By Judy Reiss
I am sure that over the years I have mentioned that back in the day, I was a very good baker. Not only that, but when Malcolm and I met, I was the baker at what was the Sugarbush Inn in Warren. And because the Valley was small back then, I also baked at various other lodges, too. Truthfully, I am not sure I was that good but I could make a great Apple Strudel, the kind where you stretched the dough and I think that was why I was hired as much as I was! Then I got married and retired from my baking career except for baking for my children. And I finally retired from doing that when I realized that I ate as much as I baked.
Well, a few years ago, down on the Cape, just a few houses away from our cottage, as I was driving home I saw a little table with two little girls sitting at it and they were selling pies. And because I make a rule that I always stop and buy from children who are selling lemonade and in this case, pies, I stopped. As I decided which fruit pie to buy, I talked to the girls and found out that this was a family project and that they were making and selling pies to raise money for their college spending money. Of course, I bought a pie and I have to tell you that it was the best pie I ever ate! And my own children absolutely loved it. And so it became a real Reiss ritual to stop and buy a pie, almost daily.
Of course, other purveyors of pies were not happy that this family didn’t just make good pies, but sold every single one that they made as soon as they came out of the over. I don’t know exactly what they did, but the town stepped in and closed down this wonderful pie stand. And no one was more upset than the Reiss family. But the McGovern family was not to be denied the opportunity to make their pies so they went and did whatever they needed to do to get a license to sell their pies!
Not just the Reiss family but all of our friends and guests can’t wait every summer to be able to buy pies from “The Pie Family”. Every day except Monday and Wednesday, the family makes pies. During the week they make, at least, 40 pies a day and over the weekend 70 plus! Can you imagine making that many pies? And all working together?
Today I had to call “the pie lady” and order two pies for Tuesday, a blueberry and mixed berry crumble. And while I was on the phone, I told her that I would be right over to get one for tonight, too. And I mentioned how sorry I was that they didn’t sell their pies during the winter. After all, they lived in Moscow, Vermont and it would be only a hop, skip and jump for me to come and buy one during the dark and snowy days of winter. And much to my surprise, keep in mind I have been a customer of theirs for quite a number of years now, that although both of the McGovern parents are school teachers at the Mount Mansfield Winter Academy, they also sell their pies throughout the winter!
Wow! My Polly who lives about four miles from them will be beyond thrilled when she hears that her favorite blueberry crumble, will be available throughout the year!
I just don’t know how it is possible to not only make as many pies as they do, on a daily basis, but also still remain as tight a family as they do. I just can’t imagine how they manage to set up and make 70 pies a day! And believe me, they are the best pies you ever tasted. One of these days down here at the Cape, I am going to pop in and see if these wonderful pies are actually being make in their kitchen by all their family members and not by elves during the night!
Do you know what this story of The Pie Family tells you? It says that with ingenuity and a willingness to work hard, you can do almost anything. This family project still works and everyone is still speaking to each other. And these days when children seem to rule the roost, think how wonderful it would be have your children willing to work together for the benefit of all!