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posted: 1/22/2014 5:45 AM

From the food editor: Making someone's day is as easy as pie

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  • National Pie Day is Jan. 23.

      National Pie Day is Jan. 23.

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You know the saying "as easy as pie" means the same thing as "as easy as one, two, three," but did you know 1/23 -- Jan. 23 -- is also Pie Day?

Well it is, and the American Pie Council hopes you will celebrate by heading into your kitchen and baking a pie, or at least eating a slice of pie.

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Maybe you'll bake that peach pie your grandmother or father showed you how to make, as depicted in a key scene in the upcoming film "Labor Day" (in theaters Jan. 31).

Maybe you'll make your favorite banana cream concoction or trot out a new recipe for the occasion. Maybe you'll indulge co-workers with a home-baked pie or share one with firefighters at the station around the corner. Or maybe you'll eat that pie all by yourself (a Bakers Square survey finds that 20 percent of us admit to eating a whole pie).

If you plan to bake your first pie ever on 1/23, know that you don't have to go it alone. If you get anxious or run into a crust crisis, help is just a phone call away. Experts at the Crisco Pie Hotline can be reached at (877) FOR PIE TIPS -- (877) 367-7438 -- from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If you can't reach them, just relax, breathe and repeat after me: "It's as easy as pie."

And if that fails, keep in mind that whole pies are $2 off Thursday at Bakers Square.


Heavy metal: Outdoor explorers can get a taste of cast iron cooking at a couple of upcoming classes at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton.

From 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, and Feb. 23, students will learn how to prepare hearty recipes including chicken chili and skillet s'mores over a campfire using cast-iron cookware. Instructors will cover tips for cooking with these durable, heavy pots and pans, talk about procedures for cooking over open flames and suggest ways to modify outdoor recipes for indoor kitchens.

"Cast iron can be used for anything from main dishes to breads to desserts, says Christina Adcock, a senior ranger with the district and the program's leader.

The class is open to anyone ages 5 and up, but adults must accompany children younger than 18. The program costs $10 for ages 13 and up; $5 for ages 5--12. Advance registration is required. (630) 933-7248.

Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at dpankey@dailyherald.com or (847) 427-4524.

Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/DebPankey.DailyHerald or follow her on Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter @PankeysPlate.

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