Day 271: Joe the Shoemaker

2 Jan

What a beautiful day it was here in southern Oregon… and unseasonably warm.  We went for our morning walk, and instead of the  multiple layers of clothing that I usually wear at this time of year, I was walking without my jacket for most of the walk.   I know this isn’t good for the snow pack but I liked the warmth and sunshine.

As we got closer to home, we took a detour so that we could walk through the new development that is going in across the street.  As we passed Joe’s house we noticed him out in his yard.  We stopped to wish him a Happy New Year and wound up chatting for a little while and learned a few things about him that we did not know before.

  • Joe was a shoemaker for 56 years!
  • He began his apprenticeship when he was just 15
  • Joe and George Washington share the same birthday

Joe also told us about his children and he mentioned that some family members were staying with him and his wife for a while.  And that’s when I decided that I would make Joe a pie today.   At first I had been thinking, I should give him a pie on February 22 (for his birthday) but then I thought, why not celebrate now while his family is here?

Today I wanted to try a new recipe and perused epicurious for a while and then I found a recipe that sounded really tasty: Sweet Ricotta Cheese Tart.  And of course I did not follow the recipe exactly.  Instead of making their crust, I made an almond shortbread cookie crust and pre-baked it before adding the filling.  I added a bit of amaretto to the filling instead of vanilla to complement the almonds in the crust.   When it was done baking, I decided that I wanted to add a fruit topping and so I sautéed some fresh, chopped pineapple in butter and brown sugar and placed it on the cooled pie.  I think it looked good enough to eat!

When I brought the pie to Joe’s house, his wife Helen met me at the door. I told her about how we’d talked with Joe earlier and how I had made him a pie and she was so surprised and pleased. She thanked me and asked if she could give me a hug. How could I refuse?

As I was writing about this I was reminded me of my dear friend Jim Matteson. Jim used to give out business cards (he was a realtor) that said “The bearer of this card is entitled to one free hug (or more)”! On the back of the card was Jim’s philosophy for living a long and fulfilling life: Everyone needs 4 Hugs a day for survival, 8 Hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth.

Here’s hoping that you’re getting all the hugs that you need.

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4 Responses to “Day 271: Joe the Shoemaker”

  1. Zaimanhi January 2, 2012 at 10:10 PM #

    Hugs are important! Very nice post!

  2. crafthanded January 3, 2012 at 12:08 AM #

    Pie looks lovely, lucky Joe!

    • pieadaygiveaway January 3, 2012 at 7:38 AM #

      Thank you Caroline… I need to make another one of those sometime soon so that I can get a taste!

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