My husband met Preston Mitchell last winter when he volunteered to be the photographer for the Medford Food Coop and I met him at the grand opening celebration for the coop in August. Earlier this week, my husband had lunch with Preston and when he came home he suggested that I make a pie for him.
This afternoon we made an appointment to meet Preston in Medford. We enjoyed an exhibition of his photographs on display at the Rogue Valley Manor. One photo showed a very young Preston with his family having a picnic on the side of the road with their vintage 1916 car parked nearby. There were also photos of his daughters, kittens, and the Yosemite half dome.
In addition to being an accomplished photographer, Preston is a very active man. He plays in several bands in the valley ( he plays tuba, flute, recorder and bass), is an avid swimmer, and until a few years ago he could be found hiking the trails of southern Oregon. Preston is a wonderful example of a person with “joie de vivre.”
This afternoon as I was preparing to make a pie for Preston I considered the beautiful figs that I bought at the Ashland Food Coop and the gorgeous apples in the bowl on my table. Having never made a fig-apple pie I googled a recipe and found this one. I made few changes to the recipe. Here is what I started with:
After our tour, Preston walked us to our car where I presented him with his pie and explained my project. When I told him that his pie was made with apples, figs and walnuts his blue eyes lit up and he exclaimed how much he loves fresh figs. And though it might have been just a lucky coincidence to have made a pie with his favorite ingredients… I believe that there’s more to it than that. And it’s one of the best things about this pie journey… those moments when everything seems to come together perfectly.