I’m still in LA and though I have a 1,000-mile drive back to Portland awaiting me this week I didn’t mind making a 120-mile round-trip drive to Faria Beach this past weekend to take my friend Christine (pictured below) on her first RV road trip adventure. In fact, the weekend was one of many firsts.
It was the first pie made in the RV. We bought four pounds of fresh cherries on our way north, stopping at the grocery store in Malibu to stock up on pie ingredients and other supplies.
It was also the first gluten-free pie I’ve ever made. Not that I made it. Christine brought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill organic rice flour, eggs, butter and sugar and made the dough on her own.While she was doing that, I was trying to light the oven. And seeing that it was the first time I used the oven in the two years we’ve owned the RV, I didn’t know how to turn it on. I turned the knob into the on position and held the lighter to where I thought the pilot light sat. Nothing happened except that we could smell gas. After three failed attempts I discovered I was turning the knob for the stove-top burner, not for the oven. Doh!
Meanwhile, I had never made a cherry pie before. I have made many other kinds of pies, many of which I can make without a recipe, but I didn’t know cherry. We didn’t make them at Malibu Kitchen, probably because the pitting process is too labor intensive. Or maybe because the owners wanted to avoid the inevitable lawsuits due to people breaking their teeth on cherry pits. Luckily, I could use my Blackberry to look up recipes and got a rough idea of what goes into the filling. So what if we didn’t have vanilla or almond extract for the filling? So what if we didn’t have the baking powder for the crust? This presented the ideal opportunity to pass along one of my favorite pie lessons to Christine: IMPROVISE!
The oven eventually got lit, the pie got assembled (after an hour of de-pitting the cherries by hand), and voila! And in spite of the missing ingredients, we had a delicious gluten-free pie, which we ate by candlelight.Naturally, pie tastes even better when eaten at the beach with dolphins swimming by!And let’s not forget, RV living is not only about pie. There’s also the not-so-glamorous side of RV-ing. Yes, that’s me below, cleaning out the waste tanks. Fun!It was a great weekend and reminded me that there is so much I miss about living in LA (dolphins being one), and ALSO that I shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss gluten-free baked goods. Our RV-made cherry pie could have been a contender in the National Pie Championships! I should know, I was a judge in the cherry pie category for the Professional division.