An Assortment of Homemade Pies; Backroads Diner, Attica, OH; $2.79 slice
My friend, Ellen, and I were looking for a day trip to take together and ended up doing two in a row. First was shopping errands and excellent meals in Columbus, OH. The second day we headed for the meditative walk at the Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue.
The Shrine is based on the suffering endured by Mary over the death of her son, and her grief is palpable in many of the stations in the small forest. This sharply contrasts the cultural images we’re usually bombarded with depicting perfection and happiness. Ellen and I are both ex-Catholics who have worked with the Buddhist practice of transforming suffering into joy. By the end of our visit to Sorrowful Mother, after sitting quietly in the chapel of soft red lights, we realized the value of the Catholic practice of allowing sorrow to be expressed. It’s a very comforting release. I highly recommend finding yourself a similar space, when needed, and letting it hold you while you share your sorrow.
It was well past lunchtime when we were leaving, so I asked the sweet gift shop clerk for a restaurant recommendation, and mentioned my love of pie. She said there were lots of restaurant choices nearby in Bucyrus, but in Attica – just 8 miles away – was a little diner in a former gas station “…and I believe they make pies.”
We found the Backroads Diner at 603 N. Main just as she said. It moved to the spot two years ago after being in Bloomville for 14 years. The waitress confirmed a press story quoting owner Peg Carrick saying, “Our pies are still all homemade,” including the crusts. But I was shocked to hear that every pie in the fridge was made that morning.
Because we had been outdoors in high heat, I asked for a cold Lemon Meringue; Ellen chose Strawberry Rhubarb. And we ordered like Nurse Jackie: “Bring the pie first, please.” These were tremendous, the meringue perfect, and I particularly loved the crusty edges of the Rhubarb and the flaky bottom of the Lemon. Thanks to the Sorrowful Mother, we had died and gone to heaven!