My mom could make almost anything. She made dresses out of old feed sacks. She knitted mittens without a pattern. She could build a paddock and fix our car’s carburetor. If she didn’t already know how to do something, she got a book from the library and learned from there. Sometimes she just took things apart and figured out how they worked. Mom was a real genius, except for one thing: Pies.
Mom’s Good Housekeeping Cookbook opened right up to the pie crust recipes. She never could make a good pie crust. Those pages had lard blops all over them. I could see right through to the writing on the next page. Some flour got caught up the binding crevice and stayed there, turning the pages all yellow-brown and stiffer than the other pages. Yep, she was a genius at making things, but not pie crust. She tried and tried.
I liked to help. Bonita, Deanna and I lined up on one side of the table, Mom on the other with her big crock mixing bowl, flour, water, and a big tin. My-oh-my, I never saw so much vanilla ice cream in my entire life.
“Can I have a taste?” I asked. I could feel my mouth getting wet, ready to slide around that ice cream.
“You won’t like it,” she said. “It’s lard.”
“Yes I will.” She said that about lots of stuff I liked. She scooped a big spoonful out for me. It was creamy smooth; so warm and slippery on my tongue, different from the sweet icy-cold of ice cream. I loved it. Mom’s mouth squinched up into a kiss, only Continue reading