17 September 2014

Apple Pie Without Cheese Is Like A Hug Without The Squeeze {Sandpoint, Idaho}

Sandpoint was named "America's most beautiful small town" in 2011. I don't think much has changed since then - it is still a little treasure of a town in northern Idaho, nestled in the midst of the mountains and sitting along Lake Pend Oreille. It is a great place to go skiing, boating, hiking, shopping and, of course, eat pie. Scott and I headed up to Sandpoint the other day with his family in search of some pie at The Pie Hut

The selection of pies is overwhelming. How can you possibly choose just one slice of pie when you're faced with amazing choices like huckleberry, lemon sour cream, raspberry rhubarb and chocolate peanut butter? When we got there, one of Scott's aunties and I made a deal that we would both get two pieces of pie. It is easier to be a pig if you have company. For my first piece, I got French apple pie. Somehow, I was convinced that I had to get ice cream with it. To be honest, nobody had to twist my arm that hard.

One of Scott's uncles was baffled that I would have ice cream with my apple pie. He told me that his mother always said, "Apple pie without cheese is like a hug without the squeeze." I wasn't buying it. I have a new saying, "Apple pie without ice cream is like Canada without a hockey team." 

After gobbling down my apple pie, I was all ready to order another piece of pie when Scott's aunt said she was full and couldn't eat possibly another bite. It is hard to be the only pig at the table, so I passed on a second slice. In hindsight, I have to say that self-control is overrated. 

Scott's family is Scandinavian American (mostly Norwegian with a little bit of Swedish thrown in). So, after pie, the next place we visited was the local Scandinavian shop. 

When Scott and I first got married, I bought a lefse griddle and turning stick at this shop. If you don't know what lefse is, imagine a tortilla made out of flour, potatoes and lots of cream Trust me, it is delicious, especially with tons of butter slathered on it. If you're going to make lefse, the potatoes have to come from the Red River Valley in North Dakota and Minnesota. Otherwise, they are useless. Or, so I've been told. 

While most of Scott's family is blonde with really long legs, I'm more of the short dumpling type with dark hair. I was hoping that if I could master the art of making lefse, I might grow a few inches and blend in a bit better with the in-laws. Sadly, that didn't really happen. But I did learn a little bit more about Norwegian culture in North Dakota - like the fact that they prefer their food to be white or off-white. Food that has any color is generally found in Jello salad. 

While we were checking out the goods at the Scandinavian shop, Scott wandered off to take some pictures of old signs. His family is used to him wandering off. It was a frequent occurrence when he was a kid. The police would find him walking down the road in the next town over and bring him back home. I think he had some sort of regular shuttle service arrangement going with the the cops. 

After Scott reappeared, we had a lovely drive along the back roads and lakes. Here, take a look at these pictures. Such a beautiful place to explore. I'm pretty sure you'll want to take your next vacation out here for the views and the pie.

Pie heaven took place on 4 September 2014


  1. We are siding with you. Cheese doesn't belong on pie. Mark had never heard of cheese on pie prior to coming to America. American's put cheese of just about everything. I'm not knocking them/us, sometimes cheese makes it work. Cheese on a burger? Yes! Cheese on a fish fillet? No thank you.

    Pie and ice cream. Yum!

    Full disclosure: we have an ice-cream maker on our boat. Life on Cream Puff is good.

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

    1. I really can't figure out why people would put cheese on pie either. It makes absolutely no sense at all to me. Glad you guys are with me on this!

      Jealous of your ice cream maker on Cream Puff - you two are living the life for sure!

  2. Hmm, I never thought I would want to visit Idaho before reading your posts and seeing your photos. I agree, self control is over rated when it comes to chocolate or apple pie.

    1. Chocolate pie - yum! I think I'll have to make another trip up there very soon!

  3. Oh man! I love that picture of the pie hut and yes you should have gotten a second piece or gotten it to go. Haha ... I'm with you on a warm apple pie with ice cream. Yum! How can you say no to that combination?! I don't like cheese so no thank you to the cheese and apple pie :) Haha too funny that your hubby just wonders off. That's awesome the cops would always bring him back. Thanks for introducing a bit of Sandpoint to us. If I ever make it out to Idaho I have to find that pie hut!
    Hsiao-Ting (www.shoutingchow.com)

    1. I know - I really regret not having gotten the second piece of pie :-)


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