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Pi(e), potatoes and Paddy

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Emily Hilliard, a graduate student in the folklore program at UNC-Chapel Hill who writes a blog devoted to all things pie (nothinginthehouse.blogspot.com), doesn't turn down a piece of the pastry when National Pie Day rolls around each Jan. 23. But Hilliard reserves her real celebration for Pi(e) Day, a pun of a holiday held on March 14 (3.14). As for the reason, Hilliard explains: "National Pie Day was originally started by the National Pie Council, which seems to be sponsored by Crisco, and I am a buttercrust kind of girl. Also, I think I am more of a nerd; I like puns and I like that it is in March—sort of a coming-of-spring celebration, too."

Join Hilliard for Pi(e) on the Piedmont between 5:30 and 8 p.m., or until the pie runs out on March 14, at Johnny's (901 W. Main St., Carrboro, johnnyscarrboro.com, 932-5070). With the help of fellow folklorist Lora Smith, Hilliard has organized a group of local bakers to support the event. "We have about a 15-member baking team who are all baking one or more pies, including an assortment of sweet and savory—perhaps some savory meat pies and some vegetarian with an emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients," Hilliard says.

A suggested $5 donation will be collected, and attendees are encouraged to bring plates and utensils to cut down on costs. Proceeds will benefit the Center for Environmental Farming Systems' initiative to create a statewide Youth Food Council (cefs.ncsu.edu).

During the event, Johnny's will be open with its normal fare, including a range of bottled beers and sodas. And for entertainment, Hilliard's band, the Wildegeeses, will play American traditional and folk music, including tunes for a pi(e) walk (in a circle, of course) complete with prizes.

St. Patrick's Day finds other food-fueled festivities in the coming days. Through the end of business on March 16, Big Boss Brewing Company (1249-A Wicker Drive, Raleigh, bigbossbrewing.com, 834-0045) will accept entries for a potato-carving contest at its taproom. Original seasonal or beer-inspired spuds are encouraged. The three best-dressed and most clever-cut potatoes will claim prizes at 7 p.m. on March 17 during Big Boss' "Who's Your Paddy?" event. Set to begin at 5 p.m., "Who's Your Paddy?" will highlight Big Boss brews, local music and a slew of food trucks, including Only Burger, Valentino's and Klausie's Pizza.

For the oft overserved holiday, The King's Daughters Inn (204 N. Buchanan Blvd., Durham, thekingsdaughtersinn.com, 354-7000) will cheer St. Patrick's Day with tea—a beloved Irish beverage that folks at the inn believe is overshadowed only by Guinness. The traditional afternoon tea will take place in the inn's dining room and feature 14 loose-leaf varieties along with scones, muffins, jams, clotted cream and Irish music. Reservations are $15 and can be placed at the inn's website.

For more on tea and coffee in the Triangle, check out next week's Dish edition of the Indy.

Know about a fun food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at food@indyweek.com.

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