Making Pies in Iowa's "American Gothic" House
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Piece of mind
Beth Howard had a rough weekend. Disappointing business trip. Tough crowd at a public event. But it's nothing a day of making pies can't fix. Back home in Eldon, a southeastern Iowa town of about 900, she dives into her favorite ritual: peeling and slicing Granny Smith apples until she's filled two plates, tucked them under blankets of handmade dough and slid it all into the oven.
"Therapy pie," Beth calls it. "The healing part is the making of it and giving away something of yourself." Then she lifts out a slice and pays the comfort forward by sliding it across the wooden table in my direction.
Without looking down, I realize I'm sharing something bigger than just pie. But when I do glance at the pitchfork in the crust, I remember that we're eating America's pie in one of America's best-known houses.