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  • Peter Olds

A history of pies


I like pies: dressed pies slice of beetroot with tomato sauce. It takes more than three pies to get from Auckland to Wellington. You start with a Broadway pie from Broadway over the motorway to Hamilton–– a Hamilton pie not bad no gristle like the Auckland pie. On to Taupo where the pies get better. Hitch-hiking makes you hungry, you need all the pies: apple pie mince pie with pea tasty dry onion pie from a latenight service station pie-warmer–– spaghetti and sausage pie (no bread) washed down with coke or a coffee from a piecart somewhere in a paper cup (I don’t remember) . . . I share a pie with someone I meet at 1am in a leaky garage sheltering from a downpour. He’s just as broke as I am cold and wet. We get a lift outside Taupo in a truck to Porirua sitting on the truck’s hot engine drying out. At Porirua the pies are best, best New Zealand pies by far so far. We say goodbye to the truckie–– I say goodbye to the hitch-hiker. He goes off to pick apples in Nelson. Apple pies . . . On the ferry that night I eat a pie on deck dropping crust into the black water–– the best pie since Porirua (made in the South Island), Canterbury meat. On the train from Christchurch all the way to Dunedin the tracks are lined with pies, the train slides on gravy. We sit in pastry chairs watching pies still alive running across the fields kicking up their heels.

© Peter Olds, 2017 from TAKING MY JACKET FOR A WALK (Cold Hub Press, 2017)

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