I’ve been dying to show you all these beautiful old pie plates we found recently. They were resting on a beam above the ceiling of a bedroom in our house. The house was built in 1749 and is thought to be one of the first farmhouses in my town of Stonington, CT. Like many very old houses, it’s been added onto over the years. Still, it’s a little old Cape Cod style home which once was a sheep farm, then a Christmas tree farm, now home to a boat builder and his poet wife. My husband Bill is one of a dwindling breed. He and the ten other men who work at his shop restore old wooden boats. It takes decades to learn to do what they do. Imagine building furniture which must fit a hull’s swoop and curves so perfectly that it can function well in years of rough seas.
We have a saying at our house: if it’s food, Leslie can cook it; if it’s wood, Bill can fix it.
The pie plates are made of stamped steel, available at the time of the Civil war. Over the last 150-odd years, they’ve rested in the dark space between roof and ceiling, collecting rust, holding a story the leads me to the edge of my imagination. What kinds of pies did he eat that day? Apple from the trees in the field? Savory pies filled with bits of leftover lamb and potatoes? Did he leave them there by accident, or like the three drawings, did he hope they’d be found by someone in a future that strained the limits of his imagination?
If there’s pie, there’s pie filling, no? That will come, oozy and tart, in tomorrow’s post.