The artful baker

The artful baker
Photo by Stephen Gross
by Kristen Intlekofer |
Connecting with amateur baker turned pie-making guru Kate McDermott ’76.
Photo by Stephen Gross

Kate McDermott is the kind of person who brings a pie to share when arriving for a 5:30 a.m. flight at the tiny airport near her home in Port Angeles, Washington. “I think we’re all looking for ways to connect,” she says. “And what better way than pie?”

McDermott, who has worked as a professional accompanist and in public affairs, says she has enjoyed baking since childhood. Pie making began with a two-and-a-half-year quest to develop the perfect crust. Folks who tasted her pies started asking for lessons, and, six years later, McDermott’s Art of the Pie workshops have grown into a thriving second business. Her recipes, which emphasize getting a “feel” for baking over precise measurement, have been featured in Saveur and in the Washington Post. After she filmed a segment making pie with Ruth Reichl, then editor-in-chief of Gourmet, Reichl said to her, “This has been the most liberating experience. You break every rule and it turns out every time.”

McDermott encourages her students to do the same—just get in there and do it. “There’s no right or wrong. It’s just pie,” she says. And if it doesn’t turn out, “Pour it into the lasagna pan and you’ve got a great crumble.” 

For more information, including recipes and upcoming classes, visit artofthepie.com.

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Winter 2014

Table of contents

Features

Rise up, my love

There are the sanctuaries built for worship—and that carry beauty and grace for all to see. Then there are the improvised places of faith, perhaps more subtle in how they speak to the wonder worked there.

The chaplain is in the House

With the way things have gone recently in Congress, looking to the heavens for some help and guidance might seem like a very good idea. In fact, that’s what Pat Conroy, S.J., M.Div. ’83 is there to do.

Welcome to Citizenville

Who published the one book on government in 2013 that conservative firebrand Newt Gingrich told all true believers that they should read? Well, the author is now lieutenant governor of California. Before that, he was mayor of San Francisco. That’s right: It’s Gavin Newsom ’89.

Mission Matters

Goooaal!

Women’s soccer wins the West Coast Conference championship.

Patent trolls, beware

The White House has brought on SCU’s Colleen Chien, a leading expert in patent law, as senior advisor.

A sight of innocence

George Souliotes went to prison for three life sentences after he was convicted of arson and murder. Twenty years later, he’s out—after the Northern California Innocence Project proved he didn’t do it.