When I shuffled my dirty purple slippers into the kitchen this morning my babushka greeted me cheerily with a “с днем числа пи.” At first I had no idea what this meant and blinked at her while my пшенная каша (millet porridge) got cold. She tried again. “Числа пи! Числа пи.” She tried harder. “You know, like in math. Didn’t you ever study math?” I thought for a second. “Число” means number or quantity and “пи” is the pronunciation of the cyrillic letter “p” or “п.” PI DAY. TODAY IS PI DAY. MY BABUSHKA KNOWS PI DAY. Never has the sensation for me to hug her been so strong so I proclaimed da and started reciting digits for her. She got bored after 15 (I have memorized up to 60) and offered me some tea. I explained to her the pie/pi thing and told her how I usually bake apple or pumpkin ones on this day.
Well the closest we got this particular Pi Day were пышки (pyshki) – simple but tasty sugar–dusted donuts sold in funny little shops around the city. I’ll have to make them from scratch some time (they’re vegan by nature!) but for now here’s a picture to give you the idea. I enjoyed these little nuggets tonight with my Bab, her daughter, her granddaughter, and her two great-granddaughters. They ain’t no pie but it’s nothing to be irrational about.