In my life, I’ve only experienced a fire at home once. I was a teenager and had just placed a pizza in the oven when a neighbor said that they saw smoke coming from our house. Someone jokingly asked how the pizza was – but since I had just put it in the oven, I knew that it wasn’t the pizza that was smoking. We all exited the house and called 911. In a few minutes firefighters arrived and put out a fire that had begun in our basement due to spontaneous combustion. It happened so quickly that I was able to rescue my pizza and serve it to the firemen as a token of our gratitude.
A little over a week ago, a man in a neighboring town killed his family and set his house on fire. The firefighters and first responders had no idea what to expect – and many tried valiantly to help resuscitate the family members – a young mother and her children.
While watching the news and reading the story, I thought about the firefighters and the EMT’s. What a terrible scene they encountered. I cannot imagine how they do what they do each day – and I wanted to recognize the brave men and women who serve us in this capacity.
Today I brought a Cherry Almond Tart to the Ashland Fire Department. I am so very grateful for their service to our community.
Ashland Fire and Rescue Team take a moment to enjoy the tart
When I delivered the pie I noticed this phrase from the early years of firefighting posted on the wall, “Not to be guilty of cowardice.” This isn’t the usual job requirement, now is it? Imagine if all of our jobs asked that of us.
Last night I was at Paschal Winery where my friend Darte’s art work was being shown. There were other artists there as well and the event was well attended. I was able to talk with Darte for a little bit but she was being sought out by others and I found myself walking around the gallery on my own. As I was walking around, I found friends there that I did not expect to see. One such friend was a woman who I had met many years ago. We talked for a moment and then she asked, “So what have you been doing lately?” It was the perfect segue for me to talk about this project. I took a few minutes to explain what I’ve been doing for the last 6 weeks with pies, quiches, etc.
My friend then asked if I would consider requests for pies. “Of course” I said. For to me this project is not about the pie. It is about offering thanks … acknowledging effort… recognizing love. I do these things with food, because that is what comes natural to me. But what is most important is the feeling conveyed. I want people to know that they are valued, that they are important, that I am grateful for their efforts.
My friend suggested that I honor her son and his wife. For the past year, they have been through a very stressful period. I was glad to accommodate her request, and I took this opportunity to offer her son and his wife a small gift of a quiche. I want them to know that they are loved and that their tremendous efforts are recognized.
Yesterday I got an email from my friend Karen telling me that she was going to have a yard sale on Saturday. If you know anything about me, you know that I love yard sales. I don’t know when this habit began, but I love to find something at a yard (or estate) sale and breathe new life into it by using it myself or by giving it to a friend. I think reusing things is an honorable trait and by doing so we help to conserve resources and also reduce what we send to the landfill.
Spinach and Mushroom Quiche
A few years ago I met Karen at one of her yard sales. She had a dress for sale that another woman got to before I had a chance. As the woman considered the dress I watched and hoped and waited. Luckily, the woman decided that the dress was not becoming to her and she set it down and I was able to take it home. It is one of my favorite dresses and I felt so fortunate to find it.
I’ve gone to a few of Karen’s sales over the years and in the course of that time we have become friends. When I heard that she was having this latest sale I begged to be let in early with a bribe of scones. Karen then welcomed me to view her sale a day early. And since I know that she is very busy – and preparing to move to Portland – I asked if I could bring her a quiche. It is a simple gesture to thank her for passing on many of her treasures to me. I offer my sincerest thanks and I wish her the very best in this move and always.