Monthly Archives: January 2015

Now And Then.

I took a look through the blog entries from this time last year and made several startling revelations.  Foremost, I thought that commercial convection ovens were much, much, much cheaper than they are in reality.  Secondly, we baked 55 pies to take to Lucky’s and we were exhausted…(clearly, we had not yet developed baking stamina).  Third, I had grand plans to apply for a Missouri liquor license…and I still haven’t done it, 365 days later.  And finally, we had no clue what we were doing this time last year.

With a lease in hand for 3601 Buttonwood with ink that had barely dried, the end of January 2014 was a pivotal point in moving PJP V. 2.0 forward.  And when I look at this, taken a year ago today…empty space


And this, taken a few months ago…




Then I’m all…


Cheers to World Pie Domination.  And to the best customers and friends these girls could ever have…




I know this might surprise you, but Jeanne and I tend toward the overdramatic.  In general, we have ALL THE FEELINGS about everything and rare is our response a simple “meh.”  And so, we couldn’t really figure out why we have both felt a little vanilla-ish about things for the past few weeks.  And then we realized it is likely because have been working at a normal pace since the beginning of the year and we really just thrive when we are baking 80 hours a week and crying at least once a day.  If you really want to see us at our optimum, order 1700 pies for pick-up in two days and ask for each box of the 1700 boxes to be tied with special ribbon…it might knock us out of our funk.

Here is what has been going on while we’ve been busy feeling meh…

  1. Whatever overdramatic emotional energy we have has been fully focused on the final days of the Inside Columbia Best of Columbia contest.  We are nominated for Best New Restaurant of 2014 and no lies, I want to win.  I have no idea what we get for winning and it doesn’t matter…involve me in anything that includes a voting process and every bone in my body becomes competitive.  I feel strongly that a win in this category would make an excellent chapter on the book I’ll some day write about the road to World Pie Domination.  Vote through Saturday at:
  2. About six months ago, our super amazing designer Caroline Leemis of Caroline Leemis Designs gifted us each with a one-hour massage at Back Space Massage.  We cashed those suckers in on Monday after felt like new women afterwards.  If you haven’t been to Back Space, put it on your list.  We’ve spent most of the past two days discussing whether or not we could write off a monthly membership to Back Space as a legitimate business cost to ease the pain of standing on concrete for 12 hours a day.  I would vote an emphatic yes, but the IRS is not known for their support of writing stuff off because it classifies as “much-needed relaxation time.”
  3. You can tell the spring semester at Mizzou has started because of the number of journalism students who call each day and ask to do a multi-media project on PJP and/or Jeanne and I.  We hereby apologize to the entire teaching staff at the University of Missouri School of Journalism…you are all probably super tired of seeing our faces.
  4. You can also tell it is a new year because every other phone call is someone from an Internet service provider, credit card processor, or an insurance company asking if they can submit a bid to us.  I just give them the email address for Behind-The-Scenes-Tech-Guru Jason and then hang-up.  Bwahahahaha…
  5. One out of three customers who visit PJP Buttonwood comment on the traffic situation with the Sonic and the Starbucks under construction.  It certainly doesn’t make life on Buttonwood terribly convenient right now, but on occasion we must make a sacrifice for proximity to a venti iced coffee with six Splendas and a splash of half and half.  My only apprehension is training a whole new Starbucks staff to not mock my Splenda consumption.
  6. I realized today that it will soon be time to think about how we will celebrate our one-year anniversary and I felt a little panicky.  I mean, shouldn’t I know more and mess up less than I did almost one year ago?
  7. The new issue of Inside Columbia features our Dutch Apple pie as one of Columbia’s top “transcendent” desserts and we could not be more honored if we tried.  And some serious props to LG Patterson, who photographed our sweet Dutch in a most swoon-worthy way…IC - Peggy Jean Pies
  8. I keep forgetting to mention that because of a cancellation, we actually have two seats open for next Thursday’s #pieandbooze event with Dogmaster Distillery.  We teach you to make pie and Dogmaster teaches you to make the paired cocktail.  Isn’t that the most beautiful pie and cocktail related sentence you’ve ever read?
  9. I can’t stop watching Fixer Upper on HGTV.  If you have not watched yet, go immediately.  I’m a smitten kitten for Chip and Joanna and now spend my spare time trolling for houses under our budget so I can spend every dollar possible on renovations after I promise Chip and Joanna all the pie in the world if they will just come here and build me a French herb garden in the atrium of the run-down house I buy and spend $100,000 to fix up.  I’ve put some thought into this, clearly.
  10. Speaking of television binging, Jeanne has moved on to House of Cards and completely zones out anyone trying to have a conversation with her that doesn’t include plot lines surrounding Frank Underwood or Zoe Barnes.  She is in the thick of the first season and come to think of it, she would probably turn down an order for 1700 pies due in 48 hours because then how would she know what happens to Congressman Russo?  The struggle is real, people.

Party Time. Excellent.

A few weeks ago, we announced the introduction of PJP parties in our quest for World Pie Domination.  And within a few short days, our social calendar started to book up quickly.  Our first event was scheduled for this past Sunday and rest assured, we partied like it was 1999.

Because it was our first birthday party at PJP, we were a little uncertain about our expectations.  We only knew we had one goal – for our guests to have so much fun, they would leave wanting to come back and visit us again and again.  And we knew that we wanted a baking party to be an authentic experience.  Our first step was to set the baking tables with aprons and chef hats for each of the 12 guests.  From there, we worked to stock each place setting with everything one needs to roll dough and bake pie.


At our events, the guest of honor gets to choose the pie to be baked and on this occasion, our guest chose Dutch Apple.  After a brief monologue of our story, we launched into the baking.  Each guest found a ball of fresh dough at their station and Jeanne described how to flour the baking space and roll out the doll to the thickness she prefers…which is basically no thickness at all.  The woman only believes in exceptionally thin dough…to the point that she actually cleared each guest’s dough thickness before they could continue to the next step.  There is no easy way out at PJP Buttonwood.  Even when you are a party guest that has brought wine to share.

Obviously, if you are baking in the PJP kitchen, you are treated like a Team PJP employee…meaning you even get to peel your own apples.  We are super thoughtful that way.  So while some guests peeled apples, some made dutch apple topping and then we all switched and worked until we were ready to assemble pie.  And by “we”, I mean the party guests, because Jeanne and I basically got to drink wine and supervise.


(Bonus points if you noticed that in this picture, Jeanne is, in fact, drinking wine.)

And while each baby pie baked away in the oven, Jeanne taught the guests to make chocolate rolls.  You know how each family sort of has their tradition?  In ours, it is chocolate rolls.  A sheet of pie dough, covered with cocoa, sugar, and butter…rolled up and baked.  It is what we eat on Christmas morning.  It signals that whatever event is going along with the chocolate roll is a very important event, indeed.  And we were excited to share a piece of our family’s history with our 12 new friends.


No party would be complete with out a wine and pie-infused rendition of “Happy Birthday” and so we gave the guest of honor a milk crate to stand on and everyone serenaded him…


And if this fun afternoon doesn’t fully explain why Jeanne and I have the greatest jobs ever, I’m not sure anything ever will.  We basically got to make new friends, drink wine, and watch other people peel apples.  WIN-WIN-WIN.

Next up on our agenda is a birthday party for an 11 year-old and then a girl’s night out event, both promising to be ridiculously fun.  Interested in making PJP Buttonwood the place for your next celebration?  All the details are here:




Once we had prepped together