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A simple plum pie inspired by William Carlos Williams’ poem “This Is Just To Say”

I love hitting people up for recommendations, things they want me to read, things they want me to bake. Sometimes it’s zany, sometimes, it’s earnest, but it’s always eye opening. Just before I started at my new job a few months ago, my boss invited me over for a dinner party. Obviously I found a way to steer the conversation back to pie (I always do) and my colleague (now friend, if I may be so bold) Dave recited “This Is Just to Say” at the dinner table.

I was struck by how calmly and completely Dave was able to pull it from memory. There is something visceral about hearing a piece before you’ve had a chance to read it. You haven’t had the time to pull it apart or over think it, there’s just the words.

Spoiler-Free Summary

Read it. It will take you literally less than a minute.

Notes From The Piebrary

This poem is so brief, were I more skilled at close reading poetry I’m sure I could do wonders with the syntax, line breaks, and minutiae of this one. However, as it is, I’m going to steal a bit of Dave’s interpretation as a jumping off point: the poem isn’t apologetic at all, it’s smug. The narrator isn’t apologizing or asking for forgiveness, but rather rubbing it in that he or she has eaten the plums the other party so desperately wanted.

Again, it’s a great example of why I love talking about books with other people. You give me a novel and I’ll conjure a movie scene-for-scene in my head, but somehow imagining the subtle tonal variations in poetry eludes me. The exchange of ideas over a text can be so heartening!

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Parsing This Pie

Plums. I mean… plums, come on!

I’ve been waiting for summer fruits: it’s pie season! While poetry can be extremely nuanced, I wanted this pie to reflect the simple elegance of the text. I figured (for once) I’d keep it simple.

Have this pie for breakfast, or steal a slice late at night before someone else has the chance to get to it. Have it warm, have it cold so it sends bitter summer fruit chills through your teeth and down your spine. Eat the plums!

Recipe

Crust:
-2 cups flour
-2/3 cup butter
-4 tbs water

Filling:
-10 plums
-1 cup sugar
-1/3 cup corn starch
-1 tbs cinnamon
-1/2 tbs nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare a double crust, you can check out the previous introduction to crust for directions!

Cut up the plums, going around the pit and slicing up the meat of the fruit. Mix slices together with sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Roll out the dough and line the pie tin, fill with fruit, and cover with a top crust. You can even weave a lattice like I did!

Serve with a bit of ice cream straight from the freezer!

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