The holidays are a natural time to reflect on Faith, Family and the traditions that make us love Christmas. Lot's of people are talking about Faith and Family so I feel the need to talk about a tradition that is important to me. In my family holiday tradition, we always had pie around. Lovely, scrumptious pastries filled with all kinds of delicious flavor and goodness. Pecan, pumpkin, apple, cherry etc., it didn't matter too much. We just loved them. And now that my mother and both grand mothers have passed, there is something about pie that makes me feel that they are still here and a part of the festivities. In fact, when my older brother and I get together during the holidays, the conversation often turns to pie. It's just a natural part of our family tradition.
My wife Shelly is a wonderful baker. But she is a "cake person". She makes wonderful cakes and can decorate like nobodies business. I mean, if she had the tools available she could rival Buddy and the Cake Boss staff.
So, this Christmas when we came to my in-law's house to celebrate and be with family there was lots of discussion about what we should eat and what kind of deserts would be made. Of course my first thoughts were of pie. You can't have a holiday get together without pie can you? Not in my mind at least. Luckily, my brother-in-law has become a pretty good pie maker. His apple pies are tremendous and I hear that he has others that are just as good. I of course made sure to put my request in several times for pie. And I was obliged with a delicious pecan pie!
NPR recently aired a great piece on the power of pie and I have to admit that it brought to the top of my consciousness my love for pie. You can listen to it here: NPR PIE Story
My top pies are as follows:
- Mama Lou's lemon meringue pie. This pie is legendary in my father's side of the family.
- My own mother's pecan pie. She has passed away so this is probably always going to be in my "Pie ring of honor".
- Mark Qualls' apple pie has recently ascended into my top five and perhaps even my top three.
- Mrs Edward's key lime pie. This one is store bought so I couldn't in good conscious rate it higher that Mark's pie but I have to admit I really love it. I've had several restaurant versions of key lime that weren't as good. And I don't yet know anyone that makes a key lime. (Perhaps I need to take a stab at it?)
I'd love to hear from anyone out there and hear what your favorite pies or pie memories are.