berry pie-stars stripes

although baking/cooking is my passion, i make my living by working in corporate america. if i tried to explain to you what the company i work for does, or even what my job is, it would still be unclear after you asked any question you could think of… here is the short answer: companies, schools, governments, etc buy all sorts of computer stuff from us, i manage a team of folks that specialize on a particular product manufacturer and help the sales reps. just like i do something outside of my day job, one of the gentlemen on our help desk does something spectacular in addition to his job at our company: HE PROTECTS OUR FREEDOM AND PUTS HIS LIFE ON THE LINE FOR US! He came back from Iraq a few weeks ago, and will be returning to work this Monday, so a bunch of us ladies are baking as part of the welcome back/thank you efforts.

since he has been serving our country, i wanted to do something red, white & blue. my first thought was to either make a blueberry & strawberry shortcake or an angel food, whipped cream & berry trifle… the problem with both of those is that cream is involved, and that cannot be sitting out on the goodies table that they are setting up all day. since he is a health-conscious guy, i figured i should keep it light; this helped me narrow it down to a few things, including a pie or oat bars using the aforementioned berries. i made the decision to go with the pie since it is easier to make stars out of dough than it is out of oats (though i do still have baked berry stellas on my to-bake list, just not for today).

since i didnt think that cutting out 50 tiny stars and making 13 thin stripes would be practical, i went for more of an abstract flag theme– and instead of making a section of the pie just blueberry and a section just strawberry, i decided to just do a mixed berry with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries since i believe that although aesthetics are good, taste is even more important!

i am of the firm belief that pie is best eaten out of the oven, but i am also of the belief that baking a pie while getting ready for work is not a good idea, so sorry guys, but this one will have to sit overnight!  i was going to make vanilla ice cream to go with the pie, however since i will not be there with the pie to instruct people to make their way across the hall into the caf to go get it (and people dont pay attention to signs), i have a feeling this would be in vain and not worthwhile. i will, however, be making gelato or ice cream to bring in to the office in a few weeks to go with something that will be at my desk!

i would like to thank art and all the other men and women who serve our country! i appreciate your bravery, dedication, and patriotism.

sidenote: i almost had a major disaster here. i made the pie in a glass dish, which is a lot more slippery than my usual ceramic/stone… as i was carrying it with only one oven mitt it flew out of my hand and across the counter. the impact jostled it and it slided up over the edge. that split second was *terrifying*, you know, those moments that go in slow motion and you are thinking that maybe if you think about it hard enough you can prevent something bad from happening. well– it worked… i was able to slide it all back with minimal damage. -whew-

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