Pie Tales!

So, there is something I'm obsessed with that I must warn you about,....something I can't live with, but I can't live without....

something that creeps into my life every holiday season that I kick out with every New Year's diet resolution....

something I have a love affair with..........

Photo from Pillsbury

........Pie.


I'm serious!

Pie is perfect!  Not just because Pie Crust is one of the four food groups, but also because of the way Pie weaves people together and creates a lifetime of memories.

Oh the stories I could tell you about Pie!  Some are tragic, but MOST are magic! 

It started with my Mom.  Everything about her Pies were magic to me! Once she had them assembled and fluted with her tricky fingers, she would flatten the leftover dough scraps, sprinkle them with sugar and cinnamon, cut them into strips and bake until crispy.  She called this delicious treat "Pie Tails!" SWEEEET!    PS...She's also a master of meringue--something I NEVER get right.

Pie Tails!                Photo credit Ross Sveback

Now, my mom's favorite Pie is pecan which, when I was a kid was only for special occasions because pecans were very expensive so used sparingly in our kitchen.  My dear Uncle Jim was a man of few words, but the one phrase I remember him using to tease someone who used nuts sparingly in their desserts was, "What did you do, tie a pecan on a string and drag it through the bowl?"   ROFL!  As if a pecan is that magical!


Simple Pecan Pie     Photo credit Karo (not a paid endorsement!)

Pie tragedy has also struck my life. One Thanksgiving when I was a young girl, Mom spilled the raw Pumpkin Pie all over the inside of the oven...it was horrifying! I can still see it in my mind every time I put Pie in the oven....not just because Pie was gone, but because my mom was sooo upset with herself,...and what a mess!

Easy Pumpkin Pie using Libby's           Photo by Libby's

I'm grateful that my mom taught me how to make Pie. In my teens I was pretty good at homemade crust and made Pie often for gifts & church potlucks.  But there was that one Friendsgiving when we were living at seminary when it almost turned tragic.

 I was a new bride and wanted to be the hostess with the mostess, but my crust was NOT working out.  Despite Mom's voice in my head--"Use really cold water!"
"Not too much flour!"
"Don't overwork it or it will be tough!"


Mom's Pie Crust Recipe!         Credit YouNanaBread

--I threw that ball of gunk in the trash, abandoned my pride, and tearfully sent my hubby out to find store-bought crust in the red box!  When the guests raved about my homemade Pie crust (Tim and Jo!)--well, they couldn't tell the difference, so let's just say my crust recipe is still gathering dust in the cabinet! (this is NOT a paid endorsement!)

My magical secret weapon...this is NOT a paid endorsement.

I'm not one to collect alot of recipes, but Pie is an exception.  My favorite Pie recipe was given to me by a dear friend from our seminary days, Johanna G---Toll House Cookie Pie.  If you've never had that, you should probably go get some....now....I mean it.....

Nestle Toll House Cookie Pie     Photo Food.com

Lest you think I gave up making Pie, fast forward to my bright idea to donate a "Pie of the Month" for my childrens' school auction.  Yes...I volunteered make 12 Pies (from scratch) for the lucky winner!  The bids went ridiculously high and I got so excited, I told the runner-up if they matched the winning bid I'd bake for them, too! They did--Pie forever!  And yes, they got Toll House Pie!

Unfortunately, my kids aren't fans. They never cared for Pie Tails and they didn't let me teach them to make crust.  But thanks to Pinterest (yes, I have a Pie Board!) and the magic red box, we have a new tradition in our family when they come home from college that I cherish!  They call it "apple fritters" but it's really mini-apple Pie (I don't even know what a fritter is). They MUST be served hot with Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream!  My son's girlfriend even texted me for the directions last year.  Imagine that....me.....giving Pie advice!

Mini Apple Pies  Photo and recipe Little Bit Funky

Ahhhhh!!!!  My Pie stories could go on and on....from fun times meeting sisters and cousins (Ruth, Dawn and Susan to name a few) in quaint little shops where Pie lives...

Royer's Pie Haven in Round Top, TX

or gathering for Pie with dear friends George and Sharon at Marie Calendar's after a school play....

or searching every bakery in town for lemon meringue pie to take to my Dad in the nursing home just to see the joy on his face when not much else was making him happy....

My Dad's Favorite, Lemon Meringue       Photo Credit Pillsbury

Pie.......you are a bridge builder, a friend maker, a smile keeper....
you are the secret sauce in a family gathering....
you are the excuse we need to stop what we are doing in our busy lives and spend some time around the table....

I do love you, Pie! 
2015--My sweet Mom & me sharing some extra fancy Pecan Pie with ice cream
Buffalo Nickle Cafe, Fredericksburg, TX
I would love to hear your favorite Pie stories or learn your favorite Pie recipes!  Comment below!

Tammy



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