What does an energetic, intrepid cook do with her anger about an unfair world? Just ask Colleen Hubbard later this week…over a slice of her pie.

On Sunday, July 13, Colleen and her friend, David Pistrang, will be serving up dish after dish of their favorite homey dessert at the Women’s Building. It’s a Pie Social, their grassroots and very delicious way to raise money for Equality California’s fight against the November ballot initiative that would nullify gay marriage. Conservative groups have already rallied and pumped money into their coffers.

As Colleen and David’s Facebook invitation says: “Whether you’re gay, straight or only have love for your cats, we can all say “Boo!” to that.” So they’re pushing back their sleeves, reaching for their rolling pins, and preparing for a long weekend — of baking.

Bringing together like-minded folks over sweets and coffee, chatting up the politics in a neighborly way (no speechifying, she promises), promoting tolerance, and reviving the art of flaky crust are all part of Colleen’s vision of community. It’s not a surprising combination coming from a small-town girl transplanted to San Francisco.

As for the stars of the party, the pies themselves, Colleen and David will receive fruit donated from local farmers market vendors. Strawberry and stone fruits are good bets for the line-up. They’ll be baking them up at La Cocina’s incubator kitchen, where Colleen works regularly as a volunteer.

A Midwesterner raised by pie-lovers, I couldn’t resist asking her about her philosophy of crust. Although she appreciates the power of lard, she prefers an all-butter crust for both flavor and wider enjoyment. I’m a part-lard gal myself but certainly can’t argue with the powers of deliciousness and friendliness.

We both agree, however, that making pie is nowhere near as difficult or scary as many think. Other lost arts — such as putting up jam — are also on Colleen’s revival list. You can read about her seasonal jam-making sessions at Delights and Prejudices. Stop by the Pie Social to meet Colleen and to ask her yourself about the art and politics of pie.

Sunday, July 13, 2008
1:30 – 3:30 pm
Suggested donation: $20 – $50 (to benefit Equality California)

The Women’s Building, Audre Lorde Room
3543 18th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Google Map

pie social

Pie and Politics 7 July,2008Thy Tran

  • kyle mcgillicuddy-penna

    This sounds amazing. A day full of pie and two of the most inspirational and least recognized culinary leaders of our time. How could I miss it?? I couldn’t, clearly.


Thy Tran

Thy Tran writes literary nonfiction about food, the rituals of the kitchen, and the many ways eating and cooking both connect and separate communities around the world. She co-authored the award-winning guide, Kitchen Companion, and her work has appeared in numerous other books, including Asia in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Cultural Travel Guide and Cooking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Fine Cooking and Saveur. A recipient of a literary grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Thy is currently working on a collection of essays about how food changes in families across time and place.

Though trained as a professional chef, she works on cookbooks by day, then creates literary chapbooks by night. An old letterpress and two cabinets of wood and lead type occupy a corner of her writing studio, for she is as committed to the art and craft of bookmaking as she is to the power of words themselves. In addition to writing, editing, teaching and printing, Thy remains active in local food justice and global food sovereignty movements. Visit her website, wanderingspoon.com, to learn more about her culinary adventures.

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