Seven tips on how to throw your own Piesgiving this holiday season

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By: Marshall V. King
mking@flavor574.com

Marshall V. King/Flavor 574

It’s a simple thing to have a meal of only one thing. We do it a lot when it’s pizza or soup, but not when it’s pie.

There’s no time like December to start. What better to way to fight the early sunsets than by gathering friends around pies.

A few nights ago, friends gathered for the annual Piesgiving. Kathy Glick Miller and I read the same Serious Eats blog post in 2011 and gathered friends for the first time in 2012.

Since then, they’ve happened in December 2013, March 2015 and December 2015.

The rule is that you come with a pie you made, at least one per household.

You could wait until March 14, National Pi Day. But I wouldn’t.

How to throw a Piesgiving:

Set a date. Sunday nights work well, but it could be any night. It’s good to have it on a weekend so that someone coming has the most options to make a pie. They take time to make and bake and that most likely happens at the end of a weekend day.

Find someone with a big house to host. A larger gathering means more pies and more variety. Nearly any meal benefits from pie, but if the point is to only eat pies, you want 20 pies, not four. Trust me.

Define “pie” broadly. You want savory and sweet pies. Pizza and quiche count. Anything in a crust counts. Stuff made with cookie crusts and phyllo dough counts. So do empanadas, pasties and fried pies. One year, a participant brought a taco pie consisting of taco ingredients in a pie shell. It counted, but barely.

Stick to the guidelines. Inevitably someone will ask if they can come without a pie. Assure them that even the hosts (ahem, that’s you) are making pies. Grant exceptions for small children or illness, but if you let people in who didn’t make a pie you should warn them they may be mocked. Pie bakers are some ferocious trash talkers.

Declare the pies. Small signs indicating what the pies are help when you have a counter full of pies. Keeping a guest book with who was there and what they brought helps remember too. As much as you want to remember every pie, you’ll be glad someone wrote them all down.

Expect to disappoint. Someone may be offended that you didn’t invite them. Someone may be sad they missed out on the pie. It happens. Apologize and encourage them to have their own Piesgiving. You could offer to invite them to your next one, perhaps after you query them on what kind of pie they would have brought.

Have fun. Pie is a glorious food and it’s worthy of celebration. Piesgiving can be done any time of year, multiple times of year. Just do one.

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