The start of the new year meant several changes in my life. For on thing: NO JOB! I have been out of work from my last job about 2 months now. There have been hard times in my life. I have never given in to assemble line cooking; franchise restaurants that make the same thing over and over again to taste the same every where you go. I've always been at the fore front all my life. That's why I went back to school at the age of 41. Can you believe that! Wow! Doing what I've always wanted to do: Cook. A second career, I was off and running. At least, I thought I was. It has not been easy these last 7 years. But, I wake up every morning and look to that higher level of being. Going to the markets has always been a way of seeing what's new in life to cook with. All the new products that come out on the horizon, all seem to disappear. What I always go back to is the basics. The labor intensive art of cooking food from scratch. You might not like the sound of that, but in all honesty, it's a better way of life. Yesterday, I made these amazing pies. They were Pumpkin-Praline Pies. These pies have 19 ingredients in them. You might say to yourself, "Why don't you just buy one of those frozen things they have at the market?" Because. It's not the same thing! When you bake and cook from scratch, a whole new world opens up to your mind. It's like having the best of both worlds. The actual making and baking of pies is a wonderful thing. You get to create. You get to play. You start to believe in yourself like there is no tomorrow. There is only today: And you let your hair down and go straight into the wind. You make your own little world a world of re-creation in the kitchen. You put away all doubt you've had about yourself in the past, and hit the "GO" button. You start your engines and go full throttle. The pies turned out great. For a dear friend at church who had a last minute party that came together in less than 48 hours. It happens. When the pies were brought over to her house, amazement set in. They were unveiled like some new arrival in a big museum. The look on their faces. The smiles that were behind all those eyes. The real truth will be the taste. You always hope that 1 + 1 = 100! Especially in baking! If 1+ 1 only comes out to 2, it's time to start over again. Longevity. Smiles. Creativity. Pursuit. Happiness. The art of making and baking pies.