My mother was always the pie baker. She had a reputation. She would make some sort of pie almost weekly, for dessert for dinner on Sunday. We had a neighbor that would show up on a Sunday in the early afternoon with a fork in his pocket. We all loved my mother’s pies. There were times when they weren’t the most attractive pastries but they were always, always delicious.
I probably didn’t pay much attention to her making pies when I was younger because that was just what she did. What I do remember her saying was that she used more shortening than the recipe called for.
My mother passed away on the night of November 16, 1989. When I arrived at the house there was an apple pie on the counter. A few weeks later I remember thinking “Oh my God, who’s going to make pie?” I took out the only cookbook I ever saw her use and opened it to the pie crust section. I remembered what she said about the shortening and modified as I went along. Those first pies were not the prettiest pies but they were good. It’s amazing how there are some foods that just keep you connected.
To this day I make pie often. I use her tools and I only make them in Rowe. There is something about the counter, the rolling pin, the flour shaker – they have the magic that makes my pies my mother’s.