Saturday, October 25, 2008

The best (blanks) ever...were made by (blank)

Let me fill in this for you before the imaginations run wild. "The best pies ever...were made by my grandmother." We can all fill in accordingly. We all have our cooking heroes that we adore. But, it is a no-contest answer for me...and everyone in my family who ate them would agree... Grandma's pies were it.

She could cook great meals, but her baking was amazing. I never saw her use a recipe. She just threw in some of this and that, and then added enough liquid until it felt right. Rolled it, pricked it, baked it in her anciently old oven. It's unbelievable really, since baking is so fiddley and exact. Her crust was flaky and tender and whatever she chose to put inside was always perfectly spiced. Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

I don't know if anyone learned the pie secrets from her. There were no special ingredients, no family recipe handed down from generation to generation. I seem to remember flour, lard, salt, and water. The measurements? Your guess is as good as mine. She only had a son and a daughter and I know my Dad didn't learn how to make her pies! Did my aunt? I don't know. She never seemed like a baker type; I don't remember ever eating a pie made by her. I made an apple pie today (GF of course) and couldn't help but reminisce about Grandma.

Somehow, she knew how to make things special. The pie is in the oven...what do we do with that leftover dough? Make cinnamon sticks with it, of course! These were way better than cinnamon toast or cinnamon rolls. They were made with her crust, afterall! I attempted to make some with my leftover pie crust.

I know, they don't look like much, but they are really good! Here's what to do.
Take your leftover crust, shape it into a rectangle. Dot butter along the center out towards the edge, but not all the way to the edge. Top with sugar and cinnamon. Roll into a tube. Pinch ends closed. Place on baking sheet and cook until golden brown. When you take it out, you can cut it into circles (like cookies) or leave as a log. Eat it nice and warm with a big glass of cold milk.

Try it - You won't be disappointed! Maybe you will become the one who makes the best (blank) ever.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Yum- That sounds really good. Liz and I just attempted to make our first apple pie together- it was fun, but i'm sure we have a long way to go to get even half as good as great grandma's. I don't know if I ever had any of her pies...i liked reading this...i don't remember much about her.