It’s been over five months since Natalie Galatzer decided to shutter her bike delivery pie business, Bike Basket Pies. And life already looks a lot different. She’s not schlepping around the Mission doing deliveries, she’s not working well into the night rolling out dough, and she’s not stressing about the seasonality of persimmons or how manageable her to-do list is for the next day. The best thing is that she’s not thinking about tomorrow today—she’s really enjoying today for today, including the ability to make social plans and travel.
Natalie’s currently working at two Bay Area restaurants waiting tables and thinking about what’s next. But the difference is she’s thinking big picture, not about tomorrow’s ingredient lists. And there’s freedom in that space to just breathe, reconsider, and reflect. One thing’s for sure: Natalie’s pretty certain the big picture won't include baking. She always thought that she wanted to be a baker, but isn’t convinced anymore. The act of turning something she loved into a business, made it quickly about the outcome and not the process she once loved. As you can imagine, this eventually killed the joy she once found in baking.
But that doesn’t mean she hasn’t looked back. In between her shifts waiting tables and scheming up new ideas, she needed a creative project and felt like she owed a little something to her loyal pie customers. So she decided to write a pie booklet, entitled Bike Basket Pies: How to Make Handheld Pies for Bicycle Delivery, with 14 of her favorite and most popular recipes and detailed instructions and illustrations on the process of making small (and large) pies. It was time that the recipes lived on somewhere other than within her computer spreadsheets. It was time to give something back.
After two years in business, you can imagine how difficult it was to choose a mere fourteen recipes for the booklet. Natalie organized all of her recipes not just by the seasons but actually by the months she’d make them–heavily dictated by the produce available in the Bay Area during that time. She knew she wanted to structure the book using the seasons, but she also wanted each recipe to be uniquely her own. For instance, in terms of pumpkin pie, there are limited things you can do with a pumpkin pie recipe. Her pumpkin, while wonderful, doesn’t differ all that much from my pumpkin or your mother’s pumpkin. But there are so many of Natalie’s pies that are the exact opposite and that’s what she decided to highlight in her book.
When you hold the booklet in your hands, you’ll notice the charming illustrations by Minty Lewis. They truly make Natalie’s words and recipes come alive: from drawings of the actual pies to step-by-step illustrated instructions on forming small pies and larger pies. Beyond the illustrations, you’ll notice there are 14 recipes (3 for each season along with a few savories). Yes, the Shaker Orange recipe is in there. As is the Pear Ginger. In addition to the recipes, there are little sections on Making Dough, Rolling Out Dough, Forming Small Pies, and Making a 9” Pie. There are clear mini sections on Temperatures and Baking Times, too. You’re in good hands here. While some people find pie-making overwhelming, Natlalie’s assured tone and concise instructions and Minty’s sweet illustrations will force you out of any pie rut. Guaranteed.