Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pie for Breakfast

 Pie Case in Denver

       We were all lined-up in the narrow hallway waiting for that one last preschool child to use the bathroom before we all headed to the library.  There was the usual chatter interspersed with giggling, when the child holding my hand looked up at me and asked, "What did you have for breakfast, teacher?"  I answered, "Pumpkin pie."  All of the children shifted their focus towards me, bodies jostled to see me better, a surprised hush descended and eyes brightened.  At that moment their world view had shifted.  "Pie!  My teacher eats pie for breakfast!  Pie?  You can have pie for breakfast!"

     My Aunt Snowdie served pie for breakfast.   Snowdie was the sixteenth child conceived by my southern grandfather.  Four more children followed her in the birth order.  I have looked at the studies on sibling-order personalities, but there is a dearth of studies on the sixteenth child.  Snowdie was a diminutive four-feet eleven inches tall. She must have had to woo attention.  You would have noticed her cooking.   Her specialties were fudge pie and glazed donuts fried in butter.  Now imagine me as a child and being asked by Aunt Snowdie, "What would you like for breakfast?  Fudge pie, Boston cream pie or fried glazed donuts?"  My third or fourth grade school photo shows a pudgy, round face.  I think I must have spent the summer saying, "Yes, please, all of those will be fine."

    Pie for breakfast is a generational phenomena in my family.  Molly, my daughter, will make two pumpkin pies from scratch... pointedly setting one aside for breakfast.  At age three Molly painted a picture of a mixed berry pie.  We grow raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Mixed berry pies were made regularly.  Plum pies were my favorite.  One of the teachers at school, Patti, always brought a bag of her  Italian plums in the fall.  I waited with anticipation to make a plum pie with our hazelnuts as part of the topping.  I make the flaky pastry crust directly in the pan.  The recipe follows.
Make-in-the pan pie shell that I use for fruit pies:

(Put all ingredients in a 9 inch pie plate, stir and press, and make a crinkle edge.  Add extra oil if too dry)
1 cup all-purpose white flour
½ tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 ½ Tbsp. skim milk

(If flour is particularly dry… made need more oil or milk.)

3 Tbsp. all-purpose white flour
3 Tbsp. rolled oats (not instant)
1 ½ Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
1 Tbsp. canola or safflower oil
1/4 cup chopped nuts optional

Fudge Pie  (Going to a potluck and only have forty five minutes to make something.  This is it.  You almost always have flour, eggs, butter, vanilla and chocolate.)

Mix these ingredients.  Bake in a round 8 inch pan at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
1/4 pound butter
2 eggs
3/4 sugar
1/2 flour
2 squares baking chocolate or 6 tablespoons cocoa powder plus 3 Tablespoons oil
1/4 cup nuts

    Now you are probably wondering why I am writing about pies on a travel blog.  I actually have only eaten one slice of pie (cherry) so far, but we are coming up on Thanksgiving with the promise of pumpkin pie.  Eating pies is really about moderation.  I hadn't learned this lesson as a college student on a food account.  When I realized that I could have cherry pie every night, I did.  Now older and wiser I have pie only occasionally.  Pie after all takes some preparation.  I do however try to have enough left for breakfast.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy the pie.  May there be a slice left for breakfast.  Pie-pie for now!

Hey, They Are Making Pie!

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