Saturday, March 14, 2015

Local Saturday - Pi Day

Pi Day - 3.14.15. (followed by about 10 trillion digits)

Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. What is so mystical about it is that the pattern of digits never repeats. Thanks to computers, the value of Pi has been brought out past 10 trillion digits, and still no repeats.

Every March we have 3.14 (March 14, or 3/14, the way we write it in the United States) but once a century, we get the third and fourth digits after the decimal:  3/14/15 in our notation.  And, at 9:26:53 tonight (or this morning, if your time zone hasn't passed it yet), we will celebrate the next few digits.

Every year Pi Day has gotten bigger and bigger in the United States.  Today (which also would have been Albert Einstein's birthday) Americans will celebrate by eating pizza pie with the Pi symbol baked into the middle, and, of course, eat regular dessert pie.

In January, I shared the below memory with you of my young adulthood, when my spouse was in the Air Force, and we were spending our first militaryThanksgiving together with other people away from home.  At that time, I couldn't find the recipe for my Memory Pie, which is a soybean pie (no, really, please keep reading) that tastes like a pumpkin pie.
But, thanks to a decluttering project, I have found the recipe.  This was my second copy of the cookbook - I had worn the first one to shreds.  So what happened?

I offered to make it, but my spouse took one look at the recipe, and said "no". When we went to our local supermarket, I couldn't even find dried soybeans.  So I am not going to bake a pie for you.

I will leave you, instead, with a link to the recipe, which is available online.

But I will not leave you with the pie.  Just a memory.  Here is the original post. 

If anyone does make the pie, though, could let me know how it comes out?

Memory Pie

Today, in the United States, it is Pie Day (not to be confused with March 14, which is Pi Day).

So, thousands of bloggers will be blogging about their favorite pie recipes.

There are amazing bloggers out there who blog about pie and football, all in the same post.

I've blogged about pie before (how about some grape pie?), but I have never told the story of my Most Memorable Pie.

It was the mid 1970's and we were over a thousand miles from home.  It was my spouse's first Thanksgiving in the military.  He was undergoing technical training in Texas.  And he had friends in his class, all of whom were far away from home, too.

For the most part we were in our late teens or early 20's, but among us was a slightly older man.  Sgt W. was from Iowa and he was a soybean farmer.  As I recall, he had joined the National Guard and was training with my spouse's Air Force class.

And Sgt W. had never eaten a soybean.  He had never sampled the crop he grew.

In the mid 1970's, soybeans weren't common the way they are today.  But I had become an on and off vegetarian in college, and I had fallen in love with a couple of books - Diet for a Small Planet and Recipes for a Small Planet.  As I wasn't working, and my spouse was making the tiny salary of an airman, money was tight and we used the methods explained in this book to stay healthy.  We ate whole grain homemade breads, bean and rice casseroles, and even dishes made with the healthy soybean.

In one of these books was a recipe for a mock pumpkin pie made with pureed soybeans, pumpkin pie spice and other ingredients I can't remember (nor could I find the recipe in a long Internet search last night). 

My spouse invited several of his classmate friends, including Sgt W., to Thanksgiving dinner.  And, an idea hatched in my mind.  Why not make something with soybeans for him?

We had a turkey, and other items no longer remembered.  It was one of the happiest Thanksgivings I remember, because we were all away from home but not lonely, and I remember our companionship much more than I remember the food.

Except for one thing.  When I served my "pumpkin pie", Sgt W. dug in, and said he liked it.  So did everyone else.  I even liked it, and I don't like pumpkin pie.

So I admitted to him that his "pumpkin pie" was really soybean pie.  And he didn't seem to mind.

I wonder what he said when he returned home to Iowa when his class was over.  We never saw him again after that.

I don't know where Sgt W. lives today, or if he is even alive.  Sadly, I  know at least one of the young men at that dinner passed several years ago.  And I don't know if W. remembers the young woman he had Thanksgiving with, in an apartment near an Air Force base in Texas in the mid 1970's, and the soybean pie she served him.

If you are out there, Sgt. W, happy Pie Day to you.[and now, happy Pi day to you, too.]


  1. Hi Alana,

    Enjoyed reading your post! Thanks for sharing :) Interesting :)

  2. Had dinner with a famous mathematician last night & forgot to wish him Happy Pi Day!

  3. I like that! Soybean pie-very nice. I'm having flashbacks of high school math with the 3.14.......... I had a teacher who held a contest to see who could write it out using the most numerals. I clearly did not win-lol.

  4. Funny, I also mentioned Pi Day today! It is fascinating - hubby and I saw the article earlier this evening about how this year's Pi Day dates - 3/14/15 - won't happen again for another century. So it really is a day for the history books!


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