.
7 – Which Hogwarts house would you be sorted into?
D) Slytherin’s not evil enough for you.
I know this system of totting up scores is ridiculously low-tech, but literally the only thing powering this entire operation is my deep-seated belief that pie is a little slice of heaven. I’m no Buzzfeed, is what I’m trying to say.
Mostly As: You are mince and onion. You’re a no-frills kind of person and, although you do tend to keep your feelings to yourself, you have a heart of gold and you’re trustworthy to a fault. Your friends are the most important part of your life, even if you don’t always tell them so.
You like your meat greasy and your gravy claggy; if people specifically asked, you’d say you thought men should be men but, in the back of your mind, you do have issues with our society’s oppressive gender roles.
You’re either from Lancashire and hate people from Yorkshire, or you’re from Yorkshire and hate everyone. You don’t believe in asparagus and you like your cabbage the way they used to do it at school: submerged in tepid water for eight hours.
Mostly Bs: You’re artichoke heart and stilton. You’ve acquired, through careful cultivation, a taste for the finer things in life, and you don’t mind people knowing it. Your Instagram inspires your friends and turns your enemies green, but even you do have to admit you’ve sacrificed a piping hot meal for the perfect snap a few too many times.
You have strong opinions about coffee and you’re secretly afraid that if you start drinking good wine you’ll immediately lose your ability to enjoy an Asda £3 bottle. Your friends get nervous eating spaghetti around you, because they know you’ll judge them for using anything more than a fork and flair. You pretend you drink Malibu ironically, but really you first tried it at a house party when you were fourteen and haven’t found a drink you like more.
You prefer cafes to pubs, especially if the cafes have unvarnished wood tables. Your favourite pie joint is Lord of the Pies; you lowkey believe in reincarnation but are too embarrassed to tell anyone. Your eyebrows are so beautiful they make people physically sick.
Mostly Cs: You are a Cornish pasty. You’re reliable, laid-back and a lot of fun. You’re more emotionally available than mince and onion and less intimidating than artichoke heart and stilton, but people tend to take you for granted. Sometimes you feel like the last pasty in the garage shop – but your friends do appreciate you, even if they don’t always laugh at your well-intended jokes.
When you’re in a group and someone interrupts a friend of yours in the middle of a story, you’re the kind of hero who will ask them to finish telling it. When a group is walking along the pavement and it’s too narrow for everyone to walk abreast, you notice whoever’s been left walking on their own and try and include them in conversation. After a night out, you insist everyone text you when they get home; although they roll their eyes, your friends are touched by your concern.
You’re super flaky, though. Like ridiculously flaky. Sometimes people struggle to get their heads around how flaky you are.
Mostly Ds: You are a quiche. You’re a monster and I hate you.
Whilst we all have our own favourite pies, and may argue bitterly about the relative tastiness of steak & onion and cheese & leek, in our society we all do conform to broad preferences. We all agree, for example, that mince belongs in a pie but mushy peas, baby food and my keys don’t.
There wasn’t always such consensus amongst the pie community, though; in the 70s emerged a fringe group of Friday Piedayers sought to broaden our definitions of what belongs in a pie.
Some of their suggestions, like apple & blueberry and chicken, bacon & mozzarella, can be found on the pie table to this day; others tested less well with audiences. Let’s take a look at some of the more adventurous combinations.
Warning: Not for sensitive readers. Some of these are really weird.
- Greek yoghurt and grapes
This might sound kind of OK in a bit of a weird way, but now imagine it with shortcrust gravy, served piping hot and curdling, and swimming in beef dripping. It was a dark time in Pie Day Friday’s history.
- Another pie
What goes well with pie? Another pie, of course! If the conscientious piyer surgically peeled back the lid of this pie, inside they’d find another, slightly smaller pie. This is pretty cool to be fair, but once the novelty wears off, you end up with what’s essentially just a pie with a really thick crust.
- Banana and sweetcorn
Leading pientists believed that the key to flavourfullness may have been colour coordination. Also arising from this theory were the abominations chocolate & mince, boiled egg & haribo eggs, tomatoes sauce & soup, and the surprisingly tasty leek & lime.
You can see the logic behind this: gravy is fucking amazing. Apparently, though, what makes gravy so good is its contrast with solids. Otherwise you’re just drinking bouillon from a pastry bowl and that’s kind of grim.
This movement was sponsored by “CRUSTS Я US”, a company specialising in pastry.
- A CD with a pirated copy of “the Empie Strikes Back” starring Brendan Fraiser
This film actually stands up surprisingly well, but it was too crunchy to catch on as a filling in its own right.
Through the Pie of the Needle
I tell you the truth, if you think Friday Pieday is just a sacred text away from being a cult, you’d be wrong. We have a sacred text.
Why, just the other day I was reading my copy of the Holy Pieble when this particular passage caught my eye:
“Again, I tell you: it is easier for a crocodile to go through the pie of a needle than it is for a lover of quiche to enter the kingdom of God.”
Due to it’s vivid imagery and apparently unequivocal stance on quiche, this is surely one of the most often quoted passages of the Tasty Book. It has been used to push a purist pie agenda for centuries, and the number of quiches which have been burnt at the stake in its name is too high to count.
Yet contemporary pieblical scholars theorise that the true meaning of the text may not be so simple. Some suggest that pie of a needle, already quite a confusing phrase, may be a mistranslation. A better rendering of the original Piebrew might be hole in a pie lid from which steam escapes or small gap. Already our conceptions about this passage are shaken.
As if that weren’t enough, some theologians cast doubt about the most memorable part of the quote. I’m talking, of course, about the crocodile. Indeed, many people wouldn’t glance twice at this passage if it weren’t for the vivid and comical image of a muddy crocodile, thrashing around, trying to squeeze through a small hole. It’s enough to make one convert.
And yet, that beloved crocodile, it is suggested, may be nothing more than an error in translation. Linguists, determined to decode the renownedly thorny nuances of Ancient Piebrew, have found evidence to suggest that the word αλυγατσρ actually corresponds more closely with alligator than crocodile.
Surely I can’t be alone in thinking that those gosh darn intellectuals have ruined a perfectly lovely piece of scripture.
Pie Beg Your Pardon
Manners Maketh the Man
We all know that emotions run high on Fridays. It’s the end of a long week, sometimes it takes a while to get a hold of a pie, everyone ends up being a bit frazzled. Beers might be drunk, steam might be let off.
But, my fellow platipie, that is no excuse for letting your manners slip. The Order of Pie is founded on the twin principles of pastry and courteousness – without the latter, we might as well be animals devouring a sophisticated meal. Animals.
For those of you who have forgotten, please reread the code of conduct every Friday Piyer tacitly agrees to by eating pie:
- No shoving. Remember: there is plenty of pie to go around.
- No glassing anyone. This is a crucial one. No matter how many drinks you have, or how insulted you feel by your neighbour’s impression of the Queen, you must not glass them.
- If you are sharing chips, you must offer them around before taking the last serving.
- The piyer who receives pie last shall be commiserated with appropriately.
- If you have to go and collect cutlery, you will collect enough cutlery for the whole party.
- You must check everyone has decided before ordering.
- If you arrive later than the specified meeting time, you must make a slightly self-deprecating joke.
- You must comment on the weather at least once during the event.
- Friday Pieday is a time to reflect on the past week and to think about the challenges to come. You must listen to everyone’s stories and not loudly yawn, even if you’re bored by Carol’s office stories.
- No glassing anyone! I can’t say this strongly enough – you really shouldn’t glass anyone.
If everyone follows these simple guidelines, Pieday will be a nurturing and convivial experience.
Motivational Piester: Volume II
Easy on the Pies
Our Twisted Standards of Baked Beauty
Take a minute to picture your perfect pie.
Be honest — it was a symmetrical, golden brown number with a smooth crust, wasn’t it?
These days, people reject any less ‘classically beautiful’ pies, saying they’re “ugly” or “burnt”, or even going so far as to claim it “looks like someone already ate it”.
It’s 2018, guys! Not all pies have a perfect, unbroken lid, OK?
And does that make these delicious, if lumpy, specimens any less delicious?
Just think a while. That pie you called ugly has feelings too.
A Crustworthy Source of Information.
In this day and age, it’s harder than ever to believe what you read in the media. Everyone seems to have their own agenda, whether it’s selling you something (by the way, PieMinister pies are only £7.99 at Tesco’s), fearmongering (pastry stocks may be depleted by 2020!!!!11!!!!), or good old fashioned clickbaiting (10 on fleek ways to eat a pot pie – number 6 is 100% lit).
What with the presidential support of fake news, lately it seems like news outlets are geared towards sensationalism rather than journalism, and in no arena is this more true than within pionic media.
The recent decline in quality of such Goliaths as The Daily Turnover and Fresh Pasty leaves many pierates wondering whether unbiased pionic news sources even exist these days. These once great newspapers seem to snub stories people are really care about, favouring unsubstantiated rumours about quiche infiltrating our nation’s pie factories.
Up and down the country – no, the world – people are crying out for a source of news they can put their faith in it. Dare I say it, they are clamouring for a crustworthy source of news.
But how can a person be sure that what they’re reading hasn’t been fabricated by a brown-eyed blogger in her twenties, trawling for likes? The only solution, it seems, is to be more widely read – unlike our parents’ generation, piellennials cannot be satisfied by one single paper or website. The consumer of pie-based journalism is compelled to devour many different sources in order to develop a more realistic picture of pie today.
The sad truth, however, is most people don’t have time to thoroughly research pie-based current events, obsessed as they are with “real” news that “actually matters” hasn’t been “made up by Rosie Daniels”.
It is a sad state of affairs indeed.
Easy as Pie
Since starting this blog, I’ve spent more time than ever thinking about that most glorious of pre-weekend dishes, the pie. I think about eating it, I think about admiring it, I think about it as a cornerstone of our sopiety.
Recently, I’ve been intrigued by the expression, “As easy as pie”. Where oh where, I wondered to myself, munching on a Sainsbury’s own mini pork pie, could that phrase have come from?
After all, there’s not a lot about pie I’d call easy. Not buying it, which requires money, and still less cooking it, which requires dealing with that notorious but necessary bastard, pastry. Hell, even blogging about it isn’t that easy – synonyms for filling is one of my Google alerts.
Curiosity piqued, I finished up my snack, brushed myself down, scattering crumbs and gelatin, and headed off to the library with a new sense of purpose.
It was there, surrounded by leatherbound books and ostrich feather quills, that I discovered the truth.
As it turns out, “easy as pie” at the time of its coinage had nothing whatsoever to do with my favourite dish and pet obsession. On the contrary, it is actually Cockney rhyming slang for “lying crying” – confusing indeed, as “mince pies” is already rhyming slang for “eyes”.
At its inception, “easy as pie” really meant as easy as it is to feign tears (or “lie cry”).
The more you know.