The World Needs More Pie

"Give a Piece a Chance." — Books. Blog. Pie Classes. And a Pinch of Activism.

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Day 4: TV Pilot — Oak Glen, California

We debated whether or not we should cancel our scheduled visit to Oak Glen (elevation 2,800) as it had snowed the previous day. We didn’t want to get stuck with the RV — and even though I bought chains before leaving Portland, my goal was to never get myself into a situation where I would have to use them.

Alas, we motored up the mountain in the rain and, though it was COLD, MISERABLE and WET, we arrived safely. No snow!
I can’t think of any better way to spend a cold, miserable, wet day than to sit inside a cozy diner with two lovely older women and talk about pie! Below you can see where we sat for four hours with Theresa Law (age 92) and her daughter Alison at Theresa’s son’s restaurant called Law’s Oak Glen Coffee Shop. Living up to its name, the waitress poured non-stop coffee for us.

We learned about the history of Oak Glen — how the Mormons settled the area in the 1800s and planted the apple orchards — and the history of the Law family — how Theresa lost her first husband in World War II, drove cross country in the 1940s from Maine all the way to Oak Glen with her second husband, first baked pies in her wood burning stove, and when she opened her diner sold out of pies the very first day. Her baking record is 657 pies in one day.

Meanwhile, Kent (Theresa’s son) was busy baking 10 apple pies back in the restaurant’s kitchen. We got to watch as he made and rolled the dough. But better yet, we got to sample the goods fresh from the oven. Below, Kent’s mom looks approvingly at her son’s work.

Pictures speak louder than words. Need I say this was a perfect day?!

After our pie eating orgy, Alison gave us a tour of her fruit stand, Mom’s Country Orchards, where we had lessons in apple varieties. She showed us apples we’d never heard of like Black Twig, Bellflower, Arkansas Black, and too many others to remember without the help of her wall chart. Alison loaded up 4 cases of apples for us to use for National Pie Day (more on that in the next post) and couldn’t resist throwing in a few more of her prized produce –avocados, oranges and blood oranges.

Next stop: Back to Santa Monica for a pie-baking marathon with some close friends who will help roll dough and peel apples. The goal is to make 50 pies to give away on National Pie Day, on Saturday, January 23.