One of my favorite movies is The Waitress, starring Kerri Russell. It’s a film about a young girl in an abusive marriage, who waitresses at a diner. She is so depressed, but is able to shine creatively with her pie making. She hates her husband and her life -- creating pies keeps her sane. With each conflict that occurs, she makes a pie in its honor.
I relate to the character in the way she uses her imagination to create delicious food. She lies in bed compiling ingredients in her head for her next pie. I also do this when creating recipes -- working through a dish in my mind before I step into the kitchen to make it. I picture ratios, ingredient combinations and method over and over until I get it right. Once I feel happy with my idea, I begin to create. I believe my best dishes are the ones I cook, in my head, prior to practice.
Towards the end of the film, she makes ‘Lonely Chicago Pie.’ In this scene, she stands by the stove melting dark chocolate, mashing berries and sprinkling cinnamon sugar. Not only did I love the way this dish was portrayed; it gave me a serious hankering for pie. So, like the character, I found myself working this recipe through my head for the next few days. How much chocolate? I needed it to be dark chocolate, because it’s a “lonely pie.” I added some booze to the berries to represent her sadness and of course, I wanted to add sugar, like she does, to the base, because no matter dark a day may seem, maybe there is a little hope and sweetness somewhere beneath.