Ashland woman gives a pie away each day of year

365 tasty thank-yous

By Karen Amarotico
An Acts Matter Essay
For the Tidings
Posted: 2:00 AM April 05, 2012

What would you expect to learn about the world and yourself if you gave away a pie every day for a year? It’s not a question I gave much thought to a year ago when I began to do just that.

My goal was to express gratitude to the people around me; the people without whom my life or the lives of my family and friends would certainly have been different. How was I to know then where this journey would take me?

Over the past year, I have visited with the parents of newborn babies and also with spouses who have lost the love of their lives. I have reconnected with old friends and met new ones along the way.

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Ashland-resident Karen Amarotico will deliver her 365th pie today, reaching her goal to show her gratitude every day for a year by giving someone — a bank teller, barista, cashier, coach, cookbook author — a home-baked quiche, cobbler or other kind of pie. She sent her special thanks to people who work for the Maslow Project, the Schneider Museum of Art and service clubs. She delivered a pie to politicians, pastors and other public figures, as well as teachers, a man recovering from a stroke and the driver of a car who knocked her off her bike.

I have given pies to complete strangers and to neighbors on my block. In all of that time, only one pie was dropped and only one pie was declined.

Many of the people who received pies were dealing with life’s challenges. While I know that a pie can’t fix anything, it can show people that I have been thinking about them, that they are important to me and that they are not alone.

Often I wondered what I would say when I greeted the recipients, knowing that they were in physical or emotional pain. The great news is that most people don’t expect you to have the answers; they are just happy to know that you care.

It has been amazing to find that the simple gesture of giving a pie can be so appreciated. At times, I am the one who was overcome with gratitude by giving thanks or recognition to another.

It occurs to me that perhaps we don’t express our thanks or our love often enough. I imagine that the world would be a much better place if we could share our love or gratitude more readily.

Karen Amarotico is an Ashland caterer whose blog chronicles her year of expressing gratitude.

Some pie recipients:
Day 362

Chocolate pecan pie to Family Nurturing Center, the county’s children’s relief nursery

Day 329

Apple pie to the Ashland Home Health and Hospice

Day 288

Bacon, onion and spinach quiche to the Ashland Red Cross

Day 282

Marionberry lattice-topped pie to Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA

Day 272

Pumpkin, potato, carrot and delicata squash pie to care farm Sanctuary One

Day 261

Apple crumb crust pie to an Oregon National Guardsman

Day 255

Chocolate pecan pie to the Jackson County Animal Shelter

Day 247

Cranberry-apple pie to Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s School Visit Program

Day 185

Apple-blueberry lattice pie to the Ashland Food Project

Day 178

Spinach, roasted pepper and caramelized onion quiche to the birthing center at Ashland Community Hospital

Day 145

Apple-blueberry pie to Peace House

Day 121

Strawberry-rhubarb pie to the Southern Oregon Humane Society

Day 114

Marionberry crumb-crust pie to Wildlife Images

Day 113

Cherry-almond tart to the Ashland Fire & Rescue

Day 104

Cherry cheesecake pie to the Hospice Unique Boutique

Day 57

Triple berry pie to Camelot Theatre

Day 36

Apple-blueberry pie to Start Making A Reader Today, or SMART program

Day 24

Strawberry-rhubarb pie to the Ashland Conservation Commission

Day 19

Ricotta cheese pie to the Ashland library

Day 18

Quiche Lorraine to Mount Ashland Racing


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