From Thanksgiving until Christmas, bakeshops both big and small fill flaky crusts with apples, pecans and pumpkin. No matter the size of the kitchen, how much oven space one possesses, or how many helping hands there are, the word “Bulk,” comes to mind during the holidays. The pie and cookie consumption seems never-ending and I begin to wonder why ingredients aren’t sold by the ton, rather than the pound.
I also acquire a sudden sympathy for elves.
While others have time off from work, they hammer away building dollies that talk and that go for a walk for Janice and Jen and those Hopalong boots and pistols that shoot for Barney and Ben. And I imagine them working those long shifts where by the end of the day they begin to go slightly delirious, laughing hysterically and crying all at once, while simultaneously painting increasingly deranged faces on dolls.
Apply this image to a bakeshop setting and you’ve got yourself a pretty accurate picture of Christmas cheer in Pie World, except that the dolls are gingerbread men and uniforms are not red and green, but starchy and white (So really, on the Crazy Bus, bakeshops are one stop closer than the North Pole to resembling a mental institution.)
We bake, bake, bake away with pie tins flying here and there and batters beating on their mixers, and in a way, the scene is truly reminiscent of childhood fantasies of Santa’s Workshop. We work diligently behind the scenes, helping to create festive treats for the season, hopefully making our culinary endeavors appear effortless and in a sense, magical.
Bakeshops may be having their busiest workdays during the holidays, but in the end, despite moments of temporary chaos, great satisfaction can be found in understanding the mysterious way of elves. Knowing that your magic with a bit of butter might bring little more joy, cheer and certainly some added sweetness to people during Christmastime makes every pie worth it.