Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Worn Recipe

A few days ago I found myself at my kitchen counter rolling out dough. The kids were busy with homework and I had a few moments to myself. As I snitched a bit of dough to nibble, my mind began to wander, wondering if any of the women who had made this family recipe through the years had had a moment where they too found themselves rolling out dough while their children contentedly read nearby. For what occasions did those women who came before me find themselves rolling out a pie crust? Was it a birthday of a loved one perhaps, or was it the passing of a friend? Was it a time when the home was filled with family and the pie would disappear in moments or was it a time when, despite desperate hopes, she knew that this pie would probably only be eaten by her alone one small piece at a time over the next week or so?

What kind of women followed this same recipe, that added the vinegar, the egg, that cut in the shortening? What joys filled their lives when they pulled this recipe from their box? What crushing burdens did they carry as they pinched the crust? I wanted to know how they carried those burdens, how they not only survived, but how they thrived and found joy despite hardship. I wanted to know more about their love filled homes, where peace and the aroma of baking pie shared the same space.

My blood is so similar to that which ran through their veins. How much of me is a reflection of them? Is this where my need to shower my family with home cooked meals to show love and affection stems? So many questions, so many unanswerable questions.

These thoughts tumbled over and over in my mind, until the pie at last went into the oven. As I put my recipe back in my box, I realized that for now, all I have is a simple worn card with a family recipe. And somehow - that is enough, for now.

Never Fail Pie Crust

3 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 C shortening
1 egg
5 TB water
1 TB vinegar (I prefer apple cider vinegar)

Blend dry ingredients well with shortening (I use a pastry blender). Add liquid and form into a roll. Wrap in wax paper and store in the refrigerator. Take off as much as needed each time - do not warm to room temperature. Roll out dough on heavily floured board.

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