Sunday, March 9, 2014

Pie | Slice 9:31

Her talent took on near-mythic proportion in our small town
and spread to surrounding parts
Every Sunday morning she'd rise with the sun
Building pies from scratch
Cutting lard into dry ingredients
Shaping and crimping the crust
ever so perfectly by her deft hands
before pouring in a host of fanciful fillings
Coconut Cream
Raisin Cream
Banana Cream
Lemon Meringue
Dutch Apple
Old-Fashioned Cream
Following each recipe
even those she'd memorized years earlier
to the letter
Cooling they'd sit atop wire racks
on the kitchen counter
while she and Grandpa went down the road to church

Like clockwork we'd visit
a few hours later
round about three or four
for a sliver of the pie du jour
Grandpa would eat his in a bowl, drenched in cold milk
I'd scrape every dollop of filling off the tender crust
Dad would eat my seconds as an tasty accompaniment to his own piece
the handiwork of his mother
her gift
even now
at 90
building, cutting, shaping pies in
her tiny apartment kitchen

This morning,
Grant's chubby fingers grasp his favorite new treat
dried cherries
I nibble on one too
Their tartness reminds me to add another pie
to Grandma's list
Cherry Cream
In my opinion, her best offering
Rich and velvety cream the color of amaranth
embraces each plump, rosy fruit
Baked then chilled
It's the Ritz-Carlton of pies
Flavors that explode like fireworks
pop and dazzle above their silky background
and pamper with each bite

Always looking toward the next project
Grandma will like the one
my brother and I have for her:
to collate her recipes
to share with us her tips
and well worn
nuggets of pie-baking wisdom
so we can know
and we can teach
and we can enjoy
the gift she's given us
so many Sundays before
with our own littles
and their littles

Write on,


  1. I hope you'll preserve her recipes in a book one day- maybe with stories and vignettes about her life. those pies sound amazing.

  2. Such powerful memories. Each and every pie does sound like a story.

  3. Not just beautiful memories but beautifully written. I hope you'll share it with her.

  4. This is so rich in family history, your Grandma's gift given for so many years and even stiil, filling your hearts with her love folded into every pie. I want to taste the "Ritz Carlton of pies" and experience the "flavors that explode like fireworks" as you so creatively described. Will you say me a piece? :)


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