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Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

3,649 replies on “The Bistro”

I have found the coolest blog about making pies! This lady was in a discussion group at the class I’m taking online about historic food, and the best part is she just lives nearby. I intend to take one of her pie workshops! http://artofthepie.com/

Anna, you are right – it’s the fear and the expectation that everyone might have a gun that does the most damage. The very idea that anyone would have a law that says it’s okay to have an assault rifle, and to take it with you to a meeting just frustrates me to no end.

Thank you Barbara for the reminder that I am strong. I kept repeating that just to get through yesterday. Things aren’t bad, just hectic and more than a little emotional for various reasons.

Remember, what seems like years ago, there was discussion about empaths? I’m in overwhelm right now. So forgive me all but I’m going to take a break from most email, Facebook, and even the Bistro, till Louise’s book comes out. May you all find joy in unexpected moments and may life be good to you. Many hugs.

Loss of taste! Poor Barbara. I love my food and I am not sure how I would manage. Mind you I could be thinner…..
I have bought more apples. There must be pie! Was the pear pie a high top or a tart?
Military Barbara, a long time ago. I must say I was happy to wave my gun bye bye as it went back to the armory.
Interesting comparison between our countries on our news yesterday: A police officer was castigated for drawing his weapon and pointing it at a man who had tried to evade a random breath test operation. It was seen as very excessive to draw his weapon. I am very glad that is the case here, that the expectation is different. Police don’t expect citizens to have weapons for the most part so , while they are usually cautious, the level of fear on both sides is not there. I think that is what concerns me, the fear leads to fear leads to regrettable actions.

Oh a pear pie sounds delicious, Barbara. Do you do anything special with the pears? It sounds very elegant! Our news here in Seattle is full of police now being fearful to be called out. We had an incident a few years back where four officers were shot and killed by a mentally unbalanced man, and I think the Dallas shooting has brought back a lot of those fears. I think that the police officers who were around then must suffer from PTSD. Everything just seems so sad these days.

I made a pear pie Sat. I had been craving one for sometime. My mil made the best pear pies. When I was opening the box of pastry, there in large letters “Made in Canada”. It was the Publix store brand. It tasted just as I had remembered. With my loss of taste I never know when I will be able to taste. Just comes and goes at will.
Core exercises are very good the therapists say. Anna, I love that you and Erin are involved in the same activities.
Anna, a few pages back, you mentioned training with guns. Were you in the Australian Military or law enforcement ?

Hi, Millie. Miss you and think of you often. You are a strong and outgoing lady. Hope things are going well for you and your family.
Meanwhile the newspapers and TV News continue to be tragic.
Good wishes for all.

Erin and I both do a core class once a week. Very important and helpful for lots of reasons.
Been a busy couple of days. Hope everyone is well. Anyone made a pie?

Anna – I think strengthening my “core” (sounds like I know what I’m talking about, right?) is probably what I should do, but when the pain is so bad I can’t imagine doing any exercises… At least it doesn’t happen very often – this is the second time in 7 years… and I’m retired, so don’t need to worry about missing work or other commitments…

Barbara – that jumping to page 1 has been happening to me, too. It seems to happen only when I try to reply to a specific post, instead of just going to the bottom and doing the general reply. I have to remember not to do that…

((((((((((((Millie)))))))))) I know how that “overwhelm” works – peace, calm and giving yourself permission to “just be” are foremost. Isn’t it nice that Louise’s book will be out soon now? I can’t wait to discuss it here.

It was back spasm that laid me low last week. Physio helped a lot with out the hangover effect of pills. I have to drive every day so being woozy would not be good. Thinking of doing another apple pie today.

Connie – how kind of you to put up a FB page for us to talk as well. When I do get back on FB, I’ll join. We should do our very best to keep in touch however we may, but I will say that my stitching group used to be a Yahoo group, so got emails. For whatever reason, everyone puts up very short posts on FB, whereas we used to have long conversations on the emails… Part of it may just be that people “moved on” to a point where we wanted to be in touch, but not to have drawn-out conversation. It’s much more now – here’s a picture of what I’ve done recently and everyone responds with one or two words… We have a “check-in Thursday” where everyone writes a little bit about what they’ve been up to all week, and that is always much more interesting…

For now, FB will have to wait for me, as I realize how drawn into the political debate I was getting, and it was feeling less and less like a debate and more and more like people taking turns hitting each other over the head…

Cathryne, I think you are probably right that each time something like this happens, a few more people decide they have to stand up and eventually, change will come, but some days it sure does seem slow in the coming… I can’t imagine the horror of having something like this happen. The really ironic thing is that the demonstrators and the police in Dallas seemed to have been interacting respectfully and peacefully until the gun shots – up until that moment it looked that this was a big step forward. Yes – protest, but peacefully, and the police seemed to be there to talk with people, not for “crowd control”. It’s very sad.

I’m so happy to see all the apple pies – Costco’s version is wonderful (but huge – I only bought one once because it took us so long to get through it, just being the two of us.) If I were to do it again, I think I’d cut it in half and freeze half of it. I don’t know how it would freeze, but it couldn’t be any worse than all soggy and starting to get moldy, hahaha. I dreamed last night of making a raised meat pie – I know just how to do it now, as it was a very practical dream, hahaha. I even said to my dreaming self – you don’t have any hamburger in the freezer, and then said right back to myself – but I have several pounds of sausage meat! And I do! hahaha

I’m sticking close to home the next little while – I managed to hurt my back (goodness only knows doing what – probably picking up a book!) Every once in a long while (the last time was 2009, according to my Dr.) my back just goes into spasm… very painful, and pretty much constant for about 5 days. So I ran in to see the doc yesterday and got a prescription for pain pills, which make me very whoozy and dizzy, so I get to sit around doing nothing now until I don’t need to take them anymore. Seems like there’s always SOMETHING with me, hahaha.

Take care, my friends…

I keep having trouble with the site jumping back to the comment section on page one when I try to comment. This has been gfoing on for 4 days or so. I just had a long post that was going to post on page 1.
Julie, hope your back improves. Sister and I have bad backs. They can be so annoying.

I just wanted to add that I started a Facbook page called, “Three Pines Bistro” for an additional resource to talk everything Armand Gamache! Navigating might be easier….. the conversations may flow easier. FYI.
We can message directly to each other, etc.

Connie, I don’t FB so I can’t drop in. Maybe you can drop in here and share thoughts when AGR is released. You obviously feel deeply for the characters too. We’ll get more on point when we start reading AGR. Please drop in to share whenever you want. We are all Three Piners together.

Cathryne, you made me laugh. Costco as Sarah’s Boulangerie! I needed to laugh. It is the perfect antidote to fear and confusion. And so is apple pie. The crust from Julie’s recipe was great and didn’t go soggy. I did not pre bake and reduced the steps a bit. It was fine..freeze, process, freeze and roll. I made the pie in an afternoon. Frankly, peeling the apples is my least favourite bit but Erin helped.
I am not a Facebooker Julie. It would be easy as a tool to keep in contact with people including you guys but it is abused too often. Here in The Bistro it does feel like we are sitting around having a conversation, not sticking posts on a wall. As such we are careful with our words knowing the people we are talking to are real and they are our friends and careless words are hurtful and do unnecessary harm. You don’t have to agree with your friends all the time but you do have to listen and respect them and be careful to respond with kindness regardless of differences in opinion. Best to step away as you have done.
I had such a great image of your Dad rummaging in the freezer, Barabara and the delightful satisfaction he had finding the pie fixings ready to go! You all create such wonderful pictures with your words.
I was delighted to find you all here when I woke this morning. I was worried about you all.

Julie, I’m very sorry that you experienced and observed such hurtful language and attack at your stitching FB site. When people respond in that way, they are not making an argument, they are trying to intimidate, terrify, and bulldoze right over others. It is a reminder of responses to freedom riders, school integration, voting rights in the sixties, and even longer ago, post Civil War. Still, we need to remind ourselves that we got through those times without race wars and we will move on again, however painfully. Horrible as the last week has been, more people will stand up and reach out in positive ways than negative. Even so, our hearts break.

Julie, Anna, and Barbara, you have inspired me apple pie-wise too. I’ve asked my husband to buy an apple pie from Costco next time he goes! My version of Sarah’s Boulangerie. Can’t wait.

Barbara, did your dad call you Bob? It sounded so sweet. Bob/Barbara makes sense.

Sending best thoughts and hugs to all.

I get heartsick over these incidents – all three of the latest have pretty much brought me to tears. Once again, politicians will say their “thoughts and prayers” are with the victims and their families, but not one step toward gun control… in fact, Texas has the most liberal gun laws, I think, of any state.

I have had to get off Facebook altogether for awhile – I belong to a FB group that discusses stitching, and most of the people in the group, I would consider good friends. Two ladies, a mother and daughter, are what I would have thought of as good friends. Yet, we’ve recently had a heated discussion over gun control and Donald Trump, and, well, you can imagine. I was shocked that such nice ladies could hold such views, and spew such vitriol! It’s made me feel like I need to just take a break from all the endless name-calling that is going on over the election. These last three incidents would have made everything much worse, of course… Last night my husband worried that we were heading for a race war, and I feel like we’re somehow in the middle of one already… it’s very sad.

Julie, It is such a devastating feeling to find that people are not as we thought them to be. You were right to step away. I don’t use Facebook but I know many people do. My sister shows me the cutest pictures of her late husband’s G-G-Grandchildren on Facebook.
I share your husband’s fears to a degree.

Barbara – what a nice memory. I love it when those kinds of memories pop into my head… I hope the pie is delicious! I remember when I first saw this recipe, I thought it was way too much, but I did it anyway, because Vern loves apple pie so much… and when I tried it, I couldn’t get over how good the crust was, so I decided it wasn’t so bad, hahaha. At least, even though it’s long and lots of steps, it wasn’t difficult. I did like that you could do it in the food processor because that step is the one that seems the hardest to me.

The news from Dallas is horrible. The Dallas police were not involved in the two shootings that are being protested. I’m glad you and your sister stay in such close contact. In many ways we are so fortunate to live in our times. Can’t do more now Sam is in one of his most annoying states today!

The shout everyone heard a few hours ago was I. Once again. I had written a very long post and suddenly it was gone. I was at my sister’s and usually don’t goof on her computer. Let’s try again.
I’m home now so I will post several times rather than risk losing so much. Don’t remember what I said so I’ll just jump in.
Julie and Anna, you have inspired me to bake a pie. I promise you that I will not be using the recipe you two did. Strangely though I almost always have flour and butter in the freezer. I had a laugh and a sigh when I read it. I could see Daddy with his head in the freezer saying, “Here they are Bob. We can start the crust right away.” That man did love to cook. I can’t believe it has been 16 years since his death. You can believe the recipe would have been followed to the letter.

Watching news from Dallas while texting with my sister. Awful situation. I wish you all peace and safety.

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