Pies that Please

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