Tip #127 from Karen, Pie Maker Extraordinaire: Go forth with confidence!


Fourth Friday is that special night where Phoenix descends on Practical Art to taste the delicious, slice-o’-heaven offerings created by Karen Olson, of Vonceil’s Pies, at our monthly Share of the Pie: Charity Night. Each month, to benefit a local organization doing some local good, Karen crafts about a dozen artisan-style pies with names like “Hipster Apple Pie”, “Mexican Chocolate”, and “Gouda-Crusted Pear Cardamom”. She’s become something of a local celebrity, participating annually in the Roosevelt Row Pie Social and regularly lending her expertise to Treehouse Bakery, so we’ve asked her to share some tips to help you all in your baking endeavors and to getcha pumped for this Friday.

For this regular feature, she’ll have tips on techniques and tools, how to “get your mind in the game”, and other notes on creating pies that’ll have you back to the fridge for leftovers at midnight (if there ARE any leftovers that is!).

Here is this month’s tip from her mental sourcebook of Ways To Do It Right:

pie social

“Go forth with confidence.When starting out as a beginning baker, it can be very challenging to be sure you are doing everything right. Should I heavily flour the counter top? And my rolling pin? Do I mix everything together or do I mix all the dry and all the wet ingredients separately? I have heard many people say they love to cook because it is more of an art while baking is more of a science, but the truth is – confidence is the real key to baking success. I have to credit the lovely Amanda Sizemore from Treehouse Bakery for this lovely tip. Just a few days ago she reminded me of this fact as I was dirty icing my first Huge cake! If you allow the task at hand to seem too challenging it will become too challenging for you to accomplish. Yes, adding a dash too much of salt can ruin a baked good and never would hurt a good soup, but with the right mind set from the start, any baker will know how to adjust appropriately. Sometimes you just have to start from scratch. And, there is no better day to start practicing than today!”

Tune in next month for another tip (and to find out what ‘dirty icing’ is! Inquiring minds (mine) wanna know.).


If you wanna taste WHY you should be listening and taking her advice, make sure to come by this Friday for January’s Pie Social, benefiting The Buck Truck! From 7-9pm, January 24th, we’ll be here with pies at the ready! Feel free to bring your own plate, or purchase a handmade one here on the spot, to help us keep things eco-friendly!


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