Saturday, September 27, 2008

Things My Grandmother Baked.

This is a continuance in what, hopefully, will be a series. Weeks ago I posted about the memorable sayings of my Grampa Pete. This week I will give equal consideration to my Gramma Peg. Gramma Peg and Grampa Pete were married sixty years before Lady Di and I tied the knot. Grampa Pete died just a few years ago and Gramma Peg is still going strong at 94 years old.

Growing up I lived a few blocks from both sets of grandparents in a small town, so I was fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time with them. And Gramma Peg knew how to lure me to her home for many visits. Gramma Peg knew how to bake. And she baked a lot. She was even good enough to get my sister and I to eat bran muffins, and like them.

Grandma Peg's specialty, though, was baking pies. Every holiday she made a seasonal pie for dessert. Pumpkin pie, of course, for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Peach pie when the fresh peaches came to the grocery store by the crate in the summer. She had an apricot tree in the back yard that produced apricots only one summer in its life. That year it must have gotten pollinated just right because apricots were bending branches and filling multiple coolers, so Grandma had to bake pie after pie just to keep the fruit from rotting on the ground.

This time of year, however, puts me in mind of her number one pie, apple pie. She makes her own crust, picks her own apples and creates a perfect pie.

Since she was such a prolific pie baker, she would fill her deep freeze with pies to enjoy at a moments notice. One of my fondest memories of college was coming home for the weekend and returning to school with one of Grandma Peg's pies. My roommates were understandably jealous. I would share on occasion, but the slices I cut for them would be the thinnest possible. One related memory that I will never forget is when I had taken my foil wrapped pie back to school. I spent the entire drive anticipating cutting a slice when I got back to my dorm room. When I got to my room, I unwrapped my dessert, cut a piece, put it on a plate and settled in my chair to enjoy. The first bite made me pause. This was not apple pie. I was green tomato pie. Which, amazingly, tastes similar to apple pie, but is not apple pie. Since Grandma Peg was such a prolific pie baker, she understandably would sometimes lose track 0f which pies she had in her deep freeze.

I didn't complain though. As long as more pies kept coming, I kept eating them. Besides, green tomato pie is pretty good and I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to try one.

I have many wonderful childhood memories and many have come from my grandparents. Number One Son and Sweet Pea were also lucky enough to enjoy a few of Grandma Peg's pies. And who knows, with the holidays coming up in a couple months, maybe they too will get to try green tomato pie.

Thanks, Grandma Peg, for all the pies and so much more.

8 comments:

orlund said...

Tell your grandma to send a pie over my way. Any kind of pie. Every kind of pie. Your one lucky guy!

DJ Kirkby said...

I so love pumpkin pie. You can't get it over here and I can't make a pie crust at all despite my grandmother persistently trying to teach me (she makes beautiful pie crust). Your grandmother looks very young for her age!

The Father of Five said...

Great Post DadStuff!

Oh, how I miss my grandparents. I lost my last grandparent a few years back now...

My Memere (our name for or Maternal Grandmother) was the baker... She had pies, cookies, cakes or breads entered in the State Fair each and every year, and had a small corner of her kitchen dedicated to her blue ribbons...

Thanksgiving brought around her home made croissants... I can still taste them over 20 years later.

I know I don't need to tell you this, but enjoy every moment you can with your Grandmother... Listen to her stories (even if you have heard them umpteen times) and engage her to talk about the "good 'ol days"... You and your kids will relish them always...

mademoisellechitchat said...

Beautiful story!!! My late grandmother made her share of pies too! ;)

Christina said...

This post has brought back so many memories for me. Apple pie is just the ultimate comfort food.

When I was a little girl, I would feel so grown up when my grandmother would allow me to have my own slice of pie, the grown ups would have a thick slice of cheddar cheese on the side of their plates (wisconsin) but I was content with a scoop of ice cream next to mine.

Thanks for the visit, I love your blog.

; )

PS: the father of five is SO right when he says- "enjoy every moment you can with your grandmother." I am especially missing my grandmother this week and wish I could hear just one more of her stories.

Peace

Marla said...

Grandmas are the best. Especially ones who make apple pies. My all time favorite. I like these posts. Very sweet.

Russell said...

Just recently I had a chance to eat a REAL apple pie - one made with real apples just picked off the tree and home made crust. Talk about incredible.

The person actually let me take a couple of pieces home with me! Unfortunately I stopped to get some gas and my dog actually ate most of that pie! I could not believe it!!

I rarely get angry with my dog, but believe me he was really in the dog house after that! I felt like that old magazine ad where you see a broken bottle of really expensive something or other and the caption reads "Ever see a grown man cry?"!! Heh!

Take care.

James Austin said...

Green tomato pie? Sounds interesting. Maybe you can post the recipe sometime. My grandmother Retha was a prolific pie baker as well. Her specialty was wild blackberry pie. My mouth waters thinking of it even now. Nice post.

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.