Coconut Pie: More than dessert

Plenty of people will agree with me when I say that for many of us food is love. Let me tell you my own special love story. Every time friends visit from out of town we end up at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh. classic-baking

You can eat lunch and walk around. There are plenty of places to get North Carolina trinkets and beautiful, locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables were the last thing I wanted when we passed the bakery. I found pie. It was coconut cream pie, the kind my mother used to make 40 years ago. It was my own personal search for the Holy Grail. For years, I have tried making healthier versions of this pie – crustless, low fat – all wrong. The pie I found at the Farmers Market looked like someone who knew what they were doing baked it. It looked like my mother’s pie, the kind you could have a personal moment with on that first bite.

I know what some of you are thinking. “Who gets this excited about pie?”

I do. I thought about it on the off chance that I am too excited about the combining of sugar, milk, eggs and coconut. Then, I realized that the attraction isn’t the pie itself. It is the memory it evokes. During that first bite, I am transported 40 years in the past to my childhood kitchen table on a warm summer evening. The supper dishes are done and put away. There is no place I need to be, nothing that concerns me. Voices of the people I love can be heard throughout the house. It feels like one big relaxing sigh at the end of the day. What takes you back to that place of comfort, love or just a big dollop of pleasure?