Sunday, April 19, 2009

Kitchen stories: Best of Show

If I were to judge my father's mother Lavon on her cooking I'd give her the blue ribbon on her pies. Of my two grandmothers her pies were winners. She was the slowest cook I'd ever seen but the results were fantastic.

Her pies were nothing fancy, always a fruit pie, but crust that was perfect every time. I'd watched her many times as a child but had the pleasure of watching her make pies when she'd visit California for the winter. She'd stopped using lard but Crisco still gave her a very tender crust, though she said she missed that flavor. She could roll a ball of dough into a perfect circle every time and if you've ever tried you'll appreciate this talent. Each pie maker has their own way to finish off the edge of the pie. My mom and Lavon used the tines of a fork to decorate the edge. I pinch the edge into a scallop but ever so often I'll use their method just to remember their method. Though my mom's mother Emily was a good cook she was more of a cake or cookie baker. My mom Lorna learned a lot from her mother-in-law Lavon when it came to pies.

Much of Lavon's life was spent watching the pennies and when she cooked she made use of everything. I still can't throw out and extra pie dough. You either made a small pie or baked the extra on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. That was always the treat I loved best but sometimes she'd have enough and make a "Vaseline Pie." What it was really was a Sugar Pie. This is sugar, milk and an egg baked into a custard; it only looks like Vaseline but tastes great. I remember eating the last piece of sugar pie once and caught hell from my uncle Roger. My pie making skills are some of my best but I've tried to make a sugar pie but it never comes out like she did. I think it was just her "touch" that made it so good.

1 comment:

  1. Roger was stingy always thinking everything was for him................boy do I remember the extra pie crust Grandma made........great memory