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A Pie Challenge and Lost Traditions

During farm tours, I talk a bit about Ark of Taste, and the importance of not letting seeds, cooking traditions and recipes go extinct. The example I give is: think about your favorite recipes only your grandma could make. Was it written down? Was it taught to anyone? If not, it goes extinct with her.

Thankfully my Grandma Elsie wrote down most of her recipes (although I admit, they still do not taste the same). My mom, sadly did not. I, my brothers and foster sisters call each other a few times a year to brainstorm our favorite recipes, somehow hoping that we can recall a little more each time.

My dad on the other hand, is still with us (YAY Dad!) and he is the pumpkin pie man!

Story goes, that one of the first holidays after he and mom were married, moms’ mom, Grandma Jane, hosted the holiday meal. Seeing the barrage of pies on the dessert table, but no pumpkin, he asked why. After much guffaw and a little bit of dodging the question, the master Chefs of the day admitted they didn’t know how to make it. The ladies, promptly assigned him with the responsibly for the next holiday, and Dad with no baking experience, stepped up to the challenge.

From that year on Dad always baked 16-20 pies for both Thanksgiving and Christmas – remember he was a Sailor then and he was used to having dinner with LOTS of folks…and having to protect his dessert from ship rolls and stray forks. Every year, Dad would bring pie over to friends and neighbors during the holidays, make sure the dessert table had a few and there was always one for each of us. Which we might just have eaten for breakfast once… or more than once.

Dad still makes pies, not usually 20 anymore, but still at every holiday. Some years I bake with him, We have tried mixing up the recipe – bruleed top? Meh, Maple Bourbon? YES, Mini Jar Pies? 2 bites is not enough, Splenda? NEVER again, Roast your own pumpkin? Now were talkin

Thanks to an issued challenge Pumpkin Pie is our tradition. It might change a bit each year, but the few days of baking, eating pie dough scraps, getting pie dough scrap belly and taste testing all our creations is all part of the tradition and one I look forward to each year.

Mmmm….Pie for breakfast….. ~Stepheni Dickinson Farm

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