My family was recently reminiscing about past family gatherings when my dear grandmother was still with us. She loved bringing dessert as her contribution, and 95 percent of the time, that meant pie. Mouthwateringly delicious pie! Over time, we fondly nicknamed her desserts “Grandma Pie.” She would blush and say they were nothing special, but to us they were her legacy.
As you might imagine, all her pies were made from scratch. Her favorites to make were apple, strawberry, chocolate, blackberry, pecan, and peach. We loved them all! One time she made an old-fashioned raisin pie, but the family wasn’t too thrilled about that. She fussed that “you young upstarts just didn’t know what’s good,” but on the other hand she never made raisin pie again. Which was just fine and dandy with us!
If she knew you were coming to visit, she would have a freshly made pie awaiting your arrival. Often I would bring a couple of college friends and we would devour that pie, along with anything else she made for us. We were young and hungry. She was a fabulous cook. A great combination! Grandma loved it when I brought my friends; she enjoyed cooking for what she called “good eaters.” Picky eaters or those on a diet were not her favorite. Plus, she loved just being around young folk. She would sit up long hours playing Uno with us, laughing the night away.
I was her only grandchild who indicated an interest in learning her pie secrets, and she was happy to train me from a young age. I would help her pick strawberries in the spring and blackberries in the summer, peel and slice fresh apples and peaches, shell pecans, and grate dark chocolate. She used Crisco and ice water in her pie crust. Grandma never measured, but taught me how the dough “felt” when it was ready to roll out. She was so patient with me, and always made working in the kitchen fun. Thinking of those times makes my heart happy.
Grandma did have a quirk, though. She could not resist cutting and eating a slice of pie before presenting the remainder of pie to others. She would always giggle and say, “As you can see, a little mouse ate some of that pie!” I remember one distant relative commented that it was rude to present anything less than a whole pie. Grandma got real quiet. Ominous silence. And she never made another pie for that person. Believe me, the rest of us took note and always went along with the hungry mouse routine!
So all you grandmothers and grandfathers out there, please don’t hesitate to share your baking, cooking, and grilling secrets with those young upstarts. They will remember fondly, I promise. Now if you will excuse me, I think I’m going to go whip up some Grandma pie!
Laura Schupp resides in Zion Crossroads with her husband Rick and two cats. She would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.