NEW MEXICO

NEW MEXICO

NEW MEXICO - Pie #31 of 50 - Viridiana Liberman

State Cookie: Bizcochito
State Vegetable(s): New Mexico Chili & Pinto Bean

I have been to New Mexico! I visited Santa Fe with my dad & sisters. We watched sunsets and I gained a deep appreciation for turquoise jewelry.

New Mexico is a corner state boarding Colorado, Utah & Arizona.
The state was named by a 18th century Spanish explorer who hoped to find gold and wealth equal to Mexico’s Aztec treasures. This state is a real gem so I’m sure his wealth cup overfloweth.
New Mexico is home to more sheep and cattle than people at 12 people pre square mile. Denver may be the Mile High City but it ain’t got nothing on Santa Fe. At 7199ft above sea level it’s the highest capital city in the nation. Not only is the state home to the high capital city but also the longer river! The Rio Grande! Which runs the entire length of NM.
A gem (literally) I hope to see sometime in my near future is the White Sands Monument which is a desert made of gleaming white gypsum crystals not sand.

Hatch, NM is known as the “Green chili capital of the world”. This pie is a beef and pork green chili stew pie with a blue corn crust. A real simple pie on the outside with complex robust flavors on the inside. The green chili’s were brought to me by Viri from Albuquerque for the low and slow stew that cooked for 8 hours.

This pie is for Viridiana Liberman! I call her Viri or Mom cause I love her and when I rest my head on her shoulder all my troubles melt away!

I met Viri at Haley & Bryce’s old apartment in Hell’s Kitchen while watching an episode of Game of Thrones.

Viri grew up in Albuquerque, NM. Her family still lives there in the same house. Viri is New Mexico proud she loves the food, she loves the music, she loves waking up to a sky littered with hot air balloons. Her smile will light up the darkest of nights.
Viri is an extremely talented Sundance award winning editor and film maker. She is my golden globe of a friend, my academy award but one that’s made out of chocolate cause she is so god damn sweet.

New Mexico you sure are the land of enchantment “crescit eundo” it grows as it goes like my love for you. You’re New Mexico true.

NEW JERSEY

NEW JERSEY

NEW JERSEY - Pie #30 of 50 - Alex & Sean Flannery

State Fruit: Northern High Bush Blueberry

I am a frequent visitor of this great state!

In New Jersey, I hiked 20 miles of the AT with Jeffrey & Cliff over one 4th of July weekend. I visited Dave when he was doing caricatures on the boardwalk one summer with Mallory where we drank many cocktails, got henna tattoos and saw where Snooki got punched that one time.
I’ve spent lovely days with Jill at her Lake house on Lake Hopatcong where she fed me my first ever meatloaf & my first ever Jersey breakfast sandwich.

The Garden state is home to the most diners in one state in the world. (One of my most favorite things about America is diners).

NJ has gifted me things I love like Bruce Springsteen, The Gaslight Anthem, Frank Sinatra & the setting for arguably one of the best HBO shows ever The Sopranos.

The pie is a “Jersey Breakfast Sandwich” pie. A poppy seed crust with a divide down the middle. 1 side case’s pork roll & the other Taylor Ham. Both sides baked with melted American cheese, topped with fried eggs and served with salt pepper ketchup.

Pork roll was created by John Taylor of Trenton. He has named it Taylor Ham but due to some changes in regulations in the 1900’s he began calling it pork roll. I know better than to get in the middle of the debate on if it’s called Taylor Ham or pork roll so I kept em separate from each other like the divided state.

This pie is for Alex & Sean Flannery.

I went to college with Alex in Savannah.
Alex & I used to sit on the front porch of his house in Savannah, smoke many cigarettes, drink many beers, crank the tunes & shoot the shit.
I met Sean when he came down to visit Savannah fir St Patrick’s Day. We partied hard & watched many hours of Cash Cab where we got 85% of the questions right.
NJ is also dedicated too Jill, Lynsey, Kyle, Liz, Katie and Amy. The garden state sure has grown some of my most beautiful blooms of friends.
Also Bruce Springsteen for 1 of my top 10 favorite songs (Dancing in the dark).

Liberty & Prosperity for all.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NEW HAMPSHIRE - Pie #29 of 50 - Charles & Kelsie Woodbury

State Fruit: Pumpkin
State Vegetable: White Potato

I have been to New Hampshire! I went a couple summers ago for Kelsie & Chuck's wedding in Hebron, NH by Newfound Lake and fell in love with the state. I had a grand old time, dancing bare foot in the grass, swimming in lakes & swimming holes and soaking in the summer sun with all my favorite people.

New Hampshire was named after the town of Hampshire in England. It is 1 of the original 13 colonies and the 1st to declare its independence from England. New Hampshire did this a full 6 months before the declaration of Independence was signed. 

The 1st potato planted in the US was in Londonderry, NH and the 1st free public library was opened in 1833 in Peterborough, NH. 

The state slogan “Live Free or Die” comes from a statement written by the revolutionary General John Stark. 

New Hampshire is beautiful from the white mountains to the lakes the band PWR BTTM said it best “When I die please bury me in New Hampshire I really like the leaves”. One of the most famous natural landmarks in the state was the granite profile “Old Man of the Mountains” (RIP) which was carved by nature. 

The pie for New Hampshire is a maple pumpkin pie! The maple syrup I used in the pie is from Middle Branch Farm in New Boston, NH. Maple syrup fact 40 gallons of sap makes 1 gallon of maple syrup. (Lotta sap, little full).

New Hampshire is for a couple of my two favorite people Charles & Kelsie Woodbury from New Boston, NH. The friendship & adventures we’ve been on & the ones to come. Life is better with these guys in it. Kelsie is my favorite person to listen sad cowgirl songs with & Chuck is my favorite person to shoot the shit with on a Sunday afternoon. 

The pie is also dedicated to everyone I know from New Hampshire which is a hell of a lot of people for a girl that grew up 9000 miles away. I love all of you with my whole heart. There must be something in the water up north cause you guys are some of the most handsome, beautiful & loveliest people I’ve ever met.

Thank you all so much for loving me so well. 

LIVE FREE OR DIE. 

NEVADA

NEVADA

NEVADA - Pie #28 of 50 - Mark Johnson

Nevada has no state foods.

I have been to Las Vegas, NV! I went when I was at the height of my emo scene kid phase with my dad & my sisters. I remember very vividly that my dad took us to m&m world and I only got red, black and white m&m’s cause emo kid HA!

The state of Nevada takes its name from a Spanish word meaning “snow-clad”. It is the 7th largest state with 110,540 square miles 85% of which is federally owned including Area 51.
Most of the state is desert but the Sierra Nevada mountain range near Reno & the Ruby mountains near Elko has snow for half the year. Alongside this NV is home to 50,000 miles of paved roads.

The first casino “pair-o-dise club” opened in 1931 on highway 91 which would become the future Las Vegas strip. The strip is home to more hotel rooms than any other place on earth. In 1960 there were 16,067 slot machines and at its last count in 1999 there were 205,726 machines that’s one slot machine for every 10 residents. Not only can you win big on the strip but you can also win big in gold! Since it’s the largest gold producing state in the nation.

Nevada is home to the largest state public works project in the history of the US, the Hoover Dam. The dam contains enough concrete to pave a two lane highway from San Francisco to New York!

The pie for Nevada is an All You Can Eat! Buffet pie with 4 savory components and 4 sweet components! what says Nevada like having everything you want in one pie in excess! It’s the state where you can have your cake and eat it too.
Going around clockwise:
Slice 1: Caesar Salad
Slice 2: Shrimp Cocktail
Slice 3: Alaskan King Crab with Herbed Butter
Slice 4: New York Strip Steak with Caramelized Onions and Mash Potatoes
Slice 5: Fig Jam Glazed Custard Fruit Tart
Slice 6: Chocolate Mousse
Slice 7: Cheesecake with Strawberry Glaze
Slice 8: Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sundae

Nevada is for my lovely friend Mark Johnson who was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. Mark & I both went to SCAD but didn’t meet each other till our buddy Matt introduced us when we were all living in NYC.

Mark puts up with me rolling my eyes at him a lot with every single dad joke he tells.
I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of an all you can eat buffet pie than him. He was even kind enough to share it with me while we watched Hot Ones on his couch on a snow day.
Some would say I rolled the dice but I think I hit the jackpot with this friendship.

Nevada belongs to Mark Johnson.

NEBRASKA

NEBRASKA

NEBRASKA - Pie #27 of 50 - Bryan Moreno

Nebraska has no state foods & I’ve never been there.

Nebraska though it produces some corn it’s nickname of “The Huskers” comes from early sports teams. In the state football is a religion, on game day Memorial stadium becomes the 3rd largest city.

It’s filled with long stretches of highways & the Omaha skyline is the perfect backdrop for the sunsets that spread across the rolling plains. Chimney Rock 300ft in the sky was a landmark for travelers throughout the history of America from the Oregon, California and Mormon trails.
Nebraska is home to Warren Buffet, Omaha steaks and the weird tradition of eating chilli with cinnamon rolls!

NE where the cows out number the residents 3.5 to 1 has given us many things like the 1st Arbor Day (April 10 1872 a million trees were planted), Kool-Aid (In 1927 Edwin Perkins of NE discovered how to take liquid out of flavored syrup, Kool-Aid was born) and most surprisingly the Reuben sandwich was created in 1930 by a Lithuanian grocer named of Reuben Kulakofsky in Omaha.

The pie is a Runza inspired pie! A rectangular pie with ground beef, cabbage, onions & sweet corn with a corn meal crust served with Dorothy Lynch dressing.
A Runza has German & Russian roots going back to the 18th century. The recipe was passed down from one generation to the next finding its way to the Midwest when it was originally served to field workers for lunch. The original is a yeast dough filled with beef, cabbage/sauerkraut, onions and seasons. The official Nebraska Runza is always baked in a rectangular shape.

Dorothy Lynch dressing is made exclusively in Duncan, NE a town of 359 people and is an all purpose condiment consisting of a blend of spices and orange coloring. IT’S DELICIOUS!
Nebraska is being received by Bryan Moreno. He is not from Nebraska but he did live on Lincoln st when we were in college. Lincoln is the state capital of Nebraska. It’s a stretch I know but Bryan deserves pie cause he is a lovely friend that lets me watch old sitcoms like Frasier on his couch while we chat about nothing in particular but everything important. That’s friendship.
To the state that’s all bout The Good Life”

MONTANA

MONTANA

MONTANA - Pie #26 of 50 - John Frederick

I have never been to Montana.
Montana’s name comes from the Spanish word for Mountain.
The first inhabitants of Montana were the Plain Indians and is now home to seven Indian reservations.
Elk, deer & antelope population out number the humans in Montana!
Which makes sense since 46/50 of Montana’s counties are considered “frontier counties” with an average population of 6 or fewer people per square mile.
It is home to Yellowstone National Park in southern Montana which is the first National Park in the nation.
It is also home to Glacier National Park which has 250 lakes in its boundaries. The park is home to Triple Divide Peak which is the only triple divide allowing water to flow into the Pacific, Atlantic and Hudson Bay. This is the only state where this phenomenon occurs.

The pie for this state is a pasty inspired pie. It’s dinner and desert in one with a buffalo & root vegetable and cherry filling to finish and is served with a brown gravy in a crust with the state seal painted on.
The “Pasty” first arrived on the scene in Butte, MT with the tin & copper miners from Cornwall England in the late 1800’s. The pasty was an all in one dish that was a mainstay meal which was hearty and hardy and reference to as a “letter from home”.
The pie is for my sweet bud John Frederick. John is not from Montana but he has driven through it many a time on his cross country trips from his hometown of Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR where he went to college at Reed.
He’s been to Bozeman and Missoula and described it to me as vast and beautiful with sprawling mountains, skies, cowboy boots and lots of flannel.
John and I met when we were both 15 at summer camp at Yale. He took some Buddhism and slam poetry classes and I took found object art and painting.
We meet on the quad and have been friends ever since!

Big Sky Country I am charmed and hope to see the triple divide for myself soon.

MISSOURI

MISSOURI

MISSOURI - Pie #25 of 50 - Katie Glenn - HALF WAY!

State Dessert: Ice Cream

I have never been to Missouri.
Missouri is the “Show Me State” this came about around 1899 when Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver said “I’m from Missouri and you’ve got to show me”.
Kansas City, MO has more miles of boulevards than Paris and more fountains than any city except Rome.

We have Missouri to thank for many food inventions!

At the 1904 World’s Fair ice tea was invented by Richard Blechyden. At that same world’s fair the ice cream cone was also invented! This happened when an ice cream vendor ran out of cups and a waffle vendor decided to help him out. Team work!
Aunt Jemima pancake flour was invented in St Joseph, MO and became the first self rising flour for pancakes and the first ready mixed food to be introduced commercially.
Most importantly St Louis, MO is home to Anheuser Busch brewery which is the largest beer producer in the nation. They do the lord’s work. I have drank a serious amount of bud heavy and bud lights in my life so far.

The pie is a Ted Drewes copy cat frozen custard pie with homemade ooey gooey butter cake mixed in with rainbow sprinkles. Ted Drewes is a MO staple and everyone I know from the state has told me about it! The frozen custard is so thick you can flip ya cup and it won’t fall out. Ooey Gooey butter cake is also a MO staple. Some families in MO have it instead of Pecan pie during thanksgiving!

This pie is for Katie Glenn. Katie was born in Hawaii but grew up in Columbia,MO! I met Katie in Savannah, GA at college. I have zero recollection of the time we first met because it was probably at a party where we had a hell of a good time. Katie is a very talented jewelry designer and lovely cat mom to Luna. You can take a gander at her beautiful jewels @marionwild

Missouri you may be the Show Me State but I’ll always know that your really where the rivers run.

MISSOURI IS MY HALF WAY POINT!
I’m half way through the 50!

MISSISSIPI

MISSISSIPI

MISSISSIPPI - Pie #24 of 50 - Rachel Sevin

State Cookie: Butter Cookie

I have never been to Mississippi.

Mississippi is home to the Mississippi River or "Old Man River" which is the largest river in the US and the nations chief waterway.
Root Beer or if your a Parks & Rec fan "super water" was invented in Biloxi in 1898 by Edward Adolf Barq Sr.

In 1902 Theodore Roosevelt during a hunting expedition refused to shoot a captured bear in Sharkey County deeming it unsportsmanlike. Toy maker Morris Michtom saw a drawing of this incident in The Washington Post and created a soft bear cub toy today popularly known as the Teddy Bear and sent it to Roosevelt asking for permission to use his name. The toys became an immediate success. Beary Wonderful!

The pie is a Mississippi Mud Pie! It is a chocolate teddy graham cracker crust, chocolate fudge filling with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. The origins of the pie are muddy (HA! get it?!)  but the most popular story is that in 1927 Jenny Meyer lost her home in Greenville to flooding. Soon after this she moved to the Vicksburg Natchez area near Jackson & became a waitress. One day she decided to bake a dense pie with simple ingredients where she melted chocolate and made a filling that resembled the muddy banks of a Mississippi River.

This pie is for Rachel Sevin. Rachel wasn't born in MS but her Mom sure was! In the small town of Sebastopol, MS. Their family has spent many Christmas's there and will spend many more since her parents recently retired & moved to Biloxi!

I met Rachel the day I graduated college while singing karaoke at McDonough's in Savannah, GA. Rachel went to college at Auburn but was dating a friend of mine at the time. Rachel is one of the bravest people I know. she went to Auburn for fashion but somehow ended up in tech and during that time lived in Atlanta. She had always wanted to get back to fashion to she packed up all her things, took a huge chance and moved to NYC. For the past 4 years she has been running a small womenswear company. That's girl power.

Mississippi you sure are the south's warmest welcome and going to you always feels like coming home.

MINNESOTA

MINNESOTA

MINNESOTA - Pie #23 of 50 - Rebecca Schneider

State Fruit: Honey Crisp Apple
State Grain: Wild Rice
State Muffin: Blueberry Muffin
State Mushroom: Morel Mushrooms

I have never been to Minnesota but I have big dreams about entering a pie into the Minnesota State Fair which is the second biggest in the country.

The state of Minnesota has given us many things like PRINCE (dearly beloved), Andrew Zimmern, masking & scotch tape, Wheaties, the bundt pan (this cake has a hole in it!), Bisquick and most importantly from Austin, MN the Hormel company gave us Spam in 1937. Praise be without them we wouldn't have one of my favorite foods spam musubi!

Minnesota is home to not only the Mall of America which is the size of 78 football fields but also 90,000 miles of shore line which is more than CA, FL & HI combined! It is also home to the Skyway system which connects 52 blocks of downtown Minneapolis. You can live, eat work and shop without going outside which must be a blessing during the states frigid winters. The image I get in my head is of people but as ants shuffling through endless endless tunnels.

So I went a little off the state foods and decided to make my ode to the fried foods of the state fair since MN is home to the second largest state fair in the country. Mainly the two main state fair staples corn dogs and funnel cake. This pie is a corn dog casserole pie with a corn meal crust and savory funnel cake topper! Served with mustard and ketchup of course!

This pie is for my design director at work and friend Rebecca Schneider. Rebecca was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and goes back almost every year for the state fair which is the social event on every Minnesota natives calendar. Rebecca and I bonded on our love of all things food and our ability to drink and enjoy fine wines by the case. Our preferred unit of measure when drinking wine. I introduced Rebecca to the "team drink" while we were in Dallas so we drinks those too! I will hopefully get the chance to visit Minnesota and crash at her parents house so I can enter a pie in the state fair and get to meet Princess Kay of the Milky Way the Butter Queen of the state fair.

Honorable mention to Jak & Erin Horner and Billy French who all lived in MN. Jak and Billy in one tiny room together.

Minnesota I can't wait to explore your 10,000 lakes, eat everything on a stick and fulfilling my dream of winning a prize ribbon at the state fair!

MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN - Pie #22 of 50 - Anne Patterson

I have never been to Michigan but not have I seen commercials for this state "Pure Michigan" visit the Great Lakes, fresh air, family! WAHHHH!

Michigan is known for many things. It is known as the Wolverine state even though there aren't any wolverines in Michigan anymore. It is the only state that touches 4/5 Great Lakes and apparently from anywhere you stand in the state you are 85 miles from a Great Lake. Pretty neat!

Michigan is also known for sand dunes. The Sleeping bear sand dunes flank the edges of Lake Michigan and living amongst the dunes are dwarf lake Iris's the official state wild flower. That must be some sight to see.

Detroit, MI or the car capital of the world gave us cars and the Industrial Age.
I have photos of when Ford's made it over to Singapore and my grandpa saved up and got one.
Battle Creek, MI or the cereal capital of the world is home to Kellogg's! The Kellogg's brothers discovered the process for producing cereal products accidentally and sparked the dry cereal industry. AP (Anne Patterson who the pie is for) told me that when Kellogg's burns the grape nuts the whole town knows! She also told me that Traverse City, MI is the cherry capital of the world. I found out that since Lake Michigan tempers attic winds in the winter and cools the orchards in the summer making it perfect for growing cherries!

Michigan has no state foods but from all the info I learned I decided to bake a cherry pie with a corn flake crust and corn flake crumble on top! a "breakfast" pie sorta!

This pie is for Anne Patterson or AP as we all like to call her! AP grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and is pure sunshine with a mega watt smile! She gives top ten best hugs I have ever received and is one half of the dynamic team that raises one of the sweetest baby buds I know, Cal! #mypalcal.

Shout out to the Women's softball team of the University of Michigan. I became a huge fan of there "making pizza" move they would do during games. I watched quite a number of games because my roommate at the time Patrick and his best friend Jeremy are huge fans of the team. I got them shirts for Christmas last year.

Michigan, you constantly remind me you are "Pure Michigan" but I'll never forget your Great Lakes, Great Times; More to see Water/Winter Wonderland. (The longest former state slogan ever)

MASSACHUSETTS

MASSACHUSETTS

MASSACHUSETTS - Pie #21 of 50 - Matthew McInerney

State Berry: Cranberry
State Muffin: Corn Muffin
State Bean: Baked Navy Bean
State Dessert: Boston Cream Pie
State Doughnut: Boston Cream Doughnut

I have been to Massachusetts! The first time I ever went was when I was at summer camp at Yale & we were doing college visits to Harvard to compare and contrast. I had a real Rory Gilmore moment. Both my sisters went to college in Boston! Stasia at Emerson and Seraphina is currently at North Eastern.
The Fong sisters love New England.

Massachusetts is home to the first public park in America, the Boston Commons 1634. Plymouth was also the the site of the first thanksgiving! 1621! One of my most favorite American holidays! Green bean casserole is everything. Massachusetts also makes me think of SPORTS!!!! From The Patriots, The Celtics, The Red Sox, to the Bruins. All my friends have ingrained the love of sports New England sports (thanks Viri and Mark Smarts for all the Tom Brady facts I know).

The state dessert is the Boston Cream Pie. So it isn't actually a pie but a cake so I did my pie-pretation of it! It's a chocolate fudge and vanilla custard swirl pie with homemade pound cake sprinkled on to with a chocolate drizzle.

This pie is for one of my bestest buds Matthew McInerney. Matt grew up in western mass in a town called Deerfield. Our friendship is based on us drinking and scream singing songs at each other. I had the honor of being one of the groomsman at his recent wedding to my heart's song Suzy! I delivered the pie to Matt at our woodland vacation away last weekend where he got to share the pie with his brother Mark widely known as "Mark Smart" and his childhood friend Jack Strong. Jack makes the best cup of coffee I've ever had.

Massachusetts has blessed me with many great friendships! This pie is also dedicated to Jared Zeizel (LPS) from Newton, MA, Nikhil Mehta (you is kind, you is smart, you is important) from Sudbury, MA and Vytenis Krukonis (the best Lithuanian I know and I know a bunch) from Milton, MA.

Massachusetts you truly are the spirit of America.

MARYLAND

MARYLAND

MARYLAND - Pie #20 of 50 - Peirce Kea & Jess Lord

State Food: Blue Crabs
State Dessert: Smith Island Cake

I have been to Maryland! Last year Kelly, Javi, Britney, 3 cases of La Croix and I went on a road trip to Salisbury, MA to see our sweet friends Peirce & Alex get married! Bonus points cause queen bee Jess Lord married them and Darren was there too! It was the most fun wedding and we all slept in Jess and Darren's RV we parked in Peirce's drive way. We even ordered a pizza to the RV! Shout out to Michael the delivery guy for coming into the RV to bring us late night dominos. We still talk and think about you to this day.

When I think of Maryland I think of three things Blue Crabs, John Waters & The Wire.
Maryland is often referred to as "American in Miniature" since it has the widest variety of terrains from mountains, farmland, beaches to sand dunes. Maryland also gave up some of its land to form Washington D.C.!
The Star Spangled Banner was written. T Francis Scott Key a Maryland Lawyer on Sept 14th 1814. O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

The pie I chose to make is an old bay blue crab dip pie with a spicy old bay crust! Since Maryland is the national leader in the production of Blue crabs. I must say it was friggin delicious! Future party app old bay pie crust chips with crab dip.

Maryland is for Peirce Kea & Jess Lord. We all went to SCAD together and built our friendship on countless PBRs at The Rail. Peirce and Jess were in town for Kelly's roller skating 30th pizza party so I got to give them the pie then!
Maryland is also dedicated to John Waters. He was born in Baltimore and is responsible for making one of my favorite movies "Cry Baby" and writing on of the most interesting books I've ever read "Car Sick" about hitch hiking across America. I got the chance to meet him at a book signing in Dumbo with my friend Chuck. It was a dream come true!
Shout out also to my other Maryland loves Andy Mangold, Hillary Edwards and their sweet pup Sadie who I finally get to meet next week!

If you are looking for merry land, go to Maryland!

On to a state that's wicked smaaarrttttt

MAINE

MAINE

MAINE - Pie #19 of 50 - Aaron Ruff

State Fruit: Wild Blueberries
State Dessert: Wild Blueberry Pie
State Soft Drink: Moxie
State Treat: Whoopie Pie

Maine is at the tippy top of the east coast.
I have never been to Maine but I know a few things. It's beautiful and it's where L.L. Bean is from. All I wanted growing up was a red L.L. Bean backpack with my name on it . I got one but my dad got it with "FONG" on it instead of "STACEY" so my sisters and I could share it UGH! I didn't wanna share it but it was red & came in a package all the way from America to Hong Kong so that was exciting!
Maine was the 23rd state in the Union and it's said that Eastport, ME is considered the first place to get sunlight in the morning on the east coast. In 1 year Maine produces 90% of the nations lobster and 99% of all blueberries too.
Maine's pie is a wild Maine blueberry & moxie pie with a "lobster" decorated crust. I boiled down a bottle of moxie to make a syrup to sweeten the pie with.

Maine is for my fine jewel of a friend Aaron Ruff. Aaron is from Dresden, ME but lives in Brooklyn now where he makes the most beautiful fine jewelry. 3 out of the 4 pieces of jewelry I wear every day are his. We met cause I won a giveaway on his Instagram where I won my "don't give up the ship" signet ring and we have been friends ever since. Fun fact Aaron introduced me to my sweet friend Rachel Hauer who is responsible for 85% of the tattoos on my body! Aaron may make the finest jewelry in the North East but his friendship is the true gem.
Maine is also dedicated to straight dime Eric Hallworth. Eric has been working on a tiny house on and off for the past 2 and a half years in Maine. The tiny house is located on land in Gray, ME where his family has had a cottage since the 80's but that original house has since been torn down. He designed it along with everyone's day dream Laura West. Eric is also building all of the furniture. Cause he is just that badass. Hopefully I'll come see this beauty myself soon with a bottle of tequila & a pie in hand.

I mean it must be Maine, the way life should be. You truly are Vacationland, postcard perfection.

LOUISIANA

LOUISIANA

LOUISIANA - Pie #18 of 50 - Zachery James Kohler "Moses" / "Mo Mo"

State Fruit: Strawberry
State Jellies: Mayhaw & Sugar Cane Jelly
State Meat Pie: Natchioches meat pie
Straw Donut: Beignet
State Vegetable: Sweet Potato
State Dish: Gumbo

Oh boy do I love Louisiana and I sure do love New Orleans. The first time I went to NoLa my college roommate Jess called me after class told me to she was packing a bag and we were driving right after she picked me up from class to crash her parents vacation. It was the most fun spontaneous road trip. I drank one million hurricanes and ate so many oysters, po boys and alligator for the first time! Nothing like a Chavez family vacation.
The second time I went to NoLa I went with my baby dolls Kelsie and Mallory to meet my childhood bff Holly Booth who at the time was working on a cruise ship and her only over night in America was in NoLa. We hit up all the sweet spots cause Kels is literally the best trip planner in the world.
We crashed with sweet baby boy Moses and upon arriving he served us home made red beans and rice, and we danced to the song "I can't wait" by nu shooz and got unlimited cuddles from his sweet pup Kosch dog.

New Orleans is where I bought a dozen Dolly Parton records. It's where I drank the most daiquiris. It's where Moses the girls and I danced to a live jazz band for eight hours straight to the point we were unable to walk the next day.
I can't say enough lovely things about this state.

Louisiana is way more than NoLa and I'm eager to explore! Next time maybe an air boat tour of the swamps is in order. Daiquiri in hand for sure.

Louisiana has blessed me with a variety of state foods and fruits for my interpretation. I landed on a strawberry and mayhaw jelly jam pie with a home made fleur de lis beignet topper and king cake esque decorations.

The pie is for my sweet friend Moses he is born and raised in New Orleans and resides there now in Bayou St John's with his sweet pup Kosch Dog and a stones throw from one of the best bars ever Pal's. I couldn't ship the pie to him so he is getting an apple pie-kage. The pie was received by the Woodbury's. Chuck goes to NoLa every year for Jazz Fest with Moses and the boys and Kels is one of my bad beignets & my favorite travel pal. Jack dog of course was around for a sniff and attempted lick.

Honorable mention to Caity Opelka and her mom Susan who also reside in New Orleans! Caity has been a party pal of mine since college. Her consistent and undying love for bacon and ability to do triathlons blows me away. Thank you for your constant support and love!

New Orleans thank you for always les bon temps rouler I'll be back soon for a get down and a daq.

KENTUCKY

KENTUCKY

KENTUCKY - Pie #17 of 50 - Mark Dorf

State Fruit: Blackberry

I have been to Kentucky! I honestly have no idea where I was. I went on a little vacation to my friend Katie's mums lake house where we rode jet skis around, got sun burnt and drank PBRs. It was pretty amazing. So I only have good feels for this lovely state.

Kentucky is B-E-A-UTIFUL and home to Mammoth Cave which is the world's longest cave. It is also home too the caves with the shortest and deepest underground river in the world, The Lost River Cave and Valley Bowling Green.
I also wanted to find out why Kentucky Bluegrass is called blue grass since it's green. It's called this because in the spring bluegrass produces bluish purple buds that when seen in large fields gives the feel a blue cast. NATURE IS AMAZING!

Other fun facts about Kentucky!
- The song "Happy Birthday to You" I'm sure you've heard of it was written by two Louisville sisters in 1893
- Post-It Notes are manufactured exclusively in Cynthiana and the exact number made each year is kept a secret
- Fort Knox is also home to the largest amount of gold stored anywhere in the world with more than $6 billion worth held in its vaults.
- The first restaurant owned and operated by Colonel Sanders is located in Corbin.

The state fruit of Kentucky is the blackberry! But after a conversation with Mark Dorf At Kendall's zine party and him telling me about Derby Pies I decided that's the way I had to go!
So Kentucky's pie is a traditional Derby Pie With a blackberry drizzle.
The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country and is held at Churchill downs in Louisville on the first Saturday in May. Where the pie along with free flowing mint juleps are served.

This pie is for you guessed it MARK DORF! Mark grew up in Louisville,KY but lives here in NYC. He is a talented visual artist and all round great guy. Mark is probably one of the smarted and most creative people I know.
If you're around the city a solo show of his opens at Postmasters Gallery on Saturday!
I have zero idea when I first met Mark Dorf but I feel like it was probably at one of the Halloween Parties I used to throw at my house.

Only the fondest feelings for the state of Kentucky! You truly are full of Unbridled Spirit!

Now on to a state that always le bon temps rouléz

KANSAS

KANSAS

KANSAS - Pie #16 of 50 - Emily Foelske 

I have never been to Kansas!
All I knew of Kansas before this was from watching The Wizard of Oz so you know Tornados and it being no place like it according to Dorothy. I had also heard from my buddy Chuck about how boring it was to drive through cause it's so gosh dang flat!

Did some light Kansas factual reading and found of the following things:
Did you know that Smith County, KS is the geographical center of the 48 contiguous states.
Sumner County, KS is known as "The Wheat Capital of the World" in 1997 Kansas produced a record of 492.2 million bushels on wheat! That's enough to make 35.9 billion loaves of bread. THAT'S A WHOLE LOT OF CARBS!
Fun fact! At one time it was against the law in Kansas to serve ice cream on cherry pie?! Who would deny someone a little a la mode.

Kansas has no state foods but what Kansas is known for is Kansas City BBQ! After much reading on regional BBQ I found out that what sets Kansas apart is the barbecue sauce. It is a tomato based sauce that is sweet, spicy and tangy. Kansas City bbq has also made popular the "burnt end" which is the delicious end piece of meat when it is smoked. It's chard and smoky and just full of umami.

The Kansas City pie is a slow cooked pulled pork pie with a jalapeño corn bread crust and home made BBQ sauce. Yes it is all cradled in a regular pie crust to hold it together like the snuggle blanket you need to burrito yourself in after a big BBQ meal while you nap away. This pie will stick to your bones for sure. (I ate two slices WHOOPS! a moment on the lips forever on the hips)

This pie is for my boss Emily! Emily hails from Boulder, CO but she ventured off from sprawling hills to the flatlands of Kansas to attend Kansas University where she studied Industrial Design and made fine friendships. Only the fondest memories in Kansas for her in the state that is "as big as you think". Her baby Ellis even wore a U.K. shirt for pie delivery day! Little gem!

On to the next "K" state that I will bake while I sip a mint julep.

IOWA

IOWA

IOWA - Pie #15 of 50 - Patrick Gannon & Saranden Seip

State Snack: S'mores

I have never been to Iowa!
When I think about Iowa I think about CORN, sprawling corn fields and farm lands. I think about the phase "corn fed American man" and think that ya know maybe they are all from Iowa.
I imagine that when I finally do get to Iowa I'll just run through corn fields with a corn on the cob in my mouth and climb bales of hay and drink a lot of beer.

I did a little research on this state and found out some pretty dope facts.
Iowa is the only state that starts with two vowels and is the only state who's east and west borders are 100% formed by water from the Missouri and Misissipi rivers.
Also the capital Des Moines, that fancy name translates to "River of the Monks". Which is pretty epic!
Iowa is also home to Quaker Oats which is based in Cedar Rapids and its the largest cereal company in the world!

The state snack of Iowa is s'mores so I decided to make a s'mores pie! It's a homemade graham cracker crust, chocolate fudge filling with a home made toasted marshmallow topper.

I only know one person from Iowa. That person is Patrick Gannon. Patrick Gannon is one of those dudes where you have to say his first and last name together when referencing him always. He is a corn fed American man. I met Patrick Gannon in Savannah,GA both of us went to SCAD and both of us liked to drink. So we got along famously. Patrick Gannon also told me once that in his family's barn in Iowa he put cat food on his body and let a bunch of kittens eat food off him. That's was a pretty weird but the story stuck with me. Patrick Gannon loves cats. So this pie is dedicated to my weird buddy.

This pie is being received by Saranden Seip! Saranden is marrying her love Rick in Iowa later this year! She is the mom of a sweet pup named Stevie Licks and is the older sister of my old intern and lovely friend Sierra Seip who got the Arizona pie! We are keeping it in the family! This pie was Sierra and my wedding present to the happy couple!

Iowa thank you for your Life Changing; Fields of Opportunity in both in a literal and physical sense!

On to the two "K" states!
 

INDIANA

INDIANA

INDIANA - Pie #14 of 50 - Whitney Sharpe

State Pie: Sugar Cream Pie

Indiana "The Hoosier State" but like what is a Hoosier what does it mean?! So I did a little research.
There isn't a clear cut answer there are many different theories about how the word Hoosier came to be and it's connection to Indiana. The earliest known use of the there was found in a letter from 1827 that said "there is a yankee trick for you - done up by a Hoosier."
In 1848 Hoosier was defined as "a nickname given at the west to natives of Indiana." In a poem by John Finley the term is referred to less about the pioneers of Indiana and used more to describe the qualities they posses like self reliance and bravery.
So there isn't a clear meaning or a clear story of how it came to be so the mystery lives on!

FACTS!
Indiana is known as the covered bridge capital of the world! In its historic park county alone it has 32 covered bridges. (Kate & Meridith explained covered bridges to me recently because I've never been under one or really seen one up close before). I've never been to Indiana so I guess I have to go!
Indiana is also responsible for feeding my boss Emily and I's popcorn addiction. It produces more than 20% of Americas supply.
Santa Claus, IN receives from thank half a million "Dear Santa" letters a year!!

Indiana has a state pie! It has been the state pie since 2009!
It is the sugar cream pie. This style of pie is also known as "desperation pie". This 160 year old recipe which dates back to when Indiana received its statehood in 1816 was used when the apple bins were empty. The popular theory is that this pie originated from Amish And Shaker communities but technically the pie predates the Amish since they didn't arrive till the 1830's.
The pie is also known as a "finger" pie since you need to stir the filling (I guess with your finger) during the baking so that the custard doesn't break the bottom crust.
I personally stirred it once with a spoon and then shook it every 8 mins while it baked so it would bake evenly.

The Indiana pie is for my long time friend and boss lady Whitney Sharpe! I met Whitney in the first week of SCAD she is a lovely, beautiful, strong and talented ceramic artist. Her company is The Latch Key give it a look! Her stuff is beyond beautiful. Whitney lives in Oakland but happen to be in NYC the week I was making this pie so I got to give it to her in person!

You are truly Honest to Goodness Indiana!

Now on to a state with life changing fields of opportunity.

ILLINOIS

ILLINOIS

ILLINOIS - Pie #13 of 50 - Brita Gaffney, Taryn Haas, Kendal Croix, Lani Tiberghien, Kate Pixlar, Michelle Obama. Received by Viridiana Liberman

Illinois! Is more than just Chicago it is nicknamed "The Prairie State". 

Some fun facts about Illinois it is home to the  North America's tallest building (Sears Tower), where the world's first aquarium opened (1893 in Chicago) and where the first skyscraper was built (1885 in Chicago). 

I have never been to Illinois but it's on the list. I want to try a deep dish pizza and get whipped around by the wind.

Every time I think about Illinois I think of these things Michael Jordan cause he played for the Chicago Bulls (I'm pretty sure I still have my Jordan 23 Bulls a Jersey that I bought to wear as a dress with my stiletto Tims and huge hoop earrings. Don't ask) and the way Paul Rudd says "DA BEARS" in the movie "I Love You, Man". So yeah I guess also of my thoughts as centralized in Chicago but it's a much bigger picture than that with farmland, forest, rolling hills and wetlands. 

Illinois has a state pie! It's the Pumpkin Pie! I thought I would jazz it up a little and make it a deep dish since the state is also know to make there pizza oh so deep and oh so dishy! So here we are! 

This pie is for a multitude of people! It is for the sweetest pair of friends Kate Pixler & Lani Tiberghien, for my SCAD lady Brita, for Taryn who understands the importance of understanding the subtle differences between how Clarissa explains it all and Sabrina the teenage witch, all round tropicat (tropical cat) Kendal Croix, my long time friend and girl I always wanted to be in high school from Hong Kong Petrina Chiu who went to college there and calls the state home. It is for MICHELLE OBAMA! What can be said that hasn't already. You are the ultimate role model. You are woman. 

I am gifting this pie to Viri! Her dad and stepmom were born and raised in Chicago! So she gets to enjoy this deep dished glory on behalf of everyone listed above. 

Illinois you are the Land of Lincoln and I honestly agree. 

Now in to "The Hoosier State"

IDAHO

IDAHO

IDAHO - Pie #12 of 50 - Katie LiButti

State Vegetable/Food: Potato
State Fruit: Huckleberry 

Idaho was named after the Native American word "ídaahę" which means "the land of many waters".

FACT!
It is called the "Gem State" because nearly every known type of gemstone has been found in the state of Idaho!

MORE FACTS!
Idaho is famous for potatoes, producing about one third of the potatoes grown in the United States (I have never met a potato I didn't like). But did you know he first potato in America was planted in New Hampshire in 1719 and wasn't brought to Idaho till 1836 by Henry Harmon Spalding to help the Nez Peirce tribe grow their own food. 

I have never been to Idaho but from photos I've seen it can only be described as lush, sprawling and beautiful.

FACT!
Western Idaho is home to Hells Canyon which is the deepest gorge in North America, 7,993 ft deep deeper than the Grand Canyon which is 6000 ft deep. 

The Idaho pie is a mash potato pie with a hash brown crush and a scallop potato topper! Potatoes three ways for a state whose slogan was formerly "Famous Potatoes". I didn't include tater tots which to quote my sister Seraphina "sweet potato tater tots are one of my favorite things about America" but aren't hash browns really kinda tater tots that have fallen apart?!
 

I know no one from Idaho. The only thing I do know is that my friend Caitlin Gossen who looks just like Taylor Swift married her love there many moons ago and it was gorgeous! This pie is going to get consumed by myself and my lady friend Katie LiButti who when I scream IDAHO she always hollers back U DA HO and that's what friendship is all about. 

Idaho I hope to breath your fresh air and see your sprawling lands sooner than later. Thank you for giving us "Great Potatoes, Tasty Destinations" 

On to a state that's deep and dishy.