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Minnesota pie for the faux spring

I went to a Pi Party for Pi Day on 3/14/2012, because I can’t say no to a pie potluck (a pieluck?) and it was a lovely start to faux-spring in Minneapolis. I know real-spring starts next week, but with 70- and 80-degree weather I’m back out on my bike, seeing people I only seem to see in the warmer months, and remembering that I don’t always have the desire to be a hermit. It’s funny how some of my people seem to be my summer friends and I feel like I get to re-connect with some long-lost buddies now that it’s warm (and also that I’m no longer in Mexico).

Lovely weather and a backyard full of old and new friends go rather well with a side of pie. Since I’ve started eating gluten-free, I asked permission to stick my face into an apple caramel whiskey pie, skipping the crust altogether. (I may have scooped it onto my plate instead, but that’s for me to know.) There was a savory pie with mashed potatoes and bacon, which of course I tried, seeing as I have a (very public) love for that type of meat. I also tried a peanut butter and jelly pie, as well as some sort of fluffy peanut butter pie, orange merengue, and mystery merengue (only the peanut butter and jelly pie was labeled) and a very delicious ricotta parmesan artichoke pie.

The party would not have been complete without apple-pie and cherry-pie liqueur or the “string cheese pie” that I brought. Okay, it was a bag of string cheese, because I gave up on gluten-free pie, but it ended up being rather popular along withalllll of the sugar. The pies were great but even better was the weather and the reminder of spring and summer fun to come. The first really nice day of the year always puts me into a rather cheery mood where I start thinking of all of the delightful activities that summer brings to the Twin Cities. I’m already dreaming of nights on the patio at Club Jäger, evening bike rides, and afternoons at Hidden Beach.

This year I also was somehow convinced to sign up for a 5K, so I’m training for the Get in Gear race next month. It’s the perfect weather for runs around the lakes followed by patio brunches. One gorgeous day and I start seeing my home as a whole different city full of way too many things to do. The memories of last summer and plans for this summer start to fill my head and I get the itch to be outside as much as I possibly can. Along with all of my usual spring and summer favorites, I’ve got some things that have been on my to-do list for a long while now and I’m going to be sure to check them out this summer and report back!

- Nicky Stein-Grohs

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