Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Another successful fundraiser

Many thanks to all who came for pie on February 8, and many thanks to those who donated as well. I could describe the event in greater detail, but what I expect you really want is pictures of delicious pies. And who am I to deny you that?

All the pies, in all their glory

Starting at the top, pecan pie
Red Hot Apple Pie. As in "red hots", the candy otherwise known as "cinnamon imperials"
Razzle Dazzle Pie, this year with just raspberries and blackberries
Chocolate Oatmeal Pie, a new addition this year
Buttermilk Pie, one of two I baked for the party
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. Now with stars!
Treacle Tart
Aztec Chocolate Pie. Yes, with popcorn. All about those New World flavors
Blueberry Pie
Key Lime Pie. Mom baked that one.
Mom points to the pie she baked.
Selfie with pies.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy National Pie Day!

Once again, January 23 brings us National Pie Day.

In honor of such an important holiday, I thought I would put together a list of pies that I have baked recently. Why? Because thinking about pie makes me happy, and, more important, people will ask me what pie they might want to sponsor for Pies Against Cancer 2015, and this way I can just direct them to this list.

Pies I baked for the party in 2014:
Apple Pie
Blueberry Pie
Pecan Pie (now, without corn syrup!)
Buttermilk Pie (fan favorite)
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Treacle Tart
Chocolate Silk Pie
Chocolate Chess Pie
Aztec Chocolate Pie
Key Lime Pie
Razzle Dazzle Pie (mixed berries)

Pies I've baked in previous years:

Cranberry Orange Walnut (not sure why this isn't more popular)
Shaker (Meyer) Lemon Pie
Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie
Spicy Mango Tart
Pumpkin Pie (with brandy)
Red Grapefruit Lime Pie
Arc en Ciel (fruit tart)

I've also made a popular Peach Pie, but it's seasonal, so, probably not for a party in February.

I might introduce something new this year, just to keep everyone guessing. Feel free to make suggestions.

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 FAQ

2015 FAQ

When is the party?
Sunday February 8, from 2pm to 5pm. For those keeping score at home, that's the weekend after the Superbowl but before the Washington/Lincoln long weekend.

Where is the party?

400 East 85th Street, Apartment 9D. This is on the southeast corner of 85th Street and First Avenue.

This is a fundraiser?

Yes. Once again I am raising money for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the nation's leading cancer hospitals.

How do I donate?

Simply click on this link which takes you to my fundraising page. Your donation goes directly to MS-KCC, which will send you a receipt right away, avoiding any awkward exchange of money with me, waiting for checks, etc. They're a 501(c)(3), so your donation is fully tax-deductible. And while, in many other respects, cash is king, it makes getting you the tax deduction much more complicated. Checks? Yep, they’re fine, too, but donating through the website makes things easier for everyone involved. If you have qualms about getting unwanted solicitations if you give this (or any other) charity your personal information, I hear you. I believe there is a box you can check to opt out of such solicitations. Also, if you are sponsoring a pie (see below!), let me know. I get notified that you have made a donation, but officially MS-KCC doesn't tell me how much each individual donation is.

Did you say my donation is fully tax-deductible?

Yes, because you receive nothing of material value in exchange. Apparently, the IRS doesn't consider my pies to be of any material value [shakes head in disbelief].

So how much should I give?

As much as you feel comfortable giving.

That's really vague, Christopher.

I am suggesting that you each give $10. I'm suggesting this the way the Metropolitan Museum of Art suggests that you give $20 for admission. Not strictly speaking a barrier to entry, but a nice gesture.

For your pies (and to fight cancer) I would gladly give more! Should I donate more than $10?

You are too kind! In that case, I would suggest that you sponsor a pie.

How much does it cost to sponsor a pie?

After consulting with my inner math geek, I decided on $31.42. Which is approximately ten times pi. Geddit?

What do I get for sponsoring a pie?

Pay attention, as this is different from previous years, when I put your name on the pie and you got to take home the leftovers. At my Mom’s suggestion, this year I’m offering you the option of having me bake you a pie all for yourself, at a time and place we can arrange before or after the party. I'll still put your name in bold on the program (note to self: make programs for this party). Of course, you can still just sponsor a pie at the party and take home leftovers. Either way, you get to eat pie. And you may thank my Mom in person. If you live outside New York, we might be able to find a time to hand off a pie, but if it involves flying, this is probably not a good idea. Also not a good idea: sending pies through the mail.

Can I pick which pie to sponsor?

Sure! Why not? And because of the option of getting your pie later, more than one person can sponsor the same kind of pie. No fighting as to who gets to sponsor my pecan pie. Because there has been some disappointment in previous years. And if you're not sure what kind of pie you might want to sponsor - and who can blame you, there are so many! - you can scroll through the blog and see what pies I've baked in the past.

So, tell me more about Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Gladly. Here's some language they provided:

As one of the nation’s premier cancer centers, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) is committed to exceptional patient care, leading-edge research, and superb educational programs. The close collaboration between its physicians and scientists is one of the Center’s unique strengths. Such collaborations enable MSKCC to provide patients with the best care available today as they work to discover more effective strategies to prevent, control, and ultimately cure cancer in the future.

On a personal note, I'd also add that Sloan-Kettering is where my Mom's colon cancer was treated so successfully. Thanks, Sloan-Kettering!

Finally, are you sure that pies would be against cancer, if only they had the power of speech?

I most certainly am.

2014 Pies Against Cancer Recap

Last year's Pies Against Cancer fundraiser was a great success. We raised over $1,700 to support MSKCC's mission to fight cancer, with a record number of donors. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I could go into greater detail about the pies, but I think pictures do them greater justice. One of my former colleagues from Serious Eats, photographer Robyn Lee, came to the party to take pictures and, truth be told, sample the pies. Pro tip: if you can get a professional photographer to take pictures of, well, just about anything, take advantage of that opportunity.The results below speak for themselves:

Mom looks on proudly

Cutting pies is hard work