2,760…

In case you haven’t heard, a single customer recently ordered 2,760 jelly jar pies (that is 460 six-packs, for you math types).  I might have mentioned it once or twice.  Or 413 times.  We’ve only been thinking about it just a little bit…

overthinking-gif

With the exception of Thanksgiving, baking and boxing 2,760 jelly jar pies will be our biggest undertaking at PJP Buttonwood since opening our doors (and we are BEYOND thankful for the opportunity).  And we all remember how Thanksgiving went down, right?  SO. MUCH. CRYING.  I’m thinking about 2,760 jars, 2,760 forks, 2,760 stickers, 2,760 Pie is Home cards, and 460 boxes.  I’m also wondering how to make this a seamless transaction that doesn’t require 2 am trips to McDonald’s for diet coke or a panicked supermarket sweep through the greater mid-Missouri area for every last four-ounce Ball canning jar available for sale.

In retrospect, thinking about Thanksgiving last year, I really did see an idyllic PJP Buttonwood in my mind.  Picture soft lighting, holiday music playing overhead, tables full of finished pies and Jeanne and I in full hair and makeup, ringing up the purchases.  STOP LAUGHING.  That is nowhere near the hell that it was and most of that was because we had no idea what we were doing or how to accommodate so many customers.  So for this jelly jar project, we have a plan of attack.  I have more jars, boxes, and stickers than we need.  I have food trucks for tomorrow and Monday.  We’ve discussed the daily baking schedule and how to handle last-minute issues. I don’t even know who we are anymore, actually.

And all of this is to say that we are ready for you, 2,760 jars.  And Thanksgiving?  Be scared of us…because all this emotional growth makes me think our goal should be 1701 pies for Thanksgiving 2k15.

frank

Struggle.

I don’t know about you, but back-to-school is making me feel a little inadequate.  My Facebook feed is full of kids holding up adorable chalkboard paintings announcing their new grade level.  My Pinterest page is full of bento box repins, most featuring sandwiches cut into animal shapes and fruit kabobs.  SIGH.  I have no idea how people keep up with this, because I’m failing miserably.

If you are feeling a bit like the whole world is perfect and you aren’t, here is a whole list of things I messed up today.  WELCOME TO THE CLUB.  YOU ARE WELCOME.

  1. I left the cornstarch out of the German Chocolate pies because I was thinking about something that may or may not ever become a thing for PJP.  I realized it after they had been in the oven for 10 minutes.
  2. The answer to why everything seems burned but not really finished baking is that 425 degrees isn’t 350 degrees.  And it won’t ever be.
  3. Gunner has worked for us for five days and still doesn’t have a time station login.  This must reassure him like you can’t even imagine.  (And Gunnar…and OSHA, if you read this…we are totally writing down your hours and plan to pay you in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws.)
  4. We threw away an entire tray of blueberry pies today because they were too juicy.  How does that happen?  And why?  Super irritating.
  5. Our box of pie tins have been held up in Reno since Friday.  Unless they are filing for a quickie divorce, I don’t know what they are doing there.  Honestly, FedEx, I could have driven them from Reno to Columbia on my own in less time.  I needed you today, box of pie tins.
  6. One customer ordered 2,760 jelly jar pies to be picked up this weekend and early next week…which is AWESOME.  Except then I realized that each of the 460 six-packs needed six baby forks tied with a ribbon and bow.  And then Jeanne and I had a big disagreement on the meaning of “bow”.
  7. Let’s just say that one person ties pretty bows.  And the other one of us writes the blog.  Ahem.
  8. I just realized that I’m about 61 ounces short of the recommended daily 64 ounces of water per day.  If coffee is made with water, can we just all agree it counts just the same?
  9. I was 10 minutes late to back-to-school night because I was on an important phone call.  Parent of the year, indeed.
  10. We all had Jimmy John’s for dinner.  See #9 for reference.  Winning.

Cheers to tomorrow.  Right?

 

PJP

My daughter, future PJP CEO (or future surgeon, she hasn’t decided yet), turned 10 today.  And I only mention it here because for whatever it is worth, Peg passed away 10 years ago yesterday. (At the time, it seemed like such an unfortunate sequence of events…experiencing death and then life in such a backward rapid succession.  But now, it just seems a part of our story that makes complete sense.  That said, my memoir chapter on experiencing postpartum depression and attending a funeral promises to be noteworthy.)

Hardly a day passes when a customer at PJP Buttonwood doesn’t ask which one of us is Peggy.  Or if they can meet Peggy.  Or if Peggy exists, or even existed, in real life.  A few have mentioned that we need a photo of Peg hanging on the wall…which I assure you, SHE WOULD HATE.  And to be honest, she probably wouldn’t care for a completely open kitchen, ordering pre-chopped pecans, or my willingness to throw the honest truth out on the Internet every night (or actually, even for the Internet at all).  She would have known that 1700 pies on the day before Thanksgiving was an epic, epic, epic mistake.  But she would have stayed all night to bake with us…because that is how she was.

But, she would love that Jeanne and I were doing this together.  Oh, actually, she would be thrilled by it.  She would appreciate that I’ve learned to bake all the pies without consulting her handwritten recipes (she did have terrible penmanship, for whatever it is worth).  She would notice that Jeanne has chilled enough to not have a panic attack if there are more than three dirty dishes in our sink at any given time.  She wouldn’t have a clue what #WorldPieDomination means, but she would be completely for it because she was always partial to a cause.  And because she believed in us, even when we didn’t.

One the very first decisions Jeanne and I made in our early pie-business planning days was about the name…keep Peggy Jean’s Pies or change it, since it is really Rebecca and Jean’s Pies now.  We vacillated more than you would expect.  We balanced name recognition over desire for an image and branding change.  But in the end, no matter what our design started to look like or how much the logo changed from the original PJP, Peg remained an integral part of what we do.  And that we couldn’t change.  And so, Peggy Jean’s Pies, V 2.0 was born…

And we think we made the right choice, even when someone mistakes us for selling pants.