I’m a pie lover, more so than cakes, and tis the season for pies! I’m also a stubborn prideful pie baker. As a girl, mom was all about making pies year-round. Thanksgiving was a special time, making sure we had pumpkin, although there could have been some apple or cherry. Sometimes a mincemeat was made, which I don’t remember anyone really liking, unless it was a grandparent. Mom’s flaky pie crust had an egg and some vinegar in it, and I that was what I continued after marriage.
Mom comes by cooking naturally, actually descending from numerous generations of bakers. Her grandmother immigrated in 1910 from Stourbridge, England where the censuses list her family as bakers/confectioners for as far back as I can find. I remember learning that they made pasties or meat pies which were folded over to be hand-held for eating. That is definitely handy. It would be a real treat (pun intended) to peek back in time and watch them at work.
Well, back to pies. One day a dental patient told me she had the greatest pie recipe and wrote it down for me by memory. It was similar to Mom’s with egg and vinegar, but a batch big enough to make several pies. How perfect for our household of eight! Our family has no end to the requests. David loves the chocolate chess pie that was Pansey Prugh’s recipe. Super easy to make by the way!! I home can cherries just so our cherry pies taste good in the old fashioned way before that fakey red canned cherry pie filling was invented. I bake pumpkins in the fall and freeze the flesh for real true pumpkin pies and then apple is also on the list. My friend, Louise, who doesn’t claim to be a cook, introduced me to the most amazing cranberry pecan pie. Wow – it is the perfect balance of tart and sweet.
As I mentioned, I can be prideful about my pie making and here is why – I want to have the best pies (or I could say Best pies since that is Mom’s maiden name). Tom loves to shop for groceries and is not going to pass up a good deal on Marie Calendar buy one get one free. We used to eat them fresh in Marie Calendar restaurants when we travelled and he feels the frozen ones are pretty close. Ok, so the razzle berry is amazing and nothing I would ever make. My most recent lemon merengue was a sloppy dismal failure for the first time ever, so I guess a frozen and thawed one from the store beat that. Oh, there are also the Johnny J’s pies that our kids like to get – truth be told, my pies don’t always win family the votes. 😦
I may be slowly entering that phase of life where letting go of time consuming traditions could slip into play on a busy holiday, but in all honesty, no boughten crust stands a chance against mine – just saying – so I’m pretty sure I’ll be baking pies next week and many years to come.
Ecclesiastes 9:7 “Go, eat your food with gladness…”
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