Yesterday was Pi Day. In the Before Times, I celebrated it by bringing pies to the office for my coworkers to share. I’d send out emails to entire departments telling them that pies — pecan, apple, strawberry rhubarb, whatever I managed to find at the grocery store that morning or the night before — were free for the taking in the kitchen.

This is the first time since the pandemic started where Pi Day wasn’t on a weekend, so the absence of that office ritual was particularly noticeable. Before, Pi Day was one of my weird, lovable quirks. Former coworkers used to message me on Facebook and say how much they thought of me on Pi Day. Hell, my own mother called me yesterday morning to wish me a good one! I may not miss commuting, but I do miss seeing people and doing something nice and community-building and unexpected for them.

Yesterday, I sublimated all of this energy into baking the best damn pie possible for Mr. BooksandTea and myself to share. And my god, did I put a lot of effort into it. The recipe required roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions, so I started the prep on Saturday. Saturday! Caramelizing half a dozen onions to get a bare cup-and-a-half of savoury-sweet onion goodness! And then I made the pie crust on Sunday night and let it rest until Monday afternoon.

I don’t regret it because the results were truly, scandalously delicious — I made things even more decadent by replacing the feta cheese in the recipe with goat’s cheese, and also added in some crumbled bacon. But god, was it a lot of work.

A slice of savoury butternut squash pie on a white plate.
Look at this beautiful thing. Look at it!

Still, I miss sharing it with more people. I miss sending my coworkers silly pie jokes and having people come to my desk with little plates and utensils smeared with bright fruit filling. It’s not quite the same sitting at home and trying to celebrate things over Slack.