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Baking Bill’s Cherry Pie

28 Feb

Last Friday I travelled to Toronto with a moving fan and my Cleaning lady, Irene and her husband Kelly who also serves as my landscaper and all around handyman. Kelly also drove the truck, and all three of us agreed that it was going to be a long day, but an adventure nevertheless. We arrived a little after noon to empty my friend Bill’s apartment on Broadview, just south of the Danforth.

We had to take the truck around to the back entrance, as the front entrance was a Fire Exit, and the snowy weather left the road up to read parking lot was slippery. After a dozen tries Kelly was successfula nd he backed in and lowered the ramp. Kevin Porter had worked that morning to complete the boxing up of Bill’s library, and had moved the boxes down to the read lobby. It was a long afternoon with a bare minimum of breakage.

Irene cleaned up the apartment as it emptied. She cleaned out the refrigerator. There were three pies left in the freezer — a pecan, a blueberry and a cherry.

The heavy large items exited last, and this process was expedited by Kelly’s experience in the moving industry in his youth. The pull out couch was doable after the cushions and mattress were removed. Finally the fireproof three draw safe filing cabinet initially proved obstinant. However the Superintendant Eric came to the rescue with a dolly, and I became supernumery, I was almost too pooped to participate anyway.

Another tank of gas and supersizxed meal at Wendy’s along the way fortified all three of us for the unloading into a 1o’x25′ locker in Shelburne. Then home before midnight. The next day I unloaded a couple of boxes from the car, one containing those three pies, and a fancy well-used tea-pot which I have now adopted, and which will remind of all those pots of Chinese Green teas that Bill and I enjoyed in various Chinese and Vietnames food emporiums in Toronto. Another box contained the two tape-guns, additional tape and green garbage bags surplus to the move. Better too many boxes, tapes and green garbage bags than not enough!

Over the past three years, after Bill moved back into his apartment from the nursing home where he lived on the Alzheimer’s ward with his wife Anna, we developed our Saturday routine. I would meet him at circa 0900 and we would adjourn for a leisure DimSum breakfast variously including Hargow(Shrimp dumplings), Sumai (smal pork patties), Chicken feet, Congee (thick rice porridge with chicken or fish or seafood) and deep fried octopus. Next we visited the factory outlet for the Weston Bakery. I well remember Bill purchasing those three pies late in the summer prior to his death.

I set out the Cherry pie, and read the instructions to bake it the next night. While I ate a large wedge for dinner desert, I reflected on my friend Bill, our times together, the adventure of closing down his apartment, the Memorial Service for both him and his wife Anna next week at the Manulife, and his book launch which we plotted over Dim Sum those many Saturday mornings.

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