A Pie Pathway to Recovery

The key to both baking and recovery is to pay attention to what resonates with you and make a practice of it

In honor of National Pi(e) Day (3-14), MRC invited recovery advocate Kris Kelly to share her story of pie and recovery.

The language of pie is universal. Fresh baked pies often inspire a sense of nostalgia, bringing up memories of grandmothers and special occasions surrounded by family, friends, and laughter.

For me, baking pie was an essential part of my pathway in recovery.

When I began my journey in recovery, I needed to keep busy when I put my 6-year-old kiddo to bed. I found peace and meditation in making doughs and fillings. It was a practice in timing, chemistry, and being with my thoughts. I’ve had profound revelations while rolling out crusts, gotten lost in my dreams while cooking custards. During the first 5 years in recovery, I made hundreds of pies while my sweet girl slept. I ran a small baking business as I waitressed and put myself through school. Indeed, baking pies helped save my life.

Kris Kelly

Now 12 years into my recovery journey, I can whip up a pie at a moment’s notice, usually with ingredients I have on hand. I have volumes of recipes that provide me instruction, although many I have committed to memory. Some recipes feel like I am reuniting with a long-lost friend while others offer tips and tricks I’d never think to try.

I suspect you can see where I am headed here: baking and recovery have a lot in common. It’s all foreign territory when we start out on a new journey. The landscape is unfamiliar and sometimes intimidating. We don’t know what we need and there a lot of ‘recipes’ claiming to be ‘the best’, ‘ultimate’, or the ‘only one you’ll ever need’. For me, the key to both baking and recovery is to pay attention to what resonates with you and make a practice of it. Don’t expect to be an expert right away- it takes time, persistence, and genuine curiosity. Over time, slowly but surely, the practice becomes a way of life.

Kris Kelly is a woman in long-term recovery, an inspired and generous baker, and Project Manager at the Peer Recovery Center of Excellence.


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