I’ve been thinking lately about family legacy, memories and pie. My friend Carole Murko with Heirloom Meals celebrates treasured family recipes and the memories that accompany them. For many people, pie memories relate to a mother or a grandmother’s passed down recipes. Like Chrissy Kinsman who I met on Martha’s Vineyard recently, who holds vivid memories of her Grandmother Helen baking, especially biscuits. Chrissy still has her Grandma Helen’s rolling pin. I also had a grandmother who was something of a pie maker, but she was a bit of a mystery baker. One never knew exactly what was in Grandma Ludwig’s Thanksgiving mincemeat pie. It was definitely meat, but one year urban legend had it from an animal you didn’t want to eat. I shiver. She got points for creativity.
For me- pie is a memory connected with my father. And I am doubly blessed to still have my father today to talk over some of these old times. My father was a restauranteur. A Midwest family style restaurant chain, L-K Restaurants, was started by my grandfather and expanded by my dad and his brother. When I was a little girl, my dad started as the manager of one restaurant in Mansfield, Ohio and I remember he went in very early to start the day. A day that included pie.
Spending time with my dad a few weeks ago led me to the discovery of his worn three ring binder with yellowed pages of all the original restaurant recipes- including a pie bonanza! Fruit pies, cream pies, his crust recipes. Interesting to me were separate recipes for Hot House Rhubarb Pie and Home Grown Rhubarb Pie. There are cream and meringue and fluff pies. Oddly enough, the one pie L-K became famous for in the 1960’s and 1970’s – fresh strawberry pie- is missing from the notebook! My family-including my grandfather and cousins- all loved that strawberry pie! I think my next project will be to bake the pies from these recipes one by one, hopefully with my dad at my side! The L-K vegetable soup was also a fan favorite. I have the recipe!
In the summers, we spent time in Georgian Bay, Ontario where the wild blueberries are plentiful, unless the bears get them first. It was there that my father made me my first birthday blueberry pie. I have wanted a blueberry pie for my birthday every year since. Cherished memories.
The very first page in my father’s three ring binder of recipes is a recipe for Family Pie.
One handful of forgiveness,
One heaping cupful of love,
A pound of unselfishness,
Mixed together smoothly,
With complete faith in God.
Add two tablespoons of wisdom,
One teaspoon of good nature for flavoring
And sprinkle generously with thoughtfulness.
This makes a wonderful family pie.
One complete pie will serve any size family.
Wishing you a heaping helping of family pie and cherished memories of your own this Father’s Day.
Happy Father’s Day Dad! With pieppreciation.