Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beware Those Pies of March!


Besides the flour, another constant when my Grandmother made her pie crusts was a can of Crisco. She never had to reference a recipe or use a measuring cup when making her crusts which always ended up heavenly flaky and the perfect texture. Every time I buy those prepackaged pie crusts in the store I think of how methodically she'd fold her ingredients in to the yellow mixing bowl until she had it all where she wanted it. After gathering the dough into a ball; then kneading it and working it, she'd divide the dough, flatten it out with her wooden rolling pin and then spread it out in her glass pie plates, fluting the edges of the crust in lightning speed. While prepackaged crusts cut down the preparation time to nearly nothing, their flavor and consistency lack what my Grandmother created every time she made one of her pies which included-apple, pumpkin, mince meat, berry. Of all the varieties she made, my favorite was her Lemon Meringue! Those pies were masterpieces of creativity. The lemons used were real. The crusts, as I've explained, pefection. The meringue, peaked and browned, melted in your mouth.

If our Grandmother happened to be pie-making as Spring was waking up the fields and pastures it was a given that my cousins and I would be outside playing in the little streams Nature provided as the snow melted and buds pushed through the thawing soil. That's when we'd be making our own pies-mud pies of all varieties. Some would be decorated with tiny stones; some with sticks and old dead leaves. It didn't matter as long as we were making our pies. Although they were void of those heavenly crusts, the process of creating them was the same as our Grandmother's. Her pies just tasted better!

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