Pie. Apple, cherry, pumpkin and pecan. All kinds of pies! I grew up loving pies. My grandma was always making some type of sweet treat and in the fall especially, she would make pies. I remember the sights, sounds and the smells. But I never stayed in the kitchen long enough to learn the process. I was more interested in being outside trying to catch one of the new barn kittens or hoping for a chance to get close to a neighbors horse.
My mum made pies too. She made sure that I took part in it by helping her peel and cut the apples. By then, I had a horse of my own, and the apples kept my attention because I knew that I could take the peelings to him!
As a young adult, I still left pie making to my grandma, mum and aunties. Thankfully my mum had learned Grandma's pie crust recipe by heart.
In recent years, I decided that I wanted to learn to make pies. I needed to. I enjoy looking through cookbooks and watching cooking shows and many of them made pie crust seem like a challenge. I got the impression that some people are scared of making pies. I guess I was a little bit too. It seemed daunting.
My mum was more than willing to come over and lead me through the process and teach me the same way that Grandma had taught her. My grandma had a recipe but didn't need to use it! Mum has an original copy of it. Years before, she had written one out for me. I was finally able to get it out of my recipe box and use it. It doesn't look anything like her copy. Mine is on a crisp white recipe card. All of the ingredients and the instructions can be clearly read. Mum's has the patina of many years of use. It is smooth and the once-white recipe card is brown. It has little spots and splashes on it. The writing is smudged and a corner is torn away.
The kitchen was prepared, the ingredients gathered and I was ready. I followed the recipe and listened to my mum's tips. That and a few baking techniques and I was doing it. What? That was all there was to it? What was so scary about that? Once I had a big ball of dough and I realized how easy it was, I had fun! I kept laughing to myself and at myself. What had I been waiting for?
By the end of my first pie making session, I had pies everywhere! Apple, cherry and a couple pumpkin. Plus some turnovers and pieces of dough with some sugar and cinnamon sprinkled over the top. The crust was flaky and tasted the way pie had always tasted in our family.
Now I enjoy baking pies! I still hear people say that pie crust is hard or that they have never made pies. At a recent church event I offered to make pies and the lady was so glad. She said, "So many people don't like to make pies." If you are someone who is a little afraid, or haven't tried, you should! It is very rewarding and yummy! Talk to someone that you know that does make pies. They will have a tried and true recipe and can help you.
I have even made a "pie drawer" where I store all of my pie baking things. The recipe, pie pans (vintage glass ones from my grandma and mother-in-law!), pastry cutter, pastry brush and rolling pin. Everything is on one place and I don't have to search for items that I only use once in a while. Plus it is fun to open a drawer that holds so many great memories.