Yes. FORTY and twenty.

I recently installed a new app on my phone. And by phone, I mean the beautiful, wonderful, smart, efficient, how-in-the-heck-did-I-ever-live-without-this-thing iPhone that my husband and I purchased on our 15th wedding anniversary. Seriously, people, I’ve considered knitting a little cozy for the thing so that it could rest comfortably beside my pillow each night.

Anyway, the app is called Countdown. It allows you to enter a date that you are anticipating, and then it counts down for you. You can choose the units—months, days, hours, minutes—that will count down to your event. So right now my event is called “Turning 40.” Yep. Not much time left. Only 46 days remaining.

I’ve been thinking about “the event” for months now. My range of emotions has gone all over the place. I’ve dabbled in everything from What’s the BIG DEAL? to Oh, Dear God, I must hurry and do everything, before it’s too late. It’s as if, on the dawn of November 4, 2011, when the first stream of sunlight crosses my bed, I will dissolve into dust or something. My family members laugh about it. My twelve-year-old daughter (who has her own countdown, as she will become a teenager in a few short weeks—and don’t think THAT doesn’t fuel my fire), replies good-naturedly every time I say, “I’ll be turning 40, and then it’s ALL OVER.” I love what she replies—“Or maybe the fun’s just beginning.” Love that kid.

I, like many people, have been considering monumental ways to mark this milestone in my life. Let’s see…run 40 miles? Great idea, except that I only try to run if there’s a fire. On me. I considered a big party, writing letters to people who’ve impacted me, going blonde, and a host of other wacky plans, until I finally decided on this one.

So here it is. During the forty days leading up to my fortieth birthday, I will make forty pies. Forty different pies. Why? Because I really like pie. So, why not? I can do what I want.  When I communicated this idea, my husband said, “Who’s gonna eat all that pie?” We shall see. Only time will tell.

For now, with 46 days to go, I am in the preparation stages. I’ve made a few pies in my lifetime, but I am by no means a baker or a gourmet. So I’m researching recipes, techniques, and supplies.

Here are a few books I had around:

I saw some recipes that looked interesting to me.

I can also already tell that I need to do some shopping. I am about to make my first pie purchase from Amazon:—True-Delicious-Homemade/dp/155832254X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316372381&sr=1-1

Lastly, in honor of this endeavor, I have included this rhyme which, in cooperation with the upcoming EVENT (again, I say, only 46 DAYS!), is inspiration for my blog title:


Sing a song of sixpence,

A pocket full of rye.

Four and twenty blackbirds,

Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened,

The birds began to sing;

Wasn’t that a dainty dish,

To set before the king?

The king was in his counting house,

Counting out his money;

The queen was in the parlour,

Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden,

Hanging out the clothes;

When down came a blackbird

And pecked off her nose.


8 thoughts on “Yes. FORTY and twenty.

  1. Katie says:

    Haha, hi Mrs. Shannon. It’s katie. Ruthie had e-mailed me with the link to your blog. When it said forty pies I knew it had to be interesting. good luck on your pie endeavor! 🙂

  2. marfdrat says:

    Now that’s an awesome idea. We have pie-consuming capacity here in Richmond, but that would require shipping and such. And who knows what the pies would end up looking like after a trip like that? I hope you’re going to take pictures of all these pies, so we’ll be able to see them, at least.

  3. Tracey says:

    Tell Joseph that I will gladly partake in some of the pie eating. Should you get tired of enjoying your various pies, I will happily share with you. Better yet, how about a contest… Which one is the favorite? Then, compile the recipes in a book, with the same title as the blog. They all get ratings. I’ll be you could come up with a very unique rating system. Looking forward to reading more! Thanks for sharing your countdown!

  4. Stephen O'Donnell says:

    Shannon, I’m very excited to follow this adventure leading up to your 40th. And, if it’s any consolation… I’ve made it to the other side and I think Ruthie is right, the fun is just about to begin! 🙂 Happy baking. Glad to be along for the ride!


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