Pie In The Sky

By Kellie M. Larson

ABS Soaps In Depth, February 14, 2006

Mary Beth Evans is one of daytime’s most recognizable faces. She played one half of DAYS OF OUR LIVES supercouple Patch and Kayla before going on to play beleaguered vixen Katherine Bell on GENERAL HOSPITAL. On recurring status since last October as Lucinda’s powerful daughter, Sierra Esteban, on AS THE WORLD TURNS, Evans has found a new way to challenge herself: She’s entered the pie business!

“I had just spent this incredibly crazy year going back and forth from Los Angeles to New York for ATWT. One weekend, we were home reading the paper and my husband read in the Wall Street Journal about homemade apple pie [sales],” Evans recalls of how she got started. “He said, ‘You should do this,’ because I make this great, homemade, double-crusted apple pie that has one of those old- fashioned, flaky crusts, and its tart and sweet and not gooky. ”

Considered something of a Martha Stewart by the people who know her best, crafty Evans had been using a generations-old family recipe to make pies to give away as gifts for 20 years!

“I would make and freeze them and then write a little note with the baking directions so that people could have the aroma in their own house,” she explains. After practicing bulk baking at home, Evans moved to a commercial kitchen and launched her business via the internet (www.marybethsapplepie.com)

Working Girl

“The greatest thing is that my kids have seen me have this idea about something I kind of know how to do and then turn it into something,” the entrepreneur enthuses. “When I sold the first two pies to my neighbor, I came home with that check and I was so excited I was practically crying. My kids were cheering me at dinner toasting me with their milk!”

Sure the business is taking up a lot of time, but Evans says that her spouse and their three teens understand and know that that she’s happiest being busy. “I like working three or four days a week [on a soap opera and] being home early with my kids,” she explains, adding, “My whole goal in life when I finally did decide to do soaps, is that I just want to act and be a working person like my doctor husband who’s home every night by dinner time.”

Although she considers daytime her niche, Evans has recently opened herself up to the possibility of working in primetime. “I just had some regular [non-soap-style] pictures taken, and I’m being submitted by my agent for nighttime. I feel like my life is being reinvented constantly and maybe that’s what it will be now.”

Remembering Katherine

While a return to GH as Katherine doesn’t seem likely (the lady did fall off Wyndemere’s lethal parapet twice!), Evans has nothing but fond memories of her six years with the show.  “It was a huge time in my life,” she recalls of portraying her character’s Perils of Pauline-esque lifestyle.  “What was really cool about it for me was when they would put me in those Nurses Balls every year with Lynn Herring (ex-Lucy) who could run me over in a heartbeat.  I’m the worst singer, and I can’t dance, but they would have me do it.  It was fun, and afterwards, I thought, ‘God, that really felt great!”

Although she’s unsure of her next move, Evans is thrilled to have the pie biz to keep her occupied and says that there’s no substitute for the pleasure that comes from finding a new way to stay challenged. “I have so many friends who do a lot of Botoxing and worrying about getting older. I just feel that it’s because [people] need to be busy. You need to have a passion and be outside of yourself, you know?”

Having her pie and eating it too!

Eat like a soap star today.

“I think that when you’re busy and happy, things come to you,” offers the actress of her enthusiasm for her new business, Mary Beth’s Apple Pie Company. Does the idea of sampling a delicious pastry made by this daytime superstar’s own hands leave you salivating? Then order one for yourself! The whopping 4-lb. pie features an old-fashioned flaky crust that’s loaded with tart and tasty apples. Shipped gift-wrapped and frozen, it’s ready to bake at home. To get yours in time for Valentine’s Day, visit www.marybethsapplepie.com or call (626)799-2739 and order by February 9.