Day 3 - #WorldWatercolorGroup - French Silk Pie Food Illustration Watercolour - #doodlewash

French Silk Pie

When thinking of a prompt like “silky,” my mind immediately leapt to French silk pie. This is something that I would always choose as a kid, when I was lucky enough to be out at a restaurant. At home, my mother would make coconut cream pie and it was actually my favorite, but it never tasted quite as good when other people made it. I asked Philippe if this was indeed French and he looked at it as one might observe an alien, giving me my answer. It’s not. It’s purely an American invention. I couldn’t find the reason it was given this name in my quick and shotty Google research, so I can only assume it’s called this simply because it sounds “fancy.” But, even if adding the word “French” doesn’t make it true, it does give it a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it seem rather special. As a kid, I wasn’t particularly concerned with the origin at all. I just loved it because it was so darn delicious.

Now, of course, I’m no longer thinking of French silk pie and consumed with the desire to have some of my mother’s coconut cream pie again instead. Must make note to self to request it when I visit during the holidays this year. It’s funny how certain foods taste better when prepared by someone you love. I’m sure the recipe my mom had was clipped from the same book or magazine as the mother up the street, but the love she put into it just made it taste so much better. Of all the ingredients that one can include in a particular dish, that’s one that can’t be purchased, and will always make the food beautifully unique. There are so many of those wonderful foods that I haven’t had in years now. I still miss them dearly, but the memories are more than enough to fill me up and make me smile. They’re like old friends that you don’t get to see very often, but knowing that they’re out there somewhere still gives you that same sense of joy.

Today, Philippe might try some amazing new dessert recipe, altered just a bit to make it truly his own. And a new memory and tradition is born. Food isn’t just about the flavor and well, the calories, it’s about the emotions that go into preparing it and the events surrounding it. These are the actual flavors that we remember most. Even the simplest things can become amazing that way. I think that’s why I love illustrating food more than anything else. The story in my head while I’m painting it may be mine, but your story will be something else entirely. A moment in time when something you love was enjoyed with someone you also love. That’s a powerful thing indeed. Not necessarily those extravagant tales told to impress, but those exceptional moments when love was nearly all you could taste. Glorious moments found in so many things, even something as “fancy,” yet seemingly simple, as French silk pie.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham Watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Gamboge, Quinacridone Gold, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Blue. Lamy Safari Al-Star Fountain Pen – Extra Fine, with Platinum Carbon sepia ink in an A6 Hahnemühle Watercolor Book.
 Day 3 - #WorldWatercolorGroup - French Silk Pie Food Illustration Watercolour - #doodlewash

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21 thoughts on “French Silk Pie

  1. Oh Charlie this pie you painted look delicious! Your story about the French origins bring a smile to me, you have no idea how many Italian dishes you Americans have invented or made up that they aren’t Italian or there is not existence…lol friends ask me constantly is this real Italian? And I have to say “No” this isn’t is an American invention! So I feel like Philippe! I can see is the same with French everything sounds better and more fancy I guess when you say is French or italian! 😉 I love your pie painting that is pure Charlie’s delicious Original! 😉 <3

  2. I grew up in the era of parochial Australia when anything foodwise that wasn’t British-based was pooh-poohed. Mediocrity was the norm. But not in our household, thank goodness! Every Sunday, we went out as a family to a new restaurant whose cuisine we’d not had before. I got to learn about good food from different cultures that way. The lesson has remained. 💖 Here in Melbourne we have our own fake Chinese food item that has become an iconic legend — the Dim Sim — first, and still, made available at the South Melbourne Market. I love them fried with soy sauce, of course! Yum. Luv your pie!

  3. Ack – what? French silk pie is not French? Next are you going to tell me that French toast, and French fries, and French onion soup are not French either? Nooooooo. Do I have to give up wearing my beret when I eat these foods?

    Well, I don’t care – your painting of this delicious pie has made me hungry. All that whipped cream piled artfully on top of the chocolate silk, and the graham cracker crust cradling the whole concoction. I think Philippe is wrong. It is French, it is French, it must be.

  4. Beautiful story and doodle wash! Reminds me of the Frankfurt Soup they eat in Hungary which nobody knows in Frankfurt and the Budapest Salad they really like in Germany but no-one has ever heard of in Budapest… And that Chinese food in Hungary is something completely different than Chinese food in Germany… Now which one´s the real? Probably both not Chinese at all… 😄

  5. Wonderful painting, Charlie! That cream on top is calling to me….maybe I’ll indulge at lunch time. Wonderful words, too, about how the secret ingredient of the dishes we love or loved in our earlier days can’t be bought. Makes the memory of them so much better.

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